Get the Most Out of an Apartment Tour

Updated February 17, 2021
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Get the most out of an apartment tour! The hunt for an apartment is daunting enough alone that having to view a ton of different places before deciding on one can be especially difficult. Plus, there’s so much more to apartment hunting than perusing the local paper or online directory and finding the listings with pictures and a floor plan. You want to learn more info, and getting an apartment tour can help you do that. But, to make it really worth your while, it’s important to know the right questions to ask and what to look for upon your viewing. So today, we’re going to help you get the most out of an apartment tour.

A Must-Have Apartment Tour Checklist

When you view your potential dream home apartment, you’re going to want to check a few critical things on your tour. And don’t feel afraid to check everything—the property manager should expect that prospective tenants want everything to be in working order. Sometimes, you can feel rushed through an apartment tour, so bringing with you a typed-out checklist can come in very handy and ensure you don’t miss anything. Here’s what to include on your checklist:

  1. Open and close all doors and windows. Note any that squeaks, sticks, or are difficult to open or stay closed. Plus, check that all windows have a screen.
  2. Flip on every light switch and turn on any ceiling fans to make sure they all work.
  3. Not all smoke alarms and ask that the batteries be changed if needed. Ask if they have a sprinkler system.
  4. Bring a phone charger with you to test outlets—verify they all have power and work efficiently.
  5. In the kitchen and bathroom, run all water faucets. Check that there is both hot and cold water coming out, and make sure the shower gets effective pressure.
  6. In the same vein, check that all kitchen appliances are in working order. Check the stove burners, the oven, and the microwave. Note any issues and ensure it would be remedied before move-in.
  7. Open all the kitchen cabinets to make sure nothing was left behind and check for any signs of rodents. Small rice-sized droppings can be a sign of a mouse and can be found in any cabinets where food was kept.
  8. Check the walls, ceiling, and floors for signs of stains, mildew, or mold.
  9. Note the rooms’ sizes to make sure your bed frame, couch, and other furniture will fit. It’s always a good idea to bring a tape measure with you because a furnished apartment can look much different than an empty one, and you don’t want to move in to find out nothing fits!
  10. Also, check all of the closets. Are they big enough to hold all of your clothes and pantry items?
  11. Flush the toilet! Make sure it works without making any weird noises or runs after you flush it.
  12. Note any cracked or missing tiles in the bathroom shower or floor.
  13. Try to note any noise you hear to see if the walls are thin or if neighbors’ loud doors slam in the hallway.
  14. Ensure the entryways are safe and secure to the apartment building.
  15. If you have a balcony, check the sliding glass door or another entry door to make sure it secures tightly. And if you are on a lower level, ensure it has a sturdy lock.
  16. Note that the shared amenities and community areas (pool, gym, entertainment center) are clean, functional, and well-kept.

This is a bit of a long list, but you’ll be able to quickly go through it as you walk about the building and the apartment. It also keeps the property managers accountable and ensures they continue to make sure everything is in great condition when they do showings.

Questions to Ask the Property Manager

You can manage to check off most of your list without any assistance from the property manager, but the checklist only ensures things are in working order and leaves plenty of critical questions to ask. Here are a few things you probably want to ask the property manager on your tour.

Are there any move-in offers? Any referral benefits?

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How long is the lease? What penalties are there for leaving before the lease ends?

Is there a subletting policy?

Is this unit the one available? Or is it a similar unit? If so, are there differences?

What is the parking situation? Is there free or paid, and how much?

What utilities are included/not included in the rent?

Is there a storage unit available? If not, are there nearby storage options?

Where can I receive my mail/packages? Will the front desk hold and sign for packages?

Is this unit pet-friendly? Are there additional costs for that?

Bring with you this list of questions and the checklist if you want to be extra thorough. Otherwise, take note of these critical things that are what apartment tours should be all about. You are potentially going to make this place your home, and you want to ensure it fits all of your needs. So asking these questions and testing out your future home is very important, and it’s something you never want to miss. So happy hunting, and please check our available units here! We would be more than happy to set up an apartment tour with you.

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