If you’re raising your children in an apartment, you’ll naturally consider moving to another, better building, if the one you’re currently living in lacks family-friendly amenities and safety features. After all, you want the best for your kids, and you won’t settle for less.
As you consider your new apartment options, it will help to have a checklist to easily find out if the building you’re most interested in has everything that you need. Thus, we gathered every quality and feature good apartments have, and some red flags to watch out for to ensure that you won’t end up in a worse place.
- Crime Statistics – Accurate information about an area’s crime rate can be found in credible websites. Do your research on crime statistics first, because a property manager or landlord isn’t likely to admit that their location is a haven for criminals.
- Locks and Peepholes – As you inspect a unit, immediately check if the locks are working and if the previous tenant has already turned over the keys to the landlord. It’s preferable to have a peephole as well to ensure that you won’t be opening the door to a stranger.
- Additional Security Features – Ask if the building has additional security devices installed, such as CCTVs, alarm systems, keycard complex access, and whether security personnel patrol around the parking area.
- Fire Safety Features – There should be enough smoke detectors, sprinklers, and easily-accessible fire exits.
- Lighting – The path to and from the door has to be well-lit, and so as the parking lot.
Inquiring about energy efficiency and maintenance will be helpful in your decision-making, too. You can ensure that an apartment building is secure, energy-efficient, and well-maintained by finding out if they’ve undergone a building commissioning process, which should be performed by reputable professionals.
If a building is commissioned, it’s most likely possessing the standard structural, security, and safety components.
Apartment Building Red Flags
Aside from the opposite of the safety checklist above, here are more apartment issues to avoid:
- Noise – Unruly neighbors, traffic, and construction noises are a sure nuisance.
- Absentee Landlord or Property Manager – If these key people are hard to reach, they’ll most likely stay as such even if you’re already living in their apartment building, so don’t bother to expect better service.
- Rent Increase After a Renewal – Rents typically increase by 2% to 4% after being renewed. If it goes beyond that range, you need to reconsider.
- Dirt – Mold, mildew, smoke, and pet mess shouldn’t be left lingering and multiplying.
- Poorly Maintained Amenities – Your kids are going to be hanging out in the playground often, so if the property’s playground and other amenities are visibly ill-maintained, then your children’s safety will likely be at risk.
Ideally, your new apartment should offer you more comfort and luxury than what your previous one did. In your unit, look for an A/C, a fireplace, a balcony, durable flooring, and sufficient storage. There should also be plenty of outlets, a high-speed internet, cable connection, and smart controls for the HVAC system.
The kitchen should be equipped with complete and working appliances, including a washer and dryer. Outside, parking should be adequate. Having pet-friendly areas would be nice, too; if you have a large dog, be sure that the new apartment allows them.
Wellness amenities, such as a spa, fitness center, jogging areas, etc. are also beneficial, so look for them, too. An apartment that has it all is what your family deserves, especially if you’re a hard-working parent who needs a healthy break, without leaving your home, from time to time.