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10 Actionable Apartment Hunting Tips You Can Use

10 Actionable Apartment Hunting Tips You Can Use

An apartment hunt can be a messy deal for there are lots of pitfalls along the way. Brokers who charge hidden fees, agents who are totally unprofessional, and transport companies that damn the schedule and urgency of the situation are just tips of the iceberg.

The whole caboodle is tricky, not to mention quick decision making ability, which become horrifically ineffective on the spot, as you will be repelled by as small a concern like the neighborhood, but swooned by the panorama of the new abode. But with the following approaches, the deal can be done quickly, effectively and economically:

1. Consider the budget issues

Your budget must be proportional to the amenities that you need in the apartment. Nearness to groceries, supermarkets, railway terminals, airports, seaports, workstation, etc. can help in curtailing living expenses.

2. Consider the time factor

Beside budgets, the time factor also has a strong presence in making the decision. Though the rentals are freely available during the summer, the price will be abnormally high as all of us want to move in and out during the scorching season.

Therefore, it may be best to wait for a better time. Renting an apartment during the holidays or at a time closer to the holidays is generally easier. When it’s cold, the mobility is slower.

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3. Technology can be a handy friend

When alone in a new city and you have no friends to help find you a desirable apartment, apartment hunting apps can then be a huge help.

There are a handful of apps which notify you whenever new places are available that matches your specifics like rental price, the neighbourhood, amenities and more. You can apply for the place online.

4. Knowledge is power

Chances are high that you will be victimized by wily agents when you are all set to move to a new locality about which you have no prior knowledge.

Researching the average market rate, checking out websites like Streeteasy.com and conversing with people around will familiarize you with what the acceptable rates are for the kind of apartment you have in mind.

5. Do the basic legwork with heart

Things as petty as checklists and spreadsheets can be instrumental to land the desired apartment quickly as these so called ‘petty things’ can sift the basic priorities from the ostentatious ‘doohickeys’.

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Some owner asks for specific paperwork as a firm handshake in the open house or the blue Ferrari does not impress them.  Therefore, present yourself as strongly as possible with all paperwork in hand.

A well-organized attempt at apartment hunting not only saves the time and money, but also helps you track the progress and control it without letting it affect your daily schedule.

6. The Sleep Test

Not all landlords favor it, but it will be good to convince the landlord to allow you sleep a night in order to ‘experience’ his verdict on the place. In the night, you can test out the shower, peek through the closets, cabinets and cupboards without attracting the owner’s attention. This will satisfy the ‘control freak’ in you.

7. Read the lease paper carefully

Details are important in the lease. All the verbal agreements that you have reached with the new landlord (e.g. Improvements after moving in, rental charges, free movement of your pet cat, Tom) should be in writing.

Conditions and statutory warnings should be read and understood thoroughly.  You don’t want your landlord to evict you sans your own property as he likes and you may not get security deposit back for the mindless reasons he has concocted in the lease agreement.

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Reading the paper thoroughly saves you from getting trapped into something you’ll regret later.

8. Trust in yourself and rope in some trustworthy friends

If your guts sense something fishy at any time, it is better to rethink your decision to move in as fraud and deception are common in real estate these days.

Deceptive brokers can be known right away by from their inconsistent wordings of the property, nervous body language, and talkativeness. It is better to decipher such depraved intentions at earliest.

A trustworthy friend can be a real source of support during the apartment search. Such friends can check your impulsive decisions. Also your ideas of the perfect apartment can reach to prospective landlords through your active social network.

9. Little bit of morbidity is good

As Billy from the When Harry Met Sally suggested, leafing through the obituaries section of newspaper is definite to quicken your apartment search. The old way has never lost the charm.

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10. Negotiate

If you have an excellent track record (in form of solid reputation, high income, satisfied old landlord) and you are in search of a place where your stay is will be protracted, you are in a position to strike a better deal with your new landlord as finding and renting the apartment to excellent, long-term tenant is the hardest accomplishment for any landlord, so you are a good catch.

With such an arrangement, it is unlikely you will get much deduction in the rental fees but you may win some fringe benefits like free roaming access for your pet cat in the landlord’s kitchen garden which will make him happy, I promise.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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