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No matter whether it’s your first time moving on your own or you’ve done it before, it’s important to consider your wants and needs while hunting for an apartment. Though certain things may be higher or lower on your priority list, here are some things you should always keep in mind when visiting properties.

Location
As cliché as it may be, location is always a critical factor when it comes to deciding on a place to live. An apartment may seem perfect, but public transit stops could be too far away, or traffic might be awful during rush hour. These things can greatly affect your day-to-day life and cause stress if you have a daily commute. Always make note of where the nearest transit stops are, or drive around the area during rush hour to get a sense for how busy or calm the roads are.

Amenities
Do you want your apartment to have a washer and dryer in your unit, or are you okay with a communal laundry room, or not having a laundry room? Would you be interested in a fitness room in your building? While these aren’t necessarily vital amenities, they are still things you will want to consider. Your rent may be higher if you want something like a gym in your building, but if it’s worth it to you, it can help narrow down your search faster.

Appliances
Make sure to ask if major appliances are included with the unit, or whether you must provide your own. Adding a stove and a refrigerator can push you outside of your budget. If they are included, give them an inspection to ensure they’re in working order before you move in, otherwise your landlord may not be responsible for fixing them after you do.

Security
Safety is a big priority for anyone choosing a home, and renting an apartment is no different. It’s important to check that the locks work, both on the unit you may be renting, as well as on doors to the street. Consider other security measures as well, such as a buzzer system, any security system in the unit, or if there is a concierge in the building.

Cleanliness
As you tour the unit, keep an eye out for signs of pests such as mice or cockroaches. Things like droppings on the floor or strange odors can be a first indication, but check areas they like to hide as well, such as behind appliances, in cupboards and around pipes. You may also want to check out the Bed Bug Registry to see if previous tenants have reported any bed bugs in the unit or the building as a whole.

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