Considerations and Questions to ask when you view Boston Apartments.
One of the biggest issues in New England is the laundry situation. Most people would love to have an in-unit washer and dryer, but most of the time that is not the case. Laundry needs to be decided on as a “need” a “want” or an “I don’t care” before you go to your viewing appointments.
If you attend a viewing and you have not yet decided on where laundry facility access falls under your list of priorities, then you may hesitate on your application. As we have mentioned in a previous blog guiding you on how to apartment hunt in Boston, if you wait to apply, you will most likely miss out on the opportunity for that apartment overall. Know what you want first.
Some questions to ask about laundry (if not in unit):
1) Where do most people in the building do their laundry?
2) (If a facility in the building) Can I see the facility?
Dishwashers are often not included in many Boston apartments; however, you may luck out and find some apartments for rent in Boston with a dishwasher in the unit. It all depends. Think about dishes in a similar manner as laundry. Is the time it takes to hand wash dishes too much for you? Would the countertop have enough space to dry your dishes if you do need to hand wash them? The questions you would ask for dishes are more internal. The agent or landlord won’t have much help for you here, but it is something you should consider prior to viewing apartments so you are prepared to apply.
Come to your appointment prepared to know what you will need to maintain your apartment as well. Not all floors are created equal and not all can be cleaned in the same way. If the floor is carpet, the cleaning, maintenance, and restrictions are all fairly self-explanatory. Yet, if the floors are hardwood, cork or some kind of tile, you will want to know a few things.
Questions to ask about floors:
How does the owner prefer the floors to be cleaned?
Will the floor material chip easily if something is dropped on it?
Is it comfortable to walk on barefoot?
Does the floor stain easily?
Does it wear quickly in areas of high traffic?
Storage is huge for all apartment dwellers anywhere. You should obviously look around the apartment for storage space and determine if there is enough space for your items, but chances are you may still need additional storage for most of your living arrangement options.
Questions to ask about storage:
Are there any storage spots in the unit that are hidden or not easily found? (You may have missed some!)
Is there additional storage for residents anywhere else in the building?
Is there a storage facility nearby where you could rent a small unit for a decent price?
Believe it or not, you should actually consider how insulated the building or apartment is. The insulation could be the key to your heating and cooling schedule in the future. It can essentially make or break your summer and winter budgets. Dual-paned windows, thick insulation in the walls and ceiling and insulation under the flooring are all pieces that will help you keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.
Questions to ask about insulation:
Are the windows single or dual-pane?
Does the insulation keep the temperature inside stable?
(For experts) What kind and how thick is the insulation in the walls and ceiling?
Heating and cooling is a common thing to consider. It is probably one of the first things on your mind when you consider questions to ask a potential landlord or property manager.
Questions to ask about heating and cooling:
What kind of energy is used for heating?
What is the average bill for both in the summer and winter?
If there is no central A/C, are in-window units allowed to be screwed in? (Some places may not allow you to screw the unit in properly or display them at all.)
Proximity to Things to Do
You should arrive near your appointment early to check out the surrounding area, but also ask the agent or landlord what there is to do. A local will always know the best places around. Make sure you ask what is nearby and about your own specific interests, whether that’s outdoor activities, drinking, good food, theatre or anything else that you may find in Boston. You can also use the internet to cover tons of ground in an area. Check out the streets, you also and virtually drive down them with many map applications. What is most important to you? Coffee, Gym, food, etc. – what are your main needs?
When you are at the apartment, check out the average noise level. You can hear what it’s like during the day while you’re there, but you won’t know what it’s like at night or on different days of the week. Ask the person showing you the property what the noise level is like at night and on the weekends. Never think twice about taking a ride at night and check out the area at night. You want to know everything!
If you have kids or are thinking of attending an adult school or college of some sort, you can also ask about schools. Your own preliminary research is beneficial, but so is local knowledge. You need both to get the full story.
Last, but not least is traffic. Keep an eye out for things that might make you late for work or just plain ruin your day. If you don’t mind traffic, then don’t worry about it!
As with everything, you should always do your own research on all of these topics before your viewing appointment. But when you discuss everything you need to know with the property manager or landlord, you may find out different information or something that you could not have known by just looking online. Be prepared for your viewing and make sure you are informed before deciding on renting that next apartment.