Knowing how to compare apartments is important if you want to avoid possible future pangs of regret.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an app (yet) that will help you compare the apartments you like and ease the decision. Nevertheless, we have curated the ultimate guide on how to compare apartments.
How to compare apartments: use this list of questions for all the apartments you are considering; then, compare the answers.
1. Factor one: Costs and conditions
- How long is the lease term?
- Do this lease term work with your lifestyle?
- If you suddenly move out, what are the penalties, options, etc.?
- How much is the rent?
- How much is the security deposit?
- What are the conditions regarding late payment?
- Are any utilities included in the rent? If not, how much do they cost?
- Are there any additional fees (amenity fees, pet fees, etc.)? How much does each of them cost you?
Write down the total amount for all the expenses (rent, utilities, additional fees, deposits, etc.) and calculate how much this apartment will cost you upfront and then monthly.
2. Factor two: Accessibility and Safety
- Assess the neighborhood, how safe is it?
- Do you have access to public transportation from here?
- How close is it to your workplace, school, favorite shopping areas, bars and restaurants, markets, etc.?
Which of these does the building have:
- Secured entrance that locks
- Outdoor lighting
- Security cameras
- Emergency exits
- Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in the building halls, rest area, etc.
If the first two factors are roughly the same for all apartments, then the following two can play a big role in your decision.
3. Factor three: Building amenities
Consider which of the following amenities come with the building:
- Concierge services
- Laundry facilities or services
- Bike racks
- Roof deck
4. Factor four: Apartment amenities
Consider the apartment itself, and what it offers:
- Apartment size (usable square feet)
- The number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Beautiful view
- Balcony or private outdoor space
- The condition of the floors, tiles, walls?
- Window placements (Is there enough natural light?)
- Closets and other Storage space
- Appliances (age and condition)
- Water pressure
- Heating options (also is it included in the price)?
- Air conditioning
- What furniture pieces come with the apartment? What’s their condition?
5. Factor five: Your needs
- Know the difference between what you need (like what will help you be more productive, save time, etc.), versus what you like (consider cool to have, but won’t benefit you in any major way).
- Make the important items/factors higher in priority when comparing apartments.