Usually, the first time you go looking for an apartment you’ll end up making a lot of mistakes. There are a lot of things to consider and some of them change priorities when you start looking for your second apartment. Then each time you change again, you’ll continue to refine your preferences until you finally know exactly what you’re looking for. So, whether you’re looking for apartments in Atlanta or Portland, make sure you do your homework and pick the right one.

Location, Location, And Location

When you first start looking, you’ll be telling yourself that the drive isn’t so bad all the way out there in the suburbs. But, the first time the weather turns bad, your car starts having trouble, or the traffic is bugging you, you’ll kick yourself hard. There is nothing like living close enough to take the bus or mass transit to work. You’ll save on parking, gas, insurance, and headaches by picking the right area.

You should also take the time to read the online reviews for any apartments you’re considering. They may not be listed, but if they are, you might be surprised at what you’ll be able to find out. Some landlords and rental agents take their jobs way too seriously and have continuous renter problems. The liberties that some landlords take can be surprising, but if you read the online reviews you’ll know.

Another trick is to stop by on the weekend to see what the apartment complex looks like when everybody’s home. If you’ve been stopping by on weekdays, then you already know what those quiet apartments in Atlanta look like when everyone is at work. Maybe everything will be fine, but there’s always a chance there could be ten loud stereos and drunks in the parking lot that will ruin your first week there.

Make Sure There Is Enough Parking, Storage, And Water

There are lots of things that you won’t think to ask, but make sure there’s going to be room for you to park at the time you come home from work. Also, if there are storage sheds, take the time to be sure they are secure, easy to access at all times, and dry enough for your belongings when it’s raining.

Once you have made a large checklist of important items, run it by some of your friends to add to the list. Then, narrow down your choices and do all of your research, checking off the apartments that don’t hold up under the scrutiny. In the end, you’ll find a better place with fewer problems by doing your homework.