When preparing to choose an apartment, do you go with your gut? Or do you spend weeks looking at properties, interviewing staff and current tenants, and combing through contracts? Most people are somewhere in between.
Whatever apartment-hunting style you prefer, there are a few types of apartments everyone should stay away from. Learn how to spot them and why they’re a bad idea — you’ll thank us later. Find out what NOT to look for when it’s time to choose an apartment.
Time to Choose An Apartment: What to Avoid
1. The Fixer-Upper
What You See: This unit definitely needs a little love. Some of the paint is chipped, a couple sets of blinds need replacing, and you don’t know exactly where that smell is coming from. But the price is right!
What You Could Get: If management seems unconcerned about leasing out an apartment that isn’t pristine, what else might they let slide? Even worse, you could face the choice of either paying out of pocket or living in undesirable conditions.
2. The Undesirable Location
What You See: Although you’d have to drive some miles to get to civilization, this apartment is perfect. You’re sure you’d get used to the commute.
What You Could Get: Even a few extra miles can feel like an eternity at the height of Houston rush hour. And you might grow to resent feeling isolated from your favorite restaurants and entertainment sources.
3. The Dream Home With a Price Tag
What You See: Sure, this place is slightly over budget. But you think the extra cash is worth ponying up for the beachside pool, state-of-the-art gym, and designer apartment space.
What You Could Get: It’s always unwise to get in over your head when it comes to rent. Sure, the amenities are great and the apartment is stunning. But you’d better make sure you love it — the day might come when you can’t afford to do anything outside the complex.
4. The Questionable Neighborhood
What You See: Everything with this unit and the complex seems too good to be true, but some of the surrounding buildings are in disrepair. And crime rate is not ideal in this area.
What You Could Get: What good is an apartment that checks most of your boxes, but makes you feel unsafe? At the very least, understand that even the nicest complex in questionable surroundings is likely to lose its polish within a few short years.
5. The Place With a Subpar Manager
What You See: No doubt this is a great property. But when you chat with a couple of tenants, you find out that maintenance is terrible. The office staff seems disconnected, and it’s almost impossible to chat with the manager.
What You Could Get: All of these signs point to an absentee property manager — and that’s never a good thing. You need an apartment manager who cares about the property in the long-term, and taking care of the tenants.
Houston is a fantastic city with lots of options for renters. With a little time and attention to detail, you can feel confident when you choose an apartment.
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