When it comes to choosing a place to call home, there are many factors to consider. These factors may include the size and price of the apartment, the location and the pet-friendliness of a given rental property, among other things. There are, however, some additional factors to think about when picking an apartment that go beyond the basics, and these factors may have an impact on your level of satisfaction with your new living situation. When choosing a new apartment, here are some important lifestyle questions to ask yourself.
1. Are You a Light or Heavy Sleeper?
If you consider yourself to be a light sleeper, have an atypical sleep and work schedule or simply prefer peace and quiet in your apartment, you may want to narrow down your apartment search and prioritize top-floor apartments or single-story, garden-style apartment communities. Having neighbors above you may mean dealing with noise sources such as someone walking in high heels, pets or children running around at odd hours or a night owl’s music or chatter that lasts late into the evening. According to The Spruce, top-floor apartments are often more expensive than lower-level apartments because of reduced noise and, often, superior views.
Alternatively, if you consider yourself a deep sleeper who is not easily awoken, The Spruce notes that you may be able to save some money on your monthly rental costs if you opt for a lower-level unit.
2. Do You Want Help Meeting People in a New City?
If you’re apartment hunting in a new city and would like some help meeting new people once you’ve moved, consider an apartment community that hosts resident events and activities. Many apartment buildings provide opportunities for residents to get to know one another, and some even provide specialized events that may help you meet others that share some of your interests. The Washington Post highlights a handful of apartment buildings in Washington, D.C., doing just that. For example, the 2M Street apartments offer yoga classes, game nights and outdoor concerts. Aside from asking the leasing agent or landlord, you can begin narrowing your search by checking an apartment community’s social media pages for evidence of past and upcoming events.
3. Do You Enjoy Entertaining?
If you enjoy hosting friends and family in your home, there are a couple of features to consider when selecting a new apartment. Look into floor plans with open concept kitchens and living rooms so it can be easier for entertaining. You may also want to consider an apartment community with common areas such as outdoor dining rooms, rooftop pools or resident clubrooms so you have the option to entertain without needing the extra square footage in your new place.
4. How Will You Commute to Work?
If you’ll need to get to and from work each day, get familiar with the transportation options in your new city and decide what method of transportation you prefer. You may need to remain flexible in your preferred method depending upon rental availability in your new location, but having an idea of what you prefer can help narrow down your search. If you are most comfortable commuting by car, think about searching for apartment communities with parking available to residents. If you do not have a car or prefer public transportation, search for apartments near a public transit station or bus stop. If you are open to the idea of walking to work and would enjoy a short commute, focus on a small radius near your place of work.
5. Will You Be Living With Pets?
Pet owners usually limit their apartment search to pet-friendly rentals from the outset, but there are a number of apartment communities that go above and beyond simply allowing pets. Pet amenities such as onsite dog parks, grooming stations, dog walking and pet sitting services can provide a level of convenience that may be worth any additional costs that come with it, such as pet rent or an amenity fee.
6. What Do You Enjoy Doing in Your Spare Time?
In addition to choosing the right apartment complex, choosing the right neighborhood for your lifestyle is important as well. Take a moment to consider how you spend your nights and weekends, then research neighborhoods in your new city based on factors such as nightlife, convenience of shopping and running errands, presence of open and green space, kid-friendliness, pet-friendliness and more.
Choosing a new place to live is no small task, but taking the extra time to consider all of the must-have and nice-to-have features may help ensure that you find a place you’ll love calling home. Go beyond the basic factors such as price, number of bedrooms and location to accommodate your lifestyle preferences and you’ll be less likely to end up with unpleasant surprises once you’ve moved in.