Renting a home or apartment can seem daunting when  doing it for the first time. Here are 5 tips for finding that perfect apartment:

1. Get References

The landlord or leasing office is going to ask for references from you. You should also ask for references from them. Hearing from a person who is actually renting or has rented from them can be an invaluable tool for you determine if you want to deal with them from month to month. Apartments and rental reviews are available online, but they should be taken lightly. Get feedback and reviews from a real person to get a more accurate representation of the community.

2. Look for in building laundry

A fact of life is that people need clean clothes. Some communities offer in unit laundry, while others offer in building laundry. It is much easier to to take your clothes to and from an in building unit then hauling all your clothes to a laundromat. Keep in mind that some in unit washers and driers have an extra cost per use associated with them.

3. Internet Connection options 

In this interconnected age, a need for an internet connection is almost required. Check with the leasing office to find out if they are locked in to a particular provider, and if they are, ask what the speeds are. Some complexes will offer more than once choice. If there isn’t a choice for an in unit connection, some municipalities offer a wireless option that you need no special equipment for. If a municipality doesn't offer a wireless option, there many different companies that also offer a wireless option.

4. Noise levels

That pool side unit might seem perfect for the view, but having to listen to the noise of kids running and playing all day might be a bit annoying. Open all the windows in the unit and listen to the ambient noise levels. Be aware of any noises you can hear from other units around you. Some apartments have insufficient soundproofing between units, which can lead to sound bleeding through the  walls.

5. Beware of scams

A common scam with rentals is to advertise a unit or home at a low market price and pushing for a lease and payment to lock in the unit when the landlord does not own the property. If there is ever something that seems off, or the unit is posted as significantly lower rent than the rest of the market, verify the ownership of the unit. Local municipalities keep public records of who owns a property. If the owner is not being represented by the person you are dealing with, it is most likely a scam.

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