You’re finally doing it! It’s time to find your first apartment! Finding apartments that work perfectly for you can be a difficult but rewarding task. If you’re ready for your first apartment, you are about to embark on a journey that is both a fun and exciting new chapter of your life. To help you prepare for this new journey,  Trylon Apartments in Montreal has put together a list of the top things you should find out about before deciding on your apartment. 

Apartment hunting can be a difficult venture if you’re not organized throughout the process, but making sure that it has everything you’re looking for first, is a great place to start. Here are our 10 top pointers to pay attention to when deciding on your first apartment. 

1. Location, Location, Location!

Picking the right location - finding the right apartment for you.

Maybe an obvious one, but the most important starting point when you’re looking to move away from home. Here we obviously say Montreal, but does that work for your needs? Finding Apartment’s in specific locations can be challenging. Are you planning on staying in the same neighbourhood you grew up in, or are you leaving for work/school? There are many different options when you decide to leave home, and choosing a location is the hardest part! You want to choose somewhere that is close to things that are important like school, work, family, amenities, etc – making sure you’re close to the things you’re going to need is top priority!

2. Choose Your Maximum Budget

Wallet - finding the right apartment for you.

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but living away from home is expensive. Rent alone can be expensive before even getting into the other possible bills and expenses. Assessing your finances and deciding on an exact limit each month for rent is crucial to make sure you don’t go into debt. Living beyond your means is not setting yourself up for being successful. There are all kinds of budgeting calculators like this one to determine how much money you can afford to be spending! Starting yourself off right by ensuring that you can afford everything you will be responsible for is key to renting successfully!

3. Consider Your Commute

Just like location; determining your daily commute is highly important when deciding on an apartment. Driving all the way across town for work or school during rush hour times would be highly inconvenient. That’s why you should factor in where you work, take classes, get groceries, or other hobbies/interests. If those things are too far away, it would be highly inconvenient for you to have to commute regularly. Prior to signing a lease, you should map out the routes you would commonly take to ensure ease of convenience for travelling when all is said and done! Considering these things ahead of time is a way to make sure you’re fully prepared for whatever trek is ahead of you! 

4. Find Compatible Roommates

This is something that can make or break the enjoyment of your space. Living on your own is highly expensive. Chances are for the first few years at least, you’re going to end up having to live with roommates. Where some people love having roommates, a lot of people will tell you absolute horror stories from previous roommate experiences – this is why it is so vital for your own sanity to be especially choosy when it comes to deciding on who is going to live with you. 

This comes down to many factors; but the most important ones are: 1. Make sure it’s someone you can get along with for long periods of time – you are going to be around this person most of the time that you are home, you’re going to want to like them, 2. Find someone who is going to do their share of the house work – nobody likes having to clean up after someone who isn’t pulling their weight, and 3. Find someone who will understand and respect your boundaries. – Finding someone who wants to split bills is easy, but someone who you can trust with your personal belongings is harder to come by. At the end of the day, when you’ve found the right person to share your space with – it can be a blissful situation. Moving out on your own for the first time can be daunting, and having someone along for the ride can make the adjustment so much smoother for you!

5. Find out About the Neighbourhood

Similar to deciding on the location and adjusting your commute, the neighbourhood you will be living in is a good thing to do some research on. Of course you want to know about whether or not the neighbourhood in question is safe. You also want to know ahead what amenities are closely available to you. You never know when you’re going to run out of something mid-cooking, or need emergency supplies in the middle of the night; knowing what is around the corner can help you out when you get into a jam! 

You always want to make sure you know where your local hospital is in case of an emergency, groceries and banks for ease of convenience, and places you can go to enjoy your favourite activities and hobbies. If there is anything that is a deal breaker for you that you can’t live without; make sure it’s local to you before choosing to move in! 

6. Find Apartments Additional Utility Expenses

Hydro tower - discussing additional payments when finding the right apartment for you.

Rent alone can get significantly pricey, and that’s before you even think about the possibility of utilities. Electricity, heating, water, and the internet are all things that aren’t guaranteed to come free when moving into your own space. Each of these things cost their own varying prices and it’s important to know what bills are expected of yours prior to moving in. It’s also important to pay attention to which utilities you’re paying and how some bills like hydro for instance, change depending on the time of year. For example, if you’re only paying $50 for hydro in the summertime, you can expect your bill to at least double in the winter time depending on the heating systems installed in the apartment buildings. Again, just an important thing to consider when deciding on the right apartment for your needs. 

Once you know which of these utilities you will have to pay, it’s also smart to research or even ask your landlord what you can expect to pay for each. Finding apartments that don’t require you to pay additional utilities are rare to find, but preparing a head is the most important thing! That way you can configure your monthly budget according to how much you can expect to pay for living expenses.

7. Finding Apartments Reviews

Looking up reviews - deciding on places to live.

You want a healthy relationship with your landlord, but should still check if there are any reviews on them. Important things to look out for are noise warnings. Here you will find things that a landlord won’t warn you about. When finding apartments, you should keep this in mind. Also, if the building is poorly maintained you will want to know. If your building has a history of things going wrong and not being fixed, then maybe you should look elsewhere. There is a lot of things that can go wrong when living in your own space; you want to make sure that the residence is being managed efficiently. 

8. Finding Apartments’ Decorating Guidelines

Painting and decor - finding the right apartment for your needs.

Probably not a deal breaker, but an apartment feels more like a home when you have  the opportunity to add a bit of your personal character to it. Finding apartments that allow you to decorate to your own creative standards aren’t always easy! Simple changes could include being able to paint the walls, hang up pictures, and decorate to your own tastes for the duration of your tenancy. Though these things seem like they could be simple changes that are easy to adjust when you’re moving out; it’s important to get permission when on a lease to avoid any conflicts later. If decorating means being comfortable in your new home, you want to have permission to do so as you move in. 

9. Find Out About Pets

Furry friends - finding the right apartment for your needs.

Finding apartments means making sure all things are accounted for. If you are packing your furry friend as you move in, you should determine if your building is pet friendly. Though residences are not allowed to tell you not to bring your pet with you, your landlord is allowed to evict you for disobeying your rental agreement. Make this easy for yourself ahead by ensuring you understand what is acceptable prior to deciding on your new place. This can go both ways as well. If you have allergies, it’s important to know what your building could be exposed to for your own safety. Furry friends or otherwise, it’s crucial to know what you are getting yourself into prior to deciding on a new place.

10. Finding Apartments With Parking

Parking lot - Finding apartments that are right for you.

Whether for your personal vehicle, or guest access – you’re going to want to know what the parking situation is. Finding a parking spot in a busy city can be tricky, and if you have your own car; you’re going to want to be able to park it in your area of residence. Many big buildings have parking lots, but sometimes you have to pay a fee for the extra space. Knowing what you’re walking (or driving) into ahead of time can make or break your decision when choosing the right apartment building for you.

At the end of the day, we could go on about things you should watch out for when looking for your apartment. In reality, the most important thing is to assess your level of comfort. If there is anything about the apartment that is making you uncomfortable than it’s not the right place for you. Everybody has their own needs for living, be patient; you’ll find a place that works well for you even if you don’t find it immediately. Choosing to move out is a big responsibility. Take your time with it to make sure you will be happy with your decision. From Trylon Montreal, congratulations on getting to this exciting new chapter of your life, enjoy your newfound independence!

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