Apartment Preferences

rwithersFebruary 13, 2004

I am a student at Washington State University and am in the process of looking for an apartment for next year. I am just wondering if there is any advice you guys may be able to give me while I consider different appartments. Some things are, 1st 2nd or 3rd floor and why? Is it better to have the open patio on the 1st floor or a private deck on the 2nd or 3rd floors? Is there anything that may be important to know before signing a lease that normally isnt thought of before hand?

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Security will be a greater issue on the 1st floor.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 9:57PM
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Better to have a private deck on the 2nd or 3rd floors ... fewer opportunities for burglary.

Also consider window exposure: if cold is an issue, look for unobstructed SOUTH windows anhd a south-fsacing deck. If heat is the greater problem, you want North or East exposure.

A unit with neighbors, at least one floor below the top, is noiser but more temperature stable. (lower utility bills)

Get a copy of your state's "Residential Landlotd and Tenant" law. Make sure that you follow it, and that the landlord does too: you both have rights and responsibilities.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2004 at 6:48AM
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I would choose the top floor. I've lived in many apts over the years and find its much quieter at the top. If you want peace and quiet when your studying, you won't want to hear people clomping around above you after midnight while your trying to sleep or study for a test.

Also, since you'll be renting. Its not a bad idea to get a locking file cabinet to store valuables when your away. In the past, I've had things missing due to sticky fingered room mates as well as corrupt landlords. Never hurts to have at least one secure spot that no one but you will have access to.

Put important stuff like your SS card, passport, bank statements, and credit card statements here. It only takes your SS, date of birth and address for a crook to forge a whole new identity. Shred sensitive documents before throwing them in the trash.

Hoped this helps

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 1:24AM
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My college daughter just went through this. Are you renting on your own or with room mates?
Upper floors seemed safer, if it has a sliding door, be sure to have the safety bar to secure it closed.
When you move in, be sure to note in writing any and all defects in the apt. so they do not say it was you that caused the damage.
DD chose a 2nd floor and has had good luck so far.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 8:12AM
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I'm living with 3 roommates that I know. I know we are going to be loud at times but at the same time, do not want to get stuck with someone who parties 6 days a week right above us. For what its worth, the 3rd floor costs more as it has elevated ceilings.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 1:30PM
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Be aware that top floors can be HOT in the summer.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 2:04PM
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Take pictures of everything when you move in. If there's a spot on the carpet, take a picture and make a list of all the "damages" that were there when you moved in. Otherwise, you'll be charged for those damages.

I would go for the top floor as well. They do tend to be safer and quieter. But if you do that, remember that you've got people downstairs that can hear YOU. Top floors do make moving in more difficult. If you're doing it all yourself, there may be some things you just can't get up the stairs.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 1:37PM
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Top floor ... heat rises in the winter so your downstairs neighbor will help you out! If you like a lot of light, get and end unit on the top floor ... but I think the units in the middle with someone on either side, is also helpful with utilities. I think top floors are hot only if the building has a flat roof. My apartment is never hot.
Before sign anything, talk to the people in the building and ask if they like it there or not and find out why. Ask about the other neighbors and about any problems that they may have had with management about taking care of property problems. You might even want to go to the local police station and ask them if they have a lot of calls to that property.
If you have a first floor patio, you will be able to "expand" your space just a little bit but when you are sitting out there with company or just want peace and quite reading, passers by always will want to take a minute to say something. You may also have to deal with trash thrown down from upper floors.
Good luck in finding the right apartment. I am very lucky and live in a place that rarely has any type of noise problems and all neighbors have been wonderful. These places are few and far between! Cyndi

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 5:14PM
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