Whether it’s the first time you’re looking for an apartment for rent or if this is your fifth apartment, it’s always good to make sure that you have a list of priorities going into the search. The apartment you choose will be a home for the next 12 months, so it’s important to be sure that it fits your needs and wants. And when the average cost of rent in the Lincoln, Nebraska area is between $700 and $1,000, this type of investment should go toward an apartment where you truly want to spend time.

As you’re searching for apartments for rent, be sure to consider these things:

Take a Tour

Apartment complexes will always show furnished units that look big and spacious and that feature updated appliances. But don’t count on every unit being exactly the same. Complexes often want to provide potential residents with options and different price points, so they may also have units with older cabinets, countertops, and appliances. When you’re considering a certain apartment for rent, be sure to take a tour — you’ll want to:

  • Look Closely: Take a close look at the inside of the cabinets, stove, and fridge and make sure the faucets and shower are working properly. You’re looking for the overall cleanliness of the unit and making sure that everything is in working order.
  • Take Photos: If you are touring multiple apartments, taking photos can help you remember the specific features of each apartment complex and unit. This will also serve as a reminder of what the unit looked like before you move in, so in the event of you moving out, you can do your best to leave it in the same condition.
  • Consider the Layout: Is the layout of the apartment comfortable and does it feel natural? Where is the bathroom in relation to the bedrooms? Does it have a master bath? Consider the layout of the kitchen as well and how the space feels in relation to the dining and living room. Will you be able to fit in all of your existing furniture?

Location

Is the complex near schools, shopping, parks, restaurants, and entertainment? Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to have several of these things near you. You’ll also want to consider the immediate surroundings and what the neighborhood is like. Is it in a quiet residential area or near a busy street? Is it safe? Consider how far your commute to work will be as well. The location of the apartment complex can have a significant impact on how much time you’re traveling to the various locations you spend your time at.

In addition, when possible, consider the location of the specific unit that you would be renting. Is it on the first, second, or third floor? Where is the parking lot? Where is the on-site gym, if there is one? Where your unit is can have an impact on your overall experience living in the complex.

Price

The cost of rent will obviously play a significant role in your decision. It’s recommended that residents spend roughly 30% of their income on rent, but some experts are saying that rule is outdated. When considering the cost of rent, you’ll want to look closely at your monthly income and any monthly expenses, including car payments, gas, food, etc. When you’re interviewing potential apartments for rent, you’ll also want to ask what utility costs are included and what will need to be budgeted for, such as water and electricity. When you have a rough monthly budget estimated, make sure you are comfortable with the rent.

Pet Policy

If you have pets, you will obviously want to find an apartment for rent that allows pets. Inquire about pet fees, pet deposits, and what breeds are allowed. A perk for pet owners is when a complex has an on-site dog park where they can easily let their pets run around and socialize with other dogs. When touring the unit and the complex, consider how easy it will be to walk your dog, how long it will take to get outside, or if there are trails in the area where you can go on a walk.

The Landlord or Property Management Service

Depending on the complex or unit, the property will either be managed by a landlord or a property management service. Whoever runs the property, you’ll want to know that they properly maintain and manage the property, are easy to get a hold of, and will respond quickly when there are emergencies. The property manager or management team can have a significant impact on your overall living experience, so be sure that they can effectively communicate with residents and manage the needs of both the property and residents.

Amenities

What makes the apartment for rent special? Why should you rent there instead of another apartment? Amenities aren’t essential to everyday living, but can make the apartment feel more comfortable, enjoyable, and convenient. Great amenities include an in-unit washer and dryer, an on-site gym, covered parking, security features, balcony or patio, air conditioning, updated appliances, spacious closets, and more. Consider what additional perks you would really like to have, and write down any amenities that you really need to have in order to consider living there.

There are many specifics when it comes to choosing an apartment for rent, so before you start visiting complexes, be sure to make a list of wants and must-haves. With this list, you can quite easily determine which complex is right for you. If there are two apartments that score equally, consider the overall first impression that you got when you met with office staff and toured the grounds and unit.

If you need help finding an apartment for rent in the Lincoln, Nebraska area, get in touch with Hip Realty. We work with a variety of complexes in the area and can quickly help you narrow down apartments to visit based on your needs and budget. Call today to schedule an appointment! We’ll help you find the perfect home.