It can be a lot of fun to tour a property. You are greeted with warm smiles, fresh-baked cookies, a quick tour around the property by foot or golf cart. But before you jump on the renting express, remember that you still have a job to do… you need to make sure that this is the right fit for your lifestyle. Follow the basic rule you learned in middle school: Ask the five W's - who, what, where, when, and why.
Who: Who are your neighbors? Are they first or second-year students, working adults, partiers, studiers? You want to make sure the community fits your personality and needs. Also, who is the staff? Are they easy to talk to, easy to reach? It is important to know who will be in charge if a problem comes up.
What: What does the rent include? What doesn't it include?
Where: Where is the apartment located? Where is the grocery store? How long does it take to get to campus? Where is the closest pharmacy, restaurants, post office? These are the kind of places you have to visit on a regular basis, so you want to make sure it is convenient to get there.
When: When can you move in and out? Do they have short-term leases? When is rent late? You want to know exactly what you are signing into it, for how long and how much you will end up paying.
Why: You'll take your leasing agent by surprise when you straight-up ask them: Why should I move in here? You can gage by his or her response if the community is honestly a good place to live.
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