Apartment Hunting? Remember to Check the Cell Phone Service and Signal

What's the most important thing to consider when you're apartment hunting? Price? Floor plan? Location? They're each crucial factors and should all be at the top of your list when shopping for a new space. But the difference between a good apartment and an oh-my-gosh-we're-never-moving-out apartment can also be the little things...You've pictured yourself cooking in the kitchen, having mojitos on the patio and even figured out where the TV should go. But have you considered the spot where you'll be banging your head against the wall when your cell signal drops down to one bar? If you choose your apartment with the whole picture in mind, you're guaranteed to find a space that you can truly settle down in.

Once you've used your major criteria to narrow down the list to a few great spaces, you'll want something besides "a good feeling" to pick the one. So while you're out hunting, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

Does my carrier have strong cell service?
While you're touring the new building, glance at your cell phone periodically. Do you get a good signal in the living room? Bedroom? Laundry facilities? If your cell phone is your only phone, it's important that you get top-notch service everywhere in your new space. (If you forget to try this on your visit, refer to a site like Dead Cell Zones to review the service in the area.)

If you find a great unit with bad reception, it's not the end of the world. You can improve the reception in your future home with a signal booster, or use a Panasonic's Link-to-Cell, which lets you leave your cell in a room with strong reception while it rings one or more handsets throughout your whole space.

Who are the cable, satellite and internet providers?
Your geography usually dictates what cable and internet providers will be available to you. Do some research to figure out what options—if any—you have for service to your future home.

Is it the same one you currently use? Consider if you like the service and want to stay with them for the length of your new lease. Is it a different carrier? Check out reviews of their service and decide if you are OK with a switch. It might also be a costly choice if you have a contract with your current provider.

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