Eastland Trails Apartment Homes Blog

5 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Don’t stress out about moving! Let us help you know what to ask to make renting your next apartment as easy as possible.

Moving can be stressful! But if you know what questions to ask yourself and your future management company beforehand you can make your next move as smooth as possible, and before you know it you’ll be lounging poolside in your new apartment community.

If you’re interested in Eastland Trails please take a look around our website, and see what’s available by applying now. You can also stop by or give us a call to speak to one of our leasing associates!

1.       What can I afford?

Before you start your apartment search, it’s important to sit down and figure out if you can even afford to move. Also, consider rent how much rent fits into your budget. Most landlords require that your net monthly income is greater than or equal to three times your rent. For example, if rent is $1,000 per month, your net take-home pay (before taxes and other deductions) should be $3,000. If you live with another person, you would combine your incomes, and obviously split the rent.

After you have determined your monthly rent ceiling, consider other expenses: heat/gas, electricity, and telecommunications (cable, internet and/or phone line). Factor in weekly groceries and enough for a night out here and there. If you feel like you don’t have enough left over for savings, change your rent price point or try to find a roommate to help keep costs down.

2.       What about the neighborhood?

Whether you are already familiar with the area, or totally new in town, it’s important to ask yourself “What is this neighborhood like?”. First, think about how you are going to meet your personal needs. Ask yourself what is important to have nearby? Do you need to be located within a certain school district? Maybe you want to be within walking distance of a pet park or need green-space to be able to walk your dog? For some, it is important to be near a specific place or worship or medical facility.

Once you’re satisfied that your neighborhood of choice can meet your “needs”, it’s time to focus on the “nice to have” list: shopping, nightlife, fitness programs, libraries or things like spectacular views and access to hiking or biking trails. Think about where you need to go to accomplish all your errands. Do you need to be near a dry cleaner or maybe within walking distance of your favorite grocery chain? These are the things that will make life in your new apartment easier.

3.       What are the rules?

Now that you’ve decided on a general area, it’s time to start looking at apartments. While there are usually standard rules in place with every owner or property management company it’s not a bad idea to equip yourself with a list of questions to ask during your apartment search.

Here are some important questions you may want to ask your future management company:

·         Am I allowed to decorate the apartment (painting, hanging pictures, etc.)?

·         What are the visitor policies?

·         What are the community quiet hours?

·         How does parking work?

·         What are the community area (pool, fitness center, etc.) hours?

·         What are the lease terms, and what happens if I need to break my lease?

·         How do I pay my rent, when is it due, and how long do I have before a late fee is added?

·         Do they have a recommended renter’s insurance company?

Some of these questions may come later in the apartment hunting process, but it’s good to know all these answers before you sign a lease.

4.       What will my commute be?

First, consider the obvious: where is your office in relation to each apartment on your shortlist. Most people choose to live near work or, if they are a full-time student, school. It’s a good idea to calculate your commute several ways, whether by doing a little research on Google Maps, or driving a number of different routes. If you live in a region where the weather can be an issue, don’t forget to factor in the occasional rain or snow storm into your commute time. If you don’t have a car or want to take public transportation to work or school, start looking up the location of nearby bus stops or train stations.

If you work from home, think about the atmosphere. Is there a construction site across the street that will break your concentration for an extended period? If your apartment community or building features a coworking lounge, or rent by the day office, inquire about the policies around reserving that space, and amenities available to you. These highly sought-after amenities are popping up everywhere to try and make life a little easier for today’s telecommuter.

5.       What’s my moving strategy?

Let’s be honest, finding a new apartment in a new neighborhood is fun and exciting! Packing and moving all your worldly possessions is not. Regardless of your move-in date, it’s never too early to think of a moving strategy. Depending on how much you will be moving or how far you will be moving, consider the cost of movers versus the cost of renting a van and having your friends help you move. If you have a few rooms worth of furniture and will be moving in town, it’s not a bad idea to research different moving companies. If you are moving across the state, it might be more cost-effective to rent a truck and find a few friends that would be willing to help for a few days.

The next step will probably take the most time and bring the least enjoyment. Packing. Start by collecting cardboard boxes, plastic totes, wardrobe boxes and other packing materials like tape, packing paper or bubble wrap as you find them. Plan for how much you want to have packed each day/night until the day you move. Pack things in reverse order from when you will need them and don’t forget to label the boxes, not only by room, but also by contents.

Moving will never be the most enjoyable activity, but with the right plan and know-how, you can make the process as quick and painless as possible.

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