Finding the perfect apartment
876 ListingsSunday, September 22, 2019
BY PAUL ALLEN
It does not exist.
Now that we have that out the way, we can look at finding the apartment that best suited for your housing needs and expectations of rent, convenience, utilities and other expenses.
OK, so maybe that conclusion was a little hurried but when apartment hunting, the list of wants is usually extensive and not always proportionate to the amount one is willing to pay monthly.
It is also important to note that if you are too exact with everything you seek in an apartment, you may find yourself looking for a long time, expending great effort and still end up making allowances for what is available.
To find the place that is just right for you, it is critical that you assess your finances and lifestyle and then consider the rental market, particularly if you have specifications as to where the property should be located.
A detailed look into available options, with some skilful guidance should be your next step.
This search should be informed by your outlined budget. We have said this before but repetition doesn't hurt — generally, one should not pay more than 30 per cent of their income in rent. It's not always possible to stay within this limit, especially in more urban areas, but note that you will have other financial obligations which need to be serviced.
Do not look at places outside your budget as that's a sure-fire way of getting into financial difficulties down the road.
Prioritise your needs and wants in an ideal rental to create a gauge that tells when you are close (enough) to finding the place that is worth going after. Among the considerations that should be given are number of bedrooms required, proximity to public transportation or convenience of commute, amenities, and proximity to locations you frequent such as church, school, market, and the rest.
Finding a reliable agent is a good way of taking the hassle out of looking, as they will already have an idea of what suits your needs from conversations had. Do bear in mind that this comes at a cost that varies from company or individual to another.
If you don't want to go this route, there are many sites available that you can access to see listings. From realtors to media companies, property listings are an in-demand product and quite easy to find with a simple Google search. For the more traditional among us, a few page turns will land you on our Classifieds section with islandwide listings.
However, good properties go fast. Between the time you check a website or purchase a Sunday Observer at 7:00 am and finally get around to making the call at noon, that ideal apartment would have been shown to numerous people and an offer extended.
You have to be meticulous and fast in a tight rental market, so call early to be among the first to view a property and express an interest if you think it meets your requirements.
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