If Only I Hadn’t Already Signed the Lease: 10 Things To Always Check Moving Into an Apartment

published Mar 20, 2012
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(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Everyone has moving horror stories, but there are just some things you don’t think to check until you’ve already signed a lease. Here’s 10 things that should be on everyone’s “must-check” list.

1. Hallway/Doorway Size: Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with great architecture lines of square footage, but sometimes (Even if you buy small furniture) things simply don’t fit in awkward hallways. If you have furniture that must go with you, measure first before you say yes.

2. Soft Floors: Wood floors are great, but they’re not always solid. Often they can be soft from patching or repair and it can even mean you can’t put furniture where you so desire.

3. Your Neighbors At Night: As I write this there is a party in the alley behind me. It’s been happening for the last 6 hours and for the last 4 days. During the day there isn’t a peep, but at night… well let’s just say I’ve invested in ear plugs.

4. Water Temperature: In many buildings you don’t get to take a look at the water heater. You have no way to know what it’s high temperature is set at and often times you can burn yourself if it’s set to high. Checking ahead of time can help you request the adjustment before you’re doing the ow-ow-ow dance while you stumble out of the shower.

5. Outlets: Yes it’s 2012 and they do sell extension cords at almost every store. That said, if the only real way to position a sofa is facing a certain wall and there’s no human way to put a tv opposite it… there’s things to think about. Other deal breakers might be kitchens or bathrooms without an outlet.

6. Open ALL The Windows: Some windows just don’t open. They might have been painted shut or they are just too vintage for their own good. Opening them all will save you the headache and the heatwave later on.

7. Crime Rates: It’s easy to be persuaded by great eateries and a 1st floor space, but don’t be so quick to say yes. Check the local stats to see how frequently scary things goes down in your hood and how recently they’ve happened.

8. Going Potty: Ok. Now this might be an overshare, but people, going potty in comfort is important. You don’t want to have to stand on the bathtub to close the door just to sit down. Nor do you want to hit your knees on the cabinet every time you sit down to play Angry Birds.

9. Check Your Cabinets: Look for evidence of mice. Small chew holes, droppings, under the stovetop or behind the fridge. No one wants a new home with a family already living there!

10. Cable Providers: So this one isn’t so much a physical trait of the apartment, but it can have an impact on your quality of life. You might not dig the download speeds on one service or be unable to get the one you already use at your new place. It’s worth a call before you commit.

Do you have a suggestion to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!