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The Complete Apartment Hunting Checklist for Beginners

a kitchen with a center island and three bar stools

The Complete Apartment Hunting Checklist for Beginners

Did you know that almost 75% of Americans don't like at least one of their neighbors?

But meddlesome neighbors are only one of the things to keep in mind when finding a place to live. As you assemble your apartment hunting checklist, your list may seem to never stop growing with dealbreakers. And it may seem like a daunting task to put together the right apartment hunting spreadsheet without missing something important.

Moving into an apartment shouldn't be any more stressful than it already is. That's why in this guide, we've put together the only apartment hunting checklist you'll need. 

Apartment Hunting Checklist: Make a Budget

Budgeting is boring, but it can help you plan ahead before making big financial decisions. You should avoid spending more than 30% of your budget on rent, if possible. However, rent is just one of the costs involved in this equation.

There will be extra fees, like last month's rent and security deposits. You may need to factor in application fees, broker's fees, and other costs that add up over time.

Determine ahead of time what types of apartments you can afford while comparing apartment costs. If you can make do with less space, then you can save a lot of money going with one bedroom instead of more.

Take the time to read your lease to make sure you're fully aware of any fees or penalties. You don't want to inadvertently forfeit your security deposit when you fail to clean the place upon moving out!

Take advantage of places that have discounts for preferred employment.

a living room with a couch and some plants

Parking Allowance

While your apartment complex may have parking spaces, that's no guarantee that parking is included. Parking is limited, and you may have to factor it into your budget as one of the larger fees.

Ask your prospective landlord the following about parking:

Are there parking assignments?
Can you park on the street?
Do they allow guests to park temporarily?
How many parking spaces can you have at a time?

Access and Rules

Every apartment complex handles security in a different way. Some may leave it up to you, allowing you to install a smart doorbell or smart lock. Or, they may have a keycode gate and a guard.

Check up on neighborhood crime statistics. Sometimes it's not obvious on the surface whether an area is safe.

If you like social events, you need an apartment that supports them. Many apartment complexes have quiet hours, which forbid noise before midnight. Your friends may not be able to park in the apartment complex after certain times, either.

a dog on a leash walking in the grass

Pet Policies for Apartments

Pet policies vary widely from apartment to apartment. If you have a furry friend, you need to filter for apartments that allow pets. 

Even if the apartment does allow pets, they may have restrictions on the kinds of pets. They may allow dogs and cats but forbid some breeds of dogs. These dogs may need vet records and photo evidence before you bring them over.

Some pets may be off-limits no matter where you go. Rodents and snakes are often not allowed in most apartments. 

You may need to make a non-refundable deposit to secure your pet's place. There may be "pet rent" on top of the agreed-upon monthly rent.

If you bring a pet onto the premises without permission, you risk breaking your lease agreement. This could get you in big trouble, so memorize the policies well beforehand.

Common Apartment Amenities

Amenities are an excellent way to cut down on some of your costs. They will drive up the cost of rent, but that may be worth it to save on gym subscriptions and maintenance fees. Here are some of the amenities common in apartments:

Pool and lounge area
Fitness center or sports court
Apartment laundry facilities
Copy & fax services
Package receiving
Clubhouse for adults/children
Emergency maintenance
There may be amenities in your apartment that you are looking forward to. These could be fireplaces, walk-in closets, or even garbage disposal. 

Take note of the available appliances, too. Having a washer and dryer might be worth the cost. If you cook a lot, you may need a bigger kitchen space and fridge.

The little things like carpet, balconies, and even easy-to-clean vinyl flooring will make a difference. There may even be a designated spot for public transportation.


Every apartment will come with the basic utilities of water and electricity. But you need to find out if you pay for utilities yourself, or if it's included in the rent.

Further, you may have special needs. You may prefer to cook with gas, but your apartment only has an electric stove. 

If you need fiber internet speed, look for an apartment that supports it. Some apartment complexes may only support older DSL or cable connections.

Find the Apartment of Your Dreams

Finding the right housing in this economy is no mean feat. You need an apartment hunting checklist that includes everything you want--with room for compromises when you need to make them. Things like amenities and pet policies can make or break your decision to move into an apartment.

Apache Trace Apartments are the best place to stay for Guymon, OK residents; no compromises are needed. There's a friendly community waiting for you. Check out the e-brochure today and choose an apartment that suits you.