At AptAmigo, our goal is to help you find the best apartment for you. But when you’re seeing 5-10 places in a single day, things can start to blur together. So, how do you keep it all straight and find the perfect apartment? An apartment touring checklist is a good place to start. After helping thousands of people move, we’ve identified a few key things that keep our clients organized.
Once you’ve found the perfect apartment, read our Ultimate Moving Checklist to help with your big move!
Take videos and notes. Lots and lots of notes.
• Take videos instead of pictures. You’ll get a better feel for the space if you take videos of the area, plus you can talk to your future self about specific features that you like and dislike. Later on, you’ll be thankful that you did.
• Take a lot of notes. Like, more than you think you should. Empty units look similar, and everything will start to blur together really quickly. Or, even better: Bring someone with you to take notes (like an AptAmigo touring agent!) so you can focus on the apartment you’re seeing.
Stress is inevitable. Plan ahead and make it easy on yourself.
• Leave your car at home (if you can). Taking Lyfts and Ubers between apartments will save you from the stress of finding parking, getting stuck in traffic, and navigating a new area. Plus, instead of driving you’ll be able to review notes from the previous buildings.
• Don’t get hangry. Make sure you leave room in your schedule for lunch! Trust us, making important decisions while you’re hangry is never a good idea. You should even consider packing snacks in case the day gets a tad longer than expected.
• Bring someone with you so you can bounce ideas off of them and talk through all your options. Choosing an apartment can feel like an overwhelming decision! Bring your friend/mom/roommate (or AptAmigo Touring Agent) and get yourself some social stress-relief.
• WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will be walking a lot, you will be taking stairs, and you will be sad in heels! There’s no need for blisters and sore feet, moving is stressful enough.
• Bring a tote bag. You’ll collect a lot of papers, notes, and floorplans from each building. Bring a bag and make sure you’re staying organized during such a busy day.
Decision paralysis is also inevitable.
• Try to see all the apartments in one day. Scheduling all your tours in one day lets you accurately compare each building while they’re still fresh in your mind. When you see one or two buildings a day over the course of a few days, you run the risk of creating biases and forgetting important details.
• Bring a handy apartment touring checklist to each building so you can compare the same things across the buildings and focus on finding the perfect apartment.
• Only compare two buildings at a time so you don’t get decision paralysis trying to compare them all at the end of the day. When you see building #2, compare it to the first building and pick a favorite. Then, compare the favorite building to building #3 and so on.
Know what you want, and what to look for.
• Know what you want and don’t want. Make a mental (or physical) list of things you want, as well as things you’ve disliked about previous apartments. Compare each option to this list as you go.
• Bring a checklist. We consulted our team of Touring Agents, (who each tour about 1,200 apartments a year) to find out what’s on their Touring List. Click here, or click the button below to download the ultimate checklist.
• Bring a tape measure & know the dimensions of your furniture, so you can see if your favorite couch will fit in the living space. It will also help you visualize what the apartment would look like once you’ve moved in.
Know what questions to ask.
• Is it pet-friendly? If you have a furry little one, don’t forget to ask if they’re pet friendly and whether or not they require pet rent.
• Is parking included? If you have your own vehicle, you’ll want to check if they have parking and how much parking per month is.
• Are utilities included? It’s important to verify if utilities are included or not, as that affects your monthly budget.
• Will the apartment be cleaned before move-in? You’ll want to check if the apartment will be cleaned before move-in, so you are confident the space is ready to live in.
• What are the current rent specials? Whether it’s 50% off rent for the first month or free rent for 6 months— a lot of buildings offer these types of “concessions,” especially during lease-up periods.
• Is there a freight elevator, and do you need to reserve it? Moving requires lots of heavy lifting so you should ask if the apartment has a freight elevator and whether or not it needs to be reserved so you can get a head start on move-in.
Be ready to commit!
• If you like it, apply ASAP. No unit will stay on the market for more than a few days, so don’t start looking until you’re ready to sign. 8-4 weeks before you need to move in is the sweet spot for setting up touring.
• Be strategic with your lease start date. This is more difficult if you’re moving from out of state, but if you’re moving across town overlap your leases by a week so you can space out the stressful move-out/move-in process.
Click below to download our Apartment Touring Checklist and stay organized during your apartment hunt! As always, if you have questions, need assistance, or you’re just tired of apartment hunting, reach out to the AptAmigo team. We’re here to make your move a breeze.