Moving out on your own for the first time? Trying to find a better place to live and you're not ready to own your first home quite yet? Sick of the current apartment you have? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, then the next step in living on your own is the hunt for an apartment.Renting an apartment can be an experience in itself and somewhat difficult if you are unsure of how to search for one. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of resources available to help you find your dream apartment, or at least a nice apartment in your price-range, hopefully free of any infestations. This article will assist you in what to look for when searching for an apartment to rent.


When looking for an apartment, it is essential to know what city and which area of that city you want to live in. This will allow you to determine the prices and conditions of the apartments you are looking at ahead of time. Though most people think bigger cities contain more apartment complexes, you'd be surprised at how many small towns have apartment thriving communities that should not be over-looked when apartment hunting. While there are a lot of apartments in big cities, there are also a lot more people, which means there will be greater competition for the best apartments.

For more information on apartments for rent in your state, consult: has a map of the U.S. where you can click on any state in which you'd like to find an apartment.

Apartment includes bright, clear pictures of every apartment listed.

Apartment offers a roommate search engine right on the site. has listings for every kind of rental property, not just apartments. has links for everything from jobs to furniture rental and finding a date.


Your apartment will be your home, and you won't just be sleeping there. You'll need to have mail delivered, be able to park your car, and do your laundry on a semi-regular basis. Some things you may want to consider when looking for an apartment include:

Access to mail. Will you have a mailbox in the complex, or will you have to go to a post office to get your mail?

Facilities. Are there any facilities there aside from just the apartment units? Many complexes include laundry facilities which are coin operated, and more expensive ones may even have on-site gyms or swimming pools.

Furnishings. Does the apartment have a refrigerator, couches, tables and standard kitchen appliances? A furnished apartment tends to be a little more expensive than a bare bones model, though even the bare models tend to come with a refrigerator and stove, and sometimes a dishwasher.

Living access. Does the apartment have an elevator, stairs and is it handicap accessible if you require it?

Parking. How much parking is available around the building? Will you have to park in the street or will you have to pay for parking?

Neighbors. How many neighbors will you have? You have to be considerate of the people around you, and they should be considerate of you. Viewing an apartment where you can already hear people next door might not be what you want.

Maintenance. Can you call for things as little as a burned out light bulb?


You need to develop a budget before committing to renting an apartment. Monthly rates for each apartment complex have many determining factors including location, utilities included and number of tenants currently living there. Knowing your budget will help you when speaking with the landlord of the complex about monthly rates and allow you to negotiate with them. Some questions to consider about monthly rates include the following:

What is included in the monthly rent? Ask whether or not utilities are covered and if partial utilities are covered, which ones?

What date is rent due? This will help you determine a payment schedule if need be and also allow you to look at your work schedule to see whether or not it will work with your payment cycle at work.

Is there a down payment? Down payments on apartments tend to be a deposit and first month's rent but some places differ so be sure to ask this question.

Is there a deposit for pets? There are some apartment buildings that require an additional deposit if you have pets.

Is maintenance included? Is the price of apartment maintenance, such as broken garbage disposals, included in the rent or will there be a charge every time you need to call them?

If the apartment is more than you can afford you can ask the landlord if they offer discounts if tenants repair and improve the apartments. Be sure you have the ability to make improvements if you consider this option.


After you've determined the place you want to move, what specifically you are looking for in an apartment and your budget, it's time to start looking. Some apartment complexes hold open houses, while others require appointments. Be sure that you are not inconveniencing the landlord when seeking out a potential apartment to rent. When speaking with the landlord of any apartment you're interested in, you may want to ask the following questions:

When searching for an apartment, the neighborhood the apartment complex is located in should be considered for reasons of safety. Be blunt and ask if the area is safe. You may want to double check, as some landlords will lie to get someone into an apartment.

Are there pets allowed? If you have pets, be sure to inquire as to whether or not you are allowed to have pets, and if so, which kind of pets you can have. Some apartment complexes only allow animals under a certain weight, so be specific.

Are there any storage units available? You may need storage for any boxes you don't plan to unpack immediately. Some apartment complexes have storage units readily available for tenant's usage.

Are there any safety precautions that need to be taken? This might include installing new locks on the doors or other precautions to keep others from getting in. (Generally you can tell whether this question needs to be asked according to the neighborhood you live in, but you still might want to be sure either way.)

Is any insurance offered or available? You might want to know if there is insurance on the chance that you're robbed or if there is a fire.

What are the phone numbers if something happens? You'll want to make sure there are phone numbers for maintenance staff, for general questions, noise complaints and anything else that might come up.


Once you've found the apartment you'd like to rent and had all your questions answered, it's time for the paper work. If you are living with someone, be sure to acknowledge every detail on the paper work before signing on the dotted line. The complex manager will more than likely want their signature as well. After you've talked with the landlord, signed the paper work, made your initial payments or deposits, and received your keys, you're on your way starting a new life in a new place surrounded by new people, so good luck!


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