Alexandria Apartment Search Tips
How to Find the Right Apartment In Alexandria
Whether you're a first-time renter or an experienced apartment hunter, it's worth taking the time to think through what's important to you in an apartment and plan your search with those priorities in mind. Here are some things to consider when planning your next move:
1. Consider the areas where you would like to live
- What is the crime rate in those areas?
- If you have school-age children - what rating does the school system have in that area?
- Is the area convenient to shopping, services, health and recreation facilities?
2. Make a list of your top housing priorities
- Do you need an apartment that accepts pets?
- Do you need extra parking spaces?
- Do you need to be on the ground floor?
- What amenities are important to you - swimming pool, recreation or fitness room, tennis courts?
- What about laundry facilities?
3. Evaluate the property
- What is the condition of the buildings?
- Are the grounds well maintained, plants trimmed and neat?
- Is the landscaping healthy and green or dying?
- Are windows, steps, and railings safe or broken and dangerous?
- Check out the property at night. Are parking areas and pathways well lit? What about stairways and halls?
4. Check out the security of the property
- Does the building have a security service? If so, what hours is the guard on duty?
- Does the building have controlled access? If so, are the exterior security gates and doors kept closed?
- Do individual units have secure door and window locks?
5. Talk to the neighbors
- It may take a little courage, but it is worth knocking on a few doors to ask residents whether they are satisfied with the building and the management's responsiveness to repair needs and concerns.
- See our section titled "Good Questions to Ask"
6. Ask about amenities
- Who is allowed to used amenities like swimming pools, recreation and fitness rooms, tennis courts?
- What hours are they open?
- Is there additional fees charged to use those facilities?
7. Ask about Utilities
- Does the owner or tenant pay the water bill?
- Are any utilities, such as gas and electric, included in the rent?
- Do units have individual thermostats to control heat and air conditioning?
8. Examine the lease
- How much notice must you give before moving at the end of the lease term?
- Can the rent be increased? If so, by how much and how often?
- Are pets allowed?
- What provisions cover your security deposit and end of lease cleaning costs?
- What is the responsibility of tenants for wear or damage to property?
- What is the penalty for breaking a lease?
9. Be prepared! Collect information to present to landlords and leasing agents before beginning your search. Include:
- Credit Report
- Pay stubs/tax returns