It's easy to get caught up in square footage or closet space when looking for an apartment, but there are some other less obvious things that are just as important to consider if you're in the process of relocating. We asked the experts to suggest five things to always keep in mind:
1. Cell phone signal
If you can't get reception in a potential new home, this is going to be a big problem moving forward. "The solution? When touring an apartment, make sure your cell phone signal is strong and even make a call just to make sure," says Adam Busch, head of community outreach for RentLingo, an apartment search engine.
"Be observant about your potential neighbors in the building and across the street," says Melissa Okabe, a real estate agent at Alta Properties in Gardena, California. "Notice the noise levels, how tidy the buildings are being kept, and what the atmosphere is at night to gain insight on the neighborhood."
3. Water pressure
While you're doing a walk-through, always be sure to turn on the kitchen faucets, bathroom faucet, and shower and bathtub faucets. "Low water pressure is a major nuisance," Busch says.
4. Nearby noises
Especially for a light sleeper, it's key to walk around the building and check to see if there's a major noise source lurking in the background. The largest culprit? train tracks. "It's something renters don't think about—until their first night sleeping in the apartment," Busch says.
If it's important to you to make friends in your new building, be sure to look for elements that foster a sense of community, such as communal spaces for events and extensive outdoor landscaped areas, like roof decks, fire pits, or even an outdoor kitchen. "Living in an apartment can sometimes feel temporary, which is why community spaces are a necessary element that can really make an apartment complex feel like home," says Ashley Larson, the neighborhood director at The Carson Apartments in Portland, Oregon.