Real Estate Blog

Helpful Tips When Searching for an Apartment

Are you going to Valencia College?

One of the important tasks high school graduates get busy with after graduation is submitting application to colleges and universities they wish to go to. Some will choose colleges or universities within their place of residence so that there will be no need to be away from home. Others would choose universities or colleges that offer the degree course they want to take. And sometimes, that would mean leaving home with a successful college application.

Valencia College, the third-largest member institution of the Florida College System has earned the award as top community college in the United States in 2011 by The Aspen Institute. And this could be a reason why it’s a popular choice among numerous students bound for college. Valencia College operates five campuses within the Orange County and Osceola County.

Coming from a far distance from Valencia College, you will most likely have to look for an apartment that is in close proximity to the Winter Park campus. This can be exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because you are venturing out on your own for the first time, and scary because you have no clue as to how you will manage your first step to independence.

There are a few renting tips and suggestions students like you should consider as you start your search for your first ever apartment. These are the following:

1. Search in Advance

Fact is there are thousands of other students doing the same thing as you – apartment scouting. And while there are numerous Valencia College apartments listed on the internet, or newspaper ads, the competition might leave you to the left-over choice. As early as summer, you can start listing out potential picks and make inquiries via email so that you get your information right.

2. Make an Effort to Visit up to Five Apartments

You may have received a reply from the Apartment manager through email but that does not really show you what kind of facilities they have or the actual condition or state of the apartment itself. Since it’s summer, you can make a trip to Winter Park to check out your top five apartments in the area.

3. Make a Checklist for Viewing Apartments

You should prepare a checklist of what you want in an apartment and check against the list when you view the apartments. You can consult your parents about what to look for in an apartment if you are clueless. Things like plumbing, electrical, appliances provided, day time and night time noise level, lighting system, and security provisions are some of the issues you need to check in the apartment you are viewing.

4. Prepare a List of Questions for the Apartment Manager

During your visit, you can gather information about the apartment through a list of questions you can ask the apartment manager. You would want to know:

  • Who is responsible for busted lamps, peeled paint or broken windows or if there are major repairs needed?
  • What are their restrictions - are pets allowed? Can you paint the walls with a new color?
  • If they provide security.
  • If there is restriction on the number of people who will live in the apartment.

5. Be Prepared to Give a Deposit

Because of competition, you might be required to leave a deposit to secure your claim on the desired apartment. And have someone in mind as a co-signer who can be ready to co-sign the lease contract.

6. Have the Lease Contract Reviewed by Your Parents

Your parents have been through the process so they know if the apartment owner is including too many conditions that are only favorable to them. Sometimes these conditions are cleverly hidden through “wordy phrases”. But these one-way favorable conditions are easily seen by those with experience on this kind of transactions.

When you’ve done all these, you are well on your way to living in your first ever apartment. 

Cedric Loiselle is a passionate writer who takes pleasure in sharing useful information about real estate options to those who need it. 

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