It’s always fun to tour a new apartment complex in anticipation of a move. The leasing consultants are usually attractive, charismatic people with broad smiles. They always make a complex seem like a great place to live. But, like most sales people, they “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” As a prospective tenant, you have just a few minutes to judge the suitability of a complex on your tour. Some of the best property websites in Singapore also make a claim to check these things out.
Sometimes it helps to force yourself to focus on little things you see on an apartment tour that will tell you a lot about a complex. Here are ten things you might want to note when you tour an apartment complex.
- Gate, Cameras, and Fencing. If you are going to live in an urban area or a suburban edge city, you are going to want to note the security measures that are in place. Does the complex have gates? Do they work day and night? Are they monitored by security cameras? Is there a fence around the complex? When you get home, you’ll have to compare the security measures you see to the crime reports you read about.
- Appliance Brand and Condition. Next, you’ll want to notice the appliances. Are they from a trusted brand name? Are they new or simply repainted with appliance paint or re-faced with replaceable panels? Not all apartment upgrades are the same.
- Mail Boxes. Are the mail boxes in a secure location? Are they inside the gates? Are they well lit? Can you park near them and retrieve your mail safely at night? Are there plenty of package lockers?
- Cars in Parking Lot. Are the cars in the parking lot consistent with the car you drive? Do you see the cars of professional people? Are commercial vans and work trucks allowed? What about boats and trailers? Do any cars have custom rims, lowered suspensions, big fins, and dark window tinting? If so, they might also have big, window-rattling sub-woofers. Also look to see that your parking lots will be adequately lit. You can learn quite a bit about a complex simply by observing the parking lot.
- Dog Potty Stations. Do you have a pet? Does the complex have dog potty stations? Are they located close to convenient dog walking areas? Are they stocked with plastic bags so that you can easily clean up after your dog?
- Window Screens. Are the screens on windows in good condition? Do the screens have rips or gaps that could let in bugs? Are they falling off the building? Do you see apartments where residents are keeping doors or windows open without screens? Every tenant must do his duty in the war against pests. Functional window screens are an indicator of whether the complex is serious about pest control or not.
- Bugs. Do you see bugs on any point in your tour? Are they dead or alive? If you see live bugs in the model apartment, what does that say about their pest control?
- Trash Compactor. What does the area around the trash compactor or dumpsters look like? Is it overflowing or messy? Do you see rat traps or other vermin control measures in place? At most good apartment complexes, groundskeepers or maintenance staff check the trash compactors and dumpsters regularly to ensure that they are not messy.
- Pedestrians. Are you comfortable with the people you see in your prospective new apartment complex? You’ll be smelling their cooking, hearing their domestic squabbles, and hearing their stereos for a long time once you’ve signed your lease. Are the workmen on site clearly identifiable, professional looking, and working with a purpose?
- Landscaping. Are the grounds well kept? Are the lawns cut and edged? Are they using lots of vines as cheap ground cover? Does your future habitat look like rat, snake, and possum habitat? Look for mud, dirt, pine straw, or bark on walkways and breezeways. It could indicate that the area has a drainage problem and floods during heavy rain.