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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Find us on social media! Let us know your moving tips and
tricks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!