If you are new to apartment hunting, one of the first things you should always take note of has to do with utilities. Now, before you begin exploring any apartments, do not be afraid or feel embarrassed to tinker with some of the utilities. Reason being, if you are paying for the home, you want to make sure everything will work in the home before you sign any dotted lines.
- Water Pressure – to check the water pressure, test each facet in the home and make sure the water is flowing seamlessly. Also check the shower head and make sure hot water is flowing.
- Electricity – before you can live in an apartment, you want to make sure the electricity is fully-functioning, and safe. We recommend always testing every single electrical outlet in the home. You can do this by bringing a small cell-phone charger with you when apartment hunting. Don’t forget to flip the light switches on, test the oven – if electrical -and any other applicable electrical means.
- Toilet – it may sound silly; however, always take the time to flush the toilet. You don’t want to live in a home with a toilet that doesn’t work!
- AC/Heat – Depending upon where you live and the time of year, it’s important to test out the air conditioning and/or heating. This will save you from the stress of finding out months down the road if something is malfunctioning.
Quality – New vs. Used
Here are a few questions to help guide your conversation:
- How old is this apartment?
- How many people have lived in this apartment?
- How old is the flooring?
- How old is the cabinets?
- How old are the washer/dryer?
- Floors – depending upon the type of floors that the apartment has, look to see if there are any signs of damage. If carpet, are there rips, tears, or indentations from the past? If tile or wood, is there cracks, water damage, or missing pieces?
- Ceilings – investigating the ceiling in something that takes time and must be checked at different times of the day. To spot cracks or water marks on the ceiling, you may want to try to see the apartment in the morning, afternoon, and early evening – this will help you gauge the ceiling at all different times of the day.
- Cabinets – Do not forget to open every single cabinet and closet. Sometimes, this is where damage can be found and, if you don’t want to be held responsible, don’t forget to document it!
- Outside – A key sign of how a community or apartment is treated can be how well the landlord handles the exterior of the home. Are the amenities functioning and appealing? Is the property taken care of?
Here are a few signs that mold is hiding in your apartment:
- Odor – if you are entering an apartment and it smells musty, that is a red flag that there may be potential mold in the home. These are questions you can ask as it will demonstrate your attention to detail and alert the landlord that something is wrong.
- Discoloration of the walls or flooring – if any floors or walls appear to have little black, white, yellow, green, or blue dots, this is another telltale sign that mold is taking over in the apartment.
- Wet spots on the ceiling or wall – if you are noticing wet spots on the ceiling or the walls, there could potentially be a water leakage or pipe broken. If this is the case, unless the matters have been taken care of within a day, mold has already started to grow.
- Water leakage in the bathroom or under sinks – Like that of wet spots on a ceiling or wall, if there is water leakage in the bathroom, under the sinks, or high levels of moisture, you can guarantee that mold is most likely growing.