Questions before moving into an apartment?

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What questions would you ask before signing up for a furnished apartment?
 

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Does she come with the appartment?
 
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Talk to the neighbors and see how noisy it is.
 
tgt
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Talk to the neighbors and see how noisy it is.
Does everyone prefer a quiet place? If so why?
 
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Does everyone prefer a quiet place? If so why?
Do you really want to listen to your neighbors jerk of a two year old running around in the apartment next to you making train noises? How about the people below you with surround sound that you can hear in the parking lot? I prefer peace and quiet. In fact, when I'm done with school, I think I'll buy a house so far away from people that nobody can possibly bug me :)
 
Moonbear
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Does everyone prefer a quiet place? If so why?
If you have to ask this, I suspect you might be the noisy neighbor. In that case, find a loud apartment building over a bar on a busy street where nobody will notice some extra noise and you can be as loud as you want.

Most normal people like to be able to hear themselves think though, and don't want their neighbor's choice in bad music forced upon them when they're trying to quietly study or sleep or have a conversation on the phone.
 
robphy
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Who lived there before? A smoker? A pet-owner?

Does the toilet flush? Bathtub drain?
Parking? Laundry?
Rent? Utilities?
 
tgt
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I prefer peace and quiet. In fact, when I'm done with school, I think I'll buy a house so far away from people that nobody can possibly bug me :)
Your plans are amazingly similar to my.
 
tgt
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If you have to ask this, I suspect you might be the noisy neighbor. In that case, find a loud apartment building over a bar on a busy street where nobody will notice some extra noise and you can be as loud as you want.

Most normal people like to be able to hear themselves think though, and don't want their neighbor's choice in bad music forced upon them when they're trying to quietly study or sleep or have a conversation on the phone.
On the contary. I asked because I thought I was the only one concerned about this issue. I am so obsessed about it that that is the only thing I seem to be concerned about. When I go to inspections, people probably think I am a bit strange just peering out the window all the time searching for all possible noise starters.

That is one reason why I prefer to live in a house where no walls are shared and with a large garden that surrounds the house in an extremely quiet avenue predominantly with other houses occupied by retired people.
 
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lisab
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It seemed like the dumps I lived in always had refrigerators that made annoying noises.

If you like quiet, don't make the mistake I did: my apartment manager knew I liked things quiet, so he let me live in a building that was mostly elderly people. Sounds great, right?

Well, turns out most elderly people can't hear worth a damn, and would have their TVs on FULL BLAST, all their waking hours.

Sigh.
 
tgt
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It seemed like the dumps I lived in always had refrigerators that made annoying noises.

If you like quiet, don't make the mistake I did: my apartment manager knew I liked things quiet, so he let me live in a building that was mostly elderly people. Sounds great, right?

Well, turns out most elderly people can't hear worth a damn, and would have their TVs on FULL BLAST, all their waking hours.

Sigh.
:rofl:

I have found that it's the air conditioners or ventilation units in large apartments that made huge amounts of noise. It must be a very old fridge to make such large noise.
 
Moonbear
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It seemed like the dumps I lived in always had refrigerators that made annoying noises.

If you like quiet, don't make the mistake I did: my apartment manager knew I liked things quiet, so he let me live in a building that was mostly elderly people. Sounds great, right?

Well, turns out most elderly people can't hear worth a damn, and would have their TVs on FULL BLAST, all their waking hours.

Sigh.
:rofl: Yeah, elderly neighbors are some of the worst. Where I live now is perfect, and what one should look for if they like quiet...young couples with small children (just not crying infants). They're past the partying age, get the kids to bed early and then are too tired to stay up late themselves, and at worst, you might once in a while hear a 4 year old squealing while playing, but compared to loud stereos and TVs and parties, that's really not that bad...and doesn't usually last very long either.

If that sounds a little too old and settled for you, you can also look for places that primarily advertise to graduate students or med students. Not as quiet as a more family oriented place, but they are usually the more serious students who only have time to party once in a while (and even then, you might get invited so won't care).

And, the other option is to look for apartments in smaller homes. Sometimes you can find a place where the owners have converted a second floor into a small apartment, or have a mother-in-law cottage behind their house that they rent out. The potential downside is that your landlord lives right next to you and the one night a year YOU want to have a loud party, they may give you a hard time about it. But, they can be a lot more attentive too, since they aren't trying to keep expenses down while maintaining huge blocks of apartments, but just want to keep their own property value up by promptly fixing any problems you might have.
 
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Try looking for a guest house that can be rented from an older person or couple.
 
Evo
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My older daughter's apartment was quiet until someone moved in under her that played loud crappy music and had the base up as high as possible, so inside her apartment was like living inside a drum BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Things shook, needless to say she moved out.

Since the apartment is furnished, be sure to try out all of the furniture and don't be afraid to pull off cushions and do a thorough check of everything. Make sure the couch doesn't have a piece of plywood under the cushions to hide the fact that it is broken, or even worse, when you sit down, it swallows you up and you end up with your knees on your chin, check the bed out thoroughly. I don't know about you, but I won't sleep on a bed covered with someone else's bodily fluids.
 
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Moonbear
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Since the apartment is furnished, be sure to try out all of the furniture and don't be afraid to pull off cushions and do a thorough check of everything. Make sure the couch doesn't have a piece of plywood under the cushions to hide the fact that it is broken, or even worse, when you sit down, it swallows you up and you end up with your knees on your chin,
:rofl: That reminds me of the sofa my aunt used to have! It was great fun as a kid, and I thought it was the best couch ever. :biggrin: My grandmother didn't agree, and everytime we all visited, would need someone to pull her out! :rofl:
check the bed out thoroughly. I don't know about you, but I won't sleep on a bed covered with someone else's bodily fluids.
:yuck: I think I'd want to have my own mattress. That, or get a really thick mattress pad to put between you and the mattress. I've never lived in a furnished apartment, so didn't even think about that!
 
tgt
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These days, furniture prices are decreasing but rent is increasing so furnished apartments might be less advantageous.
 
tgt
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:rofl: Yeah, elderly neighbors are some of the worst. Where I live now is perfect, and what one should look for if they like quiet...young couples with small children (just not crying infants). They're past the partying age, get the kids to bed early and then are too tired to stay up late themselves, and at worst, you might once in a while hear a 4 year old squealing while playing, but compared to loud stereos and TVs and parties, that's really not that bad...and doesn't usually last very long either.
Surely there are better alternatives? How about the single 40+? Or married 50+, no kids?
 
Moonbear
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Surely there are better alternatives? How about the single 40+? Or married 50+, no kids?
The 50+ starts getting into that hearing loss category MIH was talking about. I'm assuming you're fairly young if you're asking about apartments and laundry for the first time type stuff, so do you really want to live in a place where everyone is old enough to be your parents or grandparents? I prefer the young couples because they're quieter than the noisy college student type crowd, but still young enough to have something in common when I go out and talk to the neighbors (then again, that's mostly because I'm in denial that I'm getting closer to those other age categories you listed :biggrin:). I'm certainly not offering an all-inclusive list here. Mostly, if you like peace and quiet, avoid the apartments where a lot of college students (or similar age and relationship status non-students) live.

If things like noise from traffic would also bother you (for some this is more bothersome than for others), you might want to look into places where people are renting out an apartment in a house that's in a development off the main roads...maybe a quiet little neighborhood rather than large apartment complexes. Some of those don't even advertise in the papers, and certainly not in student papers. Those are the ones you find by driving around town and looking for "For Rent" signs in windows.
 
tgt
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The 50+ starts getting into that hearing loss category MIH was talking about. I'm assuming you're fairly young if you're asking about apartments and laundry for the first time type stuff, so do you really want to live in a place where everyone is old enough to be your parents or grandparents? I prefer the young couples because they're quieter than the noisy college student type crowd, but still young enough to have something in common when I go out and talk to the neighbors (then again, that's mostly because I'm in denial that I'm getting closer to those other age categories you listed :biggrin:). I'm certainly not offering an all-inclusive list here. Mostly, if you like peace and quiet, avoid the apartments where a lot of college students (or similar age and relationship status non-students) live.

If things like noise from traffic would also bother you (for some this is more bothersome than for others), you might want to look into places where people are renting out an apartment in a house that's in a development off the main roads...maybe a quiet little neighborhood rather than large apartment complexes. Some of those don't even advertise in the papers, and certainly not in student papers. Those are the ones you find by driving around town and looking for "For Rent" signs in windows.
Do you live in a house or apartment? Owned or rented? I guess it's hard for academics to own as they might move to different places but that's mostly for post docs? Do academics buy a house once they get a tenure? Is that the usual time academics buy houses?
 
Moonbear
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Do you live in a house or apartment? Owned or rented? I guess it's hard for academics to own as they might move to different places but that's mostly for post docs? Do academics buy a house once they get a tenure? Is that the usual time academics buy houses?
I currently rent a townhouse in a small complex just far enough from campus to avoid students, but have owned my own home before, and have rented plenty of apartments as well. I have nice quiet neighbors because this isn't the sort of complex to attract crazy students (a little higher priced than most students would take, but with some nice features in the place too, like a fireplace). I'm next to a small cattle ranch and behind a golf course, so the most noise I hear are cows mooing in the morning if I have my windows open (the building is well enough insulated that I don't hear outside sounds if the windows are closed). I'm only renting now because I took my current position right about at the peak of the housing market, so made a decent profit on my last house, but decided to wait out the fall in the market while renting (and also giving myself time to better learn the area and decide if I really wanted to stay here). It looks like housing prices are finally dropping here, but have by no means reached bottom, so I'll be starting to seriously look to buy over the winter to move in next summer...it may still not be fully at bottom, but I'm planning to stick around a while, so am just interested in buying when the prices for what I want in a house get into my price range. I'm starting to get bored of beige walls and want some property to plant a vegetable garden again.

I've lived in noisy apartments and quiet apartments too. There isn't always a lot you can go by to predict what will happen in apartments unless the neighbors have been living there a while and aren't likely to move soon. Otherwise, you never know when a noisy neighbor might move in. All landlords tell you they enforce the rules...not all actually do that when you complain. The best I can suggest, but it's never a sure-thing, is don't sign a lease until you've stood outside the building on a Friday or Saturday night and find out if there are tenants who throw loud, crazy parties. That's the noise you won't hear during the day when people typically show apartments.
 
tgt
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I currently rent a townhouse in a small complex just far enough from campus to avoid students, but have owned my own home before, and have rented plenty of apartments as well. I have nice quiet neighbors because this isn't the sort of complex to attract crazy students (a little higher priced than most students would take, but with some nice features in the place too, like a fireplace). I'm next to a small cattle ranch and behind a golf course, so the most noise I hear are cows mooing in the morning if I have my windows open (the building is well enough insulated that I don't hear outside sounds if the windows are closed). I'm only renting now because I took my current position right about at the peak of the housing market, so made a decent profit on my last house, but decided to wait out the fall in the market while renting (and also giving myself time to better learn the area and decide if I really wanted to stay here). It looks like housing prices are finally dropping here, but have by no means reached bottom, so I'll be starting to seriously look to buy over the winter to move in next summer...it may still not be fully at bottom, but I'm planning to stick around a while, so am just interested in buying when the prices for what I want in a house get into my price range. I'm starting to get bored of beige walls and want some property to plant a vegetable garden again.

I've lived in noisy apartments and quiet apartments too. There isn't always a lot you can go by to predict what will happen in apartments unless the neighbors have been living there a while and aren't likely to move soon. Otherwise, you never know when a noisy neighbor might move in. All landlords tell you they enforce the rules...not all actually do that when you complain. The best I can suggest, but it's never a sure-thing, is don't sign a lease until you've stood outside the building on a Friday or Saturday night and find out if there are tenants who throw loud, crazy parties. That's the noise you won't hear during the day when people typically show apartments.
So you still share walls with neighbours?

You seem to suggest you can predict property cycles? What makes you so talented?

I guess if you have a nice office of your own then you could do most of the work in there even on weekends and only use your home for sleeping.
 
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Moonbear
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So you still share walls with neighbours?
Yes, but they're well-insulated and I don't hear them.

You seem to suggest you can predict property cycles? What makes you so talented?
No talent required. That I sold at or near the peak was obvious...prices were high, but the market was just slightly slowing. I didn't know how long it would take to come back down, but was sure a big downswing was due, so waited. I'm just sitting back and watching right now. I've been tracking houses in the area and see them sitting for a year already and prices are dropping, but not quite low enough (there's still new construction going up even with houses not selling, so it's going to keep getting worse before it gets better). I'm not interested in tracking changes nationwide, just locally where I want to buy.

I guess if you have a nice office of your own then you could do most of the work in there even on weekends and only use your home for sleeping.
I have no intention of living in my office. If I need to resort to sitting in my office to get work done on weekends rather than being able to relax and do it at home, I'm moving. What a bizarre thing to suggest. Are you for real asking questions like that?
 
tgt
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I have no intention of living in my office. If I need to resort to sitting in my office to get work done on weekends rather than being able to relax and do it at home, I'm moving. What a bizarre thing to suggest. Are you for real asking questions like that?
I am a student so things may be more desparate for me. There is a good classroom in my uni where I stay to do work on weekends. You can't hear anything from the inside, except for people walking past the room which is rare on weekends. The place where I live, it's very easy to hear people talk around me.

Back to more general discussions of apartments, how essential is it to have the kitchen as a separete room. There is a nice studio where everything is in a single room, although the toilet is separate.
 
Moonbear
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Back to more general discussions of apartments, how essential is it to have the kitchen as a separete room. There is a nice studio where everything is in a single room, although the toilet is separate.
For a student, a studio is a great way to go. Usually it means an affordable place without needing to share with roommates (roommates can be as unpredictable as neighbors). Think of it as a step up from a dorm room. :biggrin:

I would suggest you get a nice privacy screen for the place, so if you do have guests, you can set up the screen and sort of divide the bed from the rest of the sitting area. Then again, when you're still a student, even that hardly matters...people are used to hanging out in dorm rooms and sitting on the bed anyway.

Honestly, you don't need much, nobody does. One's budget is the most important thing to consider, and then find what you can within that budget. I'd prefer a quiet studio over a noisy one-bedroom if that was my choice.

My suggestion would be to look into furniture that all has multiple functions, especially in terms of storage...for example, get a bed with drawers under it...or get a sleeper sofa or futon so you can get the bed put away when you have people over. Use something like a trunk for a coffee table, so you can store stuff in it, etc. That's the biggest limitation of a studio apartment is the lack of storage space, but with careful furniture selection, you can make up for it.
 
tgt
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For a student, a studio is a great way to go. Usually it means an affordable place without needing to share with roommates (roommates can be as unpredictable as neighbors). Think of it as a step up from a dorm room. :biggrin:

I would suggest you get a nice privacy screen for the place, so if you do have guests, you can set up the screen and sort of divide the bed from the rest of the sitting area. Then again, when you're still a student, even that hardly matters...people are used to hanging out in dorm rooms and sitting on the bed anyway.

Honestly, you don't need much, nobody does. One's budget is the most important thing to consider, and then find what you can within that budget. I'd prefer a quiet studio over a noisy one-bedroom if that was my choice.

My suggestion would be to look into furniture that all has multiple functions, especially in terms of storage...for example, get a bed with drawers under it...or get a sleeper sofa or futon so you can get the bed put away when you have people over. Use something like a trunk for a coffee table, so you can store stuff in it, etc. That's the biggest limitation of a studio apartment is the lack of storage space, but with careful furniture selection, you can make up for it.
I'm in a dorm room at the moment. It's good that the kitchen is separate so the room dosen't get stuffy. Have you lived in a place where the kitchen is in the same room as the bed and study desk? In other words, have you lived in a studio?

The studio is furnished and what's more it's actually a little 'house' at the back of a couple's house. They've got young kids just like you described, not too young as I saw a bike with training wheels. So no one to share the walls with. However, if the couple or kids go into the garden then noise can be heard.
 
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