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Things to keep in mind when touring potential new apartments

Looking for an apartment is definitely something to get excited about. The first important step is to find a real estate consultant that knows the different neighborhoods around town and who has your needs in mind. We at B.I.R.E. are devoted to making your experience exciting and stress free! We offer a personalized and professional service that you can trust. We make sure that your apartment hunting experience and moving process go smoothly. That is why even before you start touring a potential new place, we offer you a list of some helpful tips of things you should look out for.

- Make sure that all safety features (i.e. smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors) are in place and working in the apartment as well as in hallways and in other common areas.

- Check out toilets, faucets and pipes under the kitchen cabinets for potential leaks in plumbing.

- Check the water pressure and water temperature in the unit. Here's an easy test to make sure you won't be surprised by ice cold water mid-shower thanks to your neighbor using up all the hot water. Turn the shower on and leave it running at your ideal temperature for the remainder of the unit tour, when you leave, check if it is still hot- just be sure to shut it off again!

- Check that the furnace and water heater are rust free. Look for stones or rocks or other debris on the outside of the furnace or heater as the debris or chipping could indicate leaks. If you find a leak tell your real estate agent straight away as the leaks could indicate possible carbon monoxide problems.

- Make sure that all appliances in the unit are in good working condition. If there is no washer or dryer in the unit see if there is a common laundry area and go ahead and check it out.

- Look for any evidence of rodents or insects on the floor in visible areas as well as inside cabinets, closets and drawers.

- Look up at the ceiling for any water damage or discoloration. Also check the walls for peeling paint or wallpaper as well as for walls showing signs of cracking or recent repairs.

- Make sure all the doors open and close easily and fit well within the doorframe. Also check that they have sturdy hinges. All locks should be sturdy not flimsy. All outside doors should have a deadbolt.

- To check for electrical shortages make sure you turn on and off all the lighting inside the apartment. You may also want to bring something to test out the electrical outlets to make sure they all function like they are supposed to.

Be sure to tell your real estate consultant if anything in the apartment is not up to par, that way they can pass the message along to the landlord or management company. If anything in the apartment needs to be replaced or repaired make sure the landlord does this before you move in that way you are not liable for the damages come the end of your lease.

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