Renter's Checklist

This page is just a reminder to take certain things into consideration when you decide to rent an apartment. Most of this is just recapping what's been covered in other sections.

Whether buying or renting, remember that choosing the right location is the first step. Once you narrow it down to a city and state, research the area and make sure that it meets your needs. Employment opportunities, local entertainment and driving distances to places you frequently visit are a few things to consider.

Next, you'll need to decide between renting and buying a home. If you decide to rent, you'll still have to choose between a house or apartment. Both have their advantages, so it's important to figure out which advantages are most important to you, then go from there.

If you're going to rent an apartment, make sure it has everything you need. You'll want to consider community facilities, included appliances and utilities, as well as any rules or restrictions that may apply.

Some pitfalls apply to both houses and apartments, like poor construction. Watch for uneven gaps around windows and doors. How's the plumbing? Lack of insulation and cheap windows can jack up your energy bills for heat and air conditioning. Thin walls can be annoying when your neighbors sound like they're right there in the room with you.

Do your research! This site is designed to help and will continue to be updated with more info--but it's just the beginning. Ask for references, talk to realtors and learn as much as you can.