Viewing Apartments? 5 Important Steps That Are Easily Forgotten
There’s no such thing as a perfect apartment: for all our talk of dream homes and ideal living, at the end of the day everyone is willing to accept a few quirks for a nice place to come home to at the end of a busy day. But there’s a fine line between “easily ignored annoyance” and “aggravating nightmare to live with…” and that line puts a lot of pressure on your apartment viewing! You have just a few minutes to get a good look at a potential home, and try to spot anything that could become a problem over the next two years.
Everyone knows the basic checklist for an apartment viewing: mold, water damage, structural damage, signs of bugs or other pests…but there are other quick and easy checks that can make your time in your new apartment much more pleasant, and help you avoid those places that make you regret ever signing a lease! Next time you’re viewing a new apartment, don’t forget these five steps.
You can knock the first item off your list before you even get out of the car: what’s the traffic like in your potential new neighborhood? Even if you’re familiar with the area, there are always trouble spots on the roads that you never notice until you have to drive them every day, especially in busy cities like Kuala Limpor. Once you’ve selected a few potential properties, Apartment Therapy magazine recommends taking a detour on your way home from work, and drive through the neighborhood at rush hour. If it’s clear that your evening commute will be misery, it may be best to cross that apartment off your list and move on.
Cell phones are so ubiquitous these days, it’s easy to forget how big an impact location and reception can have on your service! Make sure you have your phone on hand for any walkthrough, and don’t be afraid to pull it out and send a few messages, or call a friend to test reception. Move around: check bedrooms, a potential office space, or anywhere missed messages and dropped calls are likely to become an annoyance. If you have a smartphone, try accessing a few websites: the quality of the 3G or 4G network is often a good indicator of the quality of internet you can expect.
3.Plumbing and Electric
Checking faucets and light switches is a quick and easy move during any walkthrough: look for sparks or smoke from any fixtures or outlets, flickering bulbs, or even dim spots – even when everything is working perfectly, some apartments can be depressingly dark and dingy. When testing the faucets, check for discoloration or odor in the water. Pay attention to the drains, too: a slow draining or backed up sink or bath can be an early warning sign of chronic pluming problems.
Light switches and fixtures are easy to test, but what about sockets? You don’t have to look very far to find horror stories about new tenants moving into an apartment with six sockets…only one of which worked! You can buy commercial socket testers online or at hardware stores, but for a cheaper option, pick up a child’s night-light at a dollar store and use it to test sockets.
While you’re checking utilities, Huffington Post recommends taking the time to ask your landlord how emergency repairs are handled: do they have a plumber or electrician on call to handle those breakdowns that can’t wait until Monday? If a potential landlord doesn’t have an easy answer or seems reluctant to give one, it’s a good reason to be wary of the quality of service you can expect.
4.Ask the Experts
Of course, there’s a whole group of people who can tell you exactly what to expect when you’re moving into a new complex or building: the current residents. Don’t be shy: before or after your walkthrough, take the time to knock on a few doors, introduce yourself, and ask if they have a moment to talk. This is a great way to get the answers to those little questions: what’s parking like? Are internet speeds good? How are the delivery options in the neighborhood? And if they’ve had problems, current residents won’t be shy about it! You’ll find out if they had to wait three weeks to get a dripping faucet repaired or lost their deposit for putting up pictures. If you’re shy, do a little research on line through search and review sites like PropertyGuru Malaysia’s apartments for rent section. Even if you’re just getting started, these listing sites are a great way to narrow down potential properties in the right area and price range, and start building up your short list of potential apartments.
Apartment viewings are important, but they don’t have to be stressful! If you have a checklist prepared and know what you’re looking for, you can go into your next set of viewings confident that you’ll come out of it with a place you’ll be happy to come home to.