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The following information is designed to assist you with your apartment search. For best results let our local apartment professionals help you with your search for free.
Deciding where to live when moving to a new area can be an unnerving task, especially when the options are as many and as varied as in the cities we service including apartments in Auburn, AL, Columbus, GA, Gainesville, FL, Meridian, MS. Mobile, AL, Montgomery, AL, Tuscaloosa, AL and Huntsville, AL. Demand for apartments is greater than ever, and the apartment industry here has responded with a veritable smorgasbord of options. With 100’s of communities to chose from — everything from urban lofts to resort-like campuses, in town or in the country, communities run the gamut of lifestyle possibilities — the trick here is finding the apartment that is the best fit for you.
You should probably begin your search three to six months before you plan to move. Online resources will let you see what’s available and then help you refine your search but the top national websites cannot give that personal touch or know the local market.
It is essential that you first define your requirements. What size apartment are you looking for? One-bedroom, two, three? What price range is within your budget? Two-bedroom apartments in City generally start around $650 per month, but there are sometimes bargains and specials to be found. Where do you want to be located? Near your job? Near schools? Shopping? Do you like brand new construction with the latest bells and whistles or a more established complex, maybe with mature trees and plenty of shade? Do you have pets? A prized automobile that requires covered parking? How long of a lease are you willing to be obligated to?
And then there are the amenities. In addition to pools, workout facilities and a clubhouse, today’s resort-style communities offer everything from movie theaters, complete with stadium seating, libraries, high-speed internet access—even rock-climbing walls. Would you like lots of community get-togethers to help you make new friends? Or is apartment interior fit and finish a priority?
It’s a good idea to think about the place you live right now. What do you like about the neighborhood? What would you miss most? What don’t you like?
Once you have outlined your desires, it is just as important to prioritize your list. You may not be able to find everything you want, so it’s essential to decide what’s most important to. Organize your list into “must haves,” “would like to haves”, and “in a dream world.” And don’t forget to include your top caveats as well — those things you really don’t want to live with.
Safety, too, is an important consideration when choosing your new home. Local police precincts can give you information about crime statistics for a particular neighborhood. In evaluating safety at a community, ask management if they have any type of security service, and if so, what hours a guard is on duty. Does the building have controlled access? If it does, are exterior security gates and doors kept closed? (This is a good question to ask current tenants, too.) Are apartments re-keyed when tenants move out? Visit the community at night as well as during daylight hours. Are the outside areas well lit? Is there a video security system? Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?
It’s also important to pay attention to the services at a rental community. How well is the property maintained? Find out how repair requests are handled. Is there a resident superintendent that responds to all maintenance problems?
Be sure you are clear about all of the lease terms, especially when comparing communities. Is there an application fee? A Deposit? Is the deposit refundable? If a special is being offered, when does the rent increase? What utilities are included? Is there an extra fee for pets? What happens when your lease expires? Can you go on month-to-month rent at that time? And what will that rate be? What notice is required before moving out? What happens if you move out before your lease expires?
Be prepared for a credit check when applying for an apartment lease. But don’t be overly concerned about slight credit blemishes. Many area communities will work with clients with small credit issues, perhaps requiring a slightly larger deposit. It’s a good idea to pull a copy of your credit report before you make application. Clear up any errors in advance, make sure your creditors are currently up to date, and try to pay off any small balances—all of this will facilitate the approval process.
There are so many options to consider when searching for an apartment home, the task can seem a bit overwhelming. But a careful plan of attack can help you navigate the maze of choices. The best place to start is right here by filling out the following form with as mush information as you can and let a local apartment locator assist you for free.