What To Look For When Moving: An Apartment Hunting Guide

What To Look For When Moving: An Apartment Hunting Guide

Moving to a new apartment is an opportunity to welcome a breath fresh air into your life, from new furniture to a new drive to take to work. While this time in your life is exciting, it can also be fraught with uncertainty for what your apartment will bring.

Signing a lease can be a six month or year commitment, and breaking a lease is costly and does not reflect kindly on your rental history. If you choose the wrong place to live or don’t ask the right questions you may be left stuck with a place that doesn’t fit the life you want to live.

Are you wondering what you should ask before you start searching for your apartment? Keep reading and follow our apartment hunting guide to get some direction.

Location, location, location

Location is one of the most important attributes to consider when looking for a new apartment. The average commute time for Americans is 25.4 minutes, which means that the average time you spend going to and from work is nearly an hour each day. If you have the opportunity, wouldn’t you rather be somewhere that could cut that commute time significantly?

You can shorten your commute by starting your apartment search with places that are within a reasonable radius of your job. Use Google Maps to approximate your commute, then time it out when you actually go to tour the apartment. Consider going to the new apartment after you get off work to see what the rush hour traffic could look like — a 20 minute commute may really be a 45 minute commute if traffic gets backed up every day.

While your commute is important, so are nearby amenities. It’s possible that you will change jobs during your time living in your apartment, so if you choose it solely for the commute time you may end up getting disappointed by what’s left. Think about your hobbies — are you a sports fan, musical fanatic or devoted gardener? Your new place of residence should allow you to explore your hobbies and develop new interests without having to drive across town to find something to do.

The state of the apartment

When you arrive to tour the apartment, you should be checking every nook and cranny to ensure that all necessary appliances and fixtures are in safe, working condition. Once you sign your lease, you may be left stuck trying to deal with apartment issues that could have easily been avoided.

As you look around, check for these signs of disrepair:

  • Pipes. Are there any signs of leaks? Does there appear to be rust in the water?
  • Walls. How thin are the walls? Can you hear the TV on in another room? Are the walls insulated well?
  • Windows. Are there cracks in the windows? Do they open and close properly? Do the windows lock?
  • Closets. Do the closets have plenty of space? Have the closets been maintained well?
  • Water. Is the water pressure strong in both the shower and faucets? Do all faucets work?

Safe and sound

Feeling safe and secure in your home is a necessity to live a happy life. Being constantly on edge about where you live will lead you to dread being home and hate where you live. As you explore apartments, make sure that all proper safety equipment is installed. Every apartment should have carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. These are baseline pieces of equipment that can raise a red flag if they are not supplied.

Be sure to ask the manager about their safety policies. Is there a PIN or a gate that protects your apartment from the outside world? If it has a parking lot, is there a safety patrol? If a crime does happen, what is their reporting process like? The manager should be able to answer your questions quickly and clearly with all of the information you need.


Are you looking for an apartment that offers a downtown lifestyle with plenty of amenities?

Contact Springfield Lofts. Our loft apartments offer style and safety while keeping you close to the pulse of downtown Springfield MO.