If you are looking for an apartment or house, this is a list to keep on hand! Share it if you know of someone else that is looking. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve realized that these are the features that make the biggest difference.
1. Sunshine. My top priority. Big windows and a lot of sunshine help with productivity and happiness. Pat enjoy a lot of sun as well.
2. Recently built. Old apartments or houses will have many problems, problems that will require a lot of possessions and know-how. A place recently built with newer appliances will save a lot of chores and errands: nearly always worth it.
3. Safety. If you don’t live in a safe neighborhood, having a lot of windows may make the home less safe. Also, newer apartments and great schools are generally in the safer areas.
4. Privacy/noise. A place away from the street and from general traffic is ideal. Drive by a house at different times of the day before buying, and listen for noise.
5. Proximity to the grocery store. Driving long distances means wear and tear on vehicles, difficulty to walk on the sidewalk to get exercise, and more possessions to keep on hand.
Other Things To Keep In Mind:
6. Reviews. See if the staff is responsive if something goes wrong (if looking for an apartment).
7. Square footage. I don’t live in a tiny house, but anything larger than 2-3 bedrooms will be more than one person can handle. A house with a yard will require extra tasks and expenses. The smaller, the better. I still like to have space, but there is a balance.
8. Price. If buying, interest, closing fees, and HOA fees need to be considered. If renting, what are the trash, pet, and general utility fees? Some apartments gouge residents for water, for instance. It is important to figure out the actual price because this number won’t change for a long time.