I moved into my first apartment this year and I have already learned so much about what is actually important.
1. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
You want an apartment that is close to often visited places. For me, being close to school was important because I have to go there 5 days a week AT LEAST. I live right across the street from campus and I cannot express how helpful it has been. Mississippi State parking is my worst nightmare so the fact that I can walk to campus and make sure I am on time to all of my classes is the greatest thing ever. I do not even plan to buy a parking pass next year; therefore, there is $200 staying in my pocket.
Are utilities included with your rent price or not? Some places include them no matter how much you use. Some places include them up to a certain amount. Some places only include a few utilities. Some places do not include any at all. It is very important you know this information before signing a lease. If they are not, that can be up to $60 more a month.
3. Is it furnished?
I highly suggest moving into an apartment that is already furnished. Apartments are already so expensive as it is, so adding the cost of living room and bedroom furniture is going to make it SUPER expensive. Most furnished apartments include all kitchen appliances, a couch, entertainment center, a chair, bed, drawers, a desk, and maybe a TV if you are lucky. The cost of all of those things add up very quickly. Also, you would have to move it in and move it out. Such a hassle.
4. Ask people who currently live there if you could see their apartment
Apartments usually have show rooms to show you what the apartment looks like. But, you also never know if that is what you will actually get. I heard so many horror stories about people signing leases and then not getting anything close to what they saw in the show apartment. I went and looked at one of my friend's teammates apartment to ensure I would be getting what I am paying for. I highly suggest you do that if you have never been in somebody's apartment at the complex you are looking at.
5. Think about visitor parking
You will most likely have guest over so make sure there is visiting parking for your guest. This is important because often times places will tow a car if it is not suppose to be there which is about $200 + to get your car back. No fun at all. Just make sure to ask about the visitor parking situation and make sure you are okay with it.
6. The basic needs
Make sure you are happy with the size of the rooms, the resident parking situation, and all of the basics. Also, don't forget to ask about who to contact if something breaks and what happens from there.