The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has caused many Canadians to second-guess traditional homeownership. With a growing number of people facing financial limitations or desiring a more mobile lifestyle, apartment living can pose a practical and pragmatic alternative. Living in an apartment can offer simplicity, security, and a sense of community. Meanwhile, the quality of stock on the market means that apartment dwellers don’t have to sacrifice a high-calibre living experience.
If you’re on the fence about apartment living, keep reading to learn how you stand to benefit by living in an apartment, as well as five helpful and informative tips for a successful apartment hunt.
5 Tips for Apartment Hunting
- Know what you’re looking for. Put together a list of criteria, such as the type of apartment you’re looking for, location, proximity to grocers and public transportation, amenities, and whether or not you’ll need a dedicated home office.
- Make a budget (and stick to it). Make sure to factor expenses such as rent, utilities, parking, and move-in costs into your overall budget. And don’t forget to consider your long-term financial goals and savings.
- Conduct a self-inspection. Check out things like cell phone reception, cabinets and shelving, screen doors, water pressure, and outlets to make sure everything’s in working order.
- Inquire about rent collection. Find out what method is preferred and ensure that it will be convenient and practical for you.
- Take your time. Assess the unit, the building, and the surrounding community. Prepare questions beforehand and don’t be afraid to ask them. Take notes.
Why live in an apartment?
There are many benefits to living in an apartment versus a home. Not only does living in an apartment force you to downsize your belongings, but it could also translate into a simpler, less stressful lifestyle. Here are some other benefits that apartment dwellers can enjoy.
- Apartment living means leaving the time-consuming and expensive home improvement and everyday maintenance tasks to somebody else. This can mean more time spent pursuing activities you enjoy with the people you love.
- Apartments often have a built-in community aspect, where tenants can connect through shared amenities such as gyms, pools, gardens, or rooftop lounging areas. This facilitation of human connection can be especially beneficial for those who work from home and are lacking the interpersonal benefits of working out of an office.
- Living in an apartment can also offer financial flexibility—and that flexibility is manifold if you choose to rent rather than own.
Tip #1: Know what you’re looking for
One of the least productive ways to approach your apartment hunt is by going in blind. While it makes sense to do a preliminary, passive search just to see what’s out there, if you’re serious about looking for an apartment, take some time beforehand to make a list of specific things that you’re looking for. In addition to the type of apartment you’re looking for, think about things like location, proximity to grocers and public transportation, amenities, and whether or not you need a dedicated home office.
Tip #2: Make a budget (and stick to it!)
While living in an apartment can certainly be a budget-friendly alternative to taking out a home mortgage, that won’t be the case if you end up paying more than you can reasonably afford in monthly rent, utilities, and other fixed and daily expenses. When considering a move into an apartment, make sure to factor expenses such as rent, utilities, parking, and move-in costs into your overall budget. And don’t forget to consider your long-term financial goals and savings.
If you’re on a tighter budget, request to see units that are in the bottom to middle of the building. More often than not, units that are on the higher floors are more desirable and will be priced as such. You can also consider starting your apartment hunt during the winter months when there are generally fewer people wanting to maneuver the harsher weather conditions to move.
Tip #3: Conduct a self-inspection
Though apartments are subject to regular maintenance and inspection, it never hurts to do a mini-inspection of your own when touring an apartment that you’re serious about. Check out things like cell phone reception, cabinets and shelving, screen doors, water pressure, and outlets to make sure everything’s in working order. You can also bring along a tape measure to make sure that your favourite furniture will fit through the entryways.
Tip #4: Inquire about rent collection
If you’re looking into a rental, find out how the landlord or property owner goes about monthly rent collection. This is important to find out because this is something that will impact you regularly and an inconvenient method could end up haunting you for years to come. These days, there’s little reason not to deal with rent collection electronically, but if your landlord isn’t tech-savvy or is partial to a more traditional method, find out what method they prefer and ensure that it will work for you as well.
Tip #5: Take your time
When you’re touring an apartment, take your time to assess the unit, the building, and the surrounding community. Prepare questions beforehand and don’t be afraid to ask them. Take notes. You’re choosing where you will live for the foreseeable future, so take the time to be confident in your decision—whether you decide to apply for the unit or carry on with your search.
Moreover, sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for until we see it. So, if you’re in the thick of apartment hunting and nothing is standing out to you, trust your gut and continue your search for an apartment that will be a perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.
Rental apartments in Sault Ste. Marie, Niagara, Sudbury, and Hamilton
If you’re interested in a redefined rental experience, we offer renovated rental apartments in sought-after neighbourhoods in Sault Ste. Marie, Niagara, Sudbury, and Hamilton. From top-of-the-line finishings to energy-efficient appliances to digital amenities, our units have been upgraded to reflect the unique values of today’s tenants. Get in touch today to find out more about condo-style apartment living with CPM Properties.