7 Unexpected Things To Consider When You're Looking For Your First Apartment

Javier Díez, Stocksy

Searching for your first apartment can be pretty intimidating. There are many things to consider, and getting caught up in the location and price of your potential new home can often be so overwhelming that you forget there are other factors you need to keep an eye out for. You may be wondering what to know when looking for your first apartment so that you're totally prepared, and I'm here to help you out.

From things like where the mail carrier leaves your packages, to what the closest and best grocery stores are, there are a few things outside of just the price and location of your apartment that you should consider before signing the lease. Although smaller factors might not seem like a huge deal when you're scrambling looking for an apartment, they can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your place in the long run. For example, even if you tell yourself you can get over not having a laundry room in your building at the beginning because you really just want to move in, make sure you're really OK with it. (Because to be honest, lugging three weeks' worth of laundry up a five-floor walk-up is the worst.)

So if you're in the market for your first apartment in the "real world," here are a few things you should definitely consider first.

Where Is The Laundry Room Located (If The Building Has One)?
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If you lived in a dorm, you're probably used to having laundry rooms either on your floor or somewhere in your building. Unfortunately, when you get an apartment, that isn't always the case.

Make sure you ask the landlord where the laundry is located in the apartment building, if it exists. And if there isn't laundry in that building, you definitely need to find out where the closest laundromat is. (If you live in NYC, I suggest you also find out if said laundromat does pick-up, delivery, and wash-and-fold services, too.)

Where Are The Closest And Best Grocery Stores?
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Lugging groceries home is definitely a huge struggle no matter where you're living, so whenever you move into a new apartment, you should find out where the best and closest grocery stores are located. You should also be aware that they're not always the same.

You'll learn after time that sometimes the best grocery stores — with the best produce or best prices — are a little further away, so you might end up going to the closest one whenever you need groceries in a pinch.

Which Gym Should You Become A Member Of?

It's not worth your money to have a gym membership if there isn't a location near either your work or your apartment — or better yet, both. You might want to decide on your gym membership after you decide on your apartment, or consider switching your membership if you already have one to something more convenient to your apartment location.

What Activities, Shops, Cafés, And Restaurants Are Around?
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When you move into a new apartment, you'll want your "spots." You'll want a go-to bar, restaurant, or café you can visit whenever you're looking for a little comfort.

After you check out your potential apartment, make sure you take a lap around the neighborhood, too. You just might find your new favorite place to hang out, get work done, or meet up with friends.

Is There A Maintenance Person On-Site?
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Things break in apartments. Although it might seem like the end of the world when it happens — especially in your first apartment — a lot of those things that might make you panic are actually easily fixable. It's especially helpful if there's a super or maintenance person on-site.

When you're touring the apartment, ask if there's someone who lives in the building who can help if anything goes wrong. If there isn't someone, ask what the policy is for reporting damage, leaks, or other general concerns in your building.

Where Does The Mail Carrier Leave Your Packages?

This might seem like something trivial, but it's important to know where the mail carrier leaves your packages. Whether it's in your lobby, right outside your door, or in a separate spot for packages for your whole building, make sure you check out the situation.

Are There Any Move-In Day Restrictions?
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Some apartment buildings have move-in day restrictions, like certain times of day you're allowed to move in or where you can park your U-Haul. Before you sign your lease, ask the landlord how and when you'll be able to move in.