Choose an Apartment: Monthly Rent vs. Location

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When it’s time to choose an apartment, you’ll have to weigh the amount you’ll be paying in rent against where you’ll be living. The best apartment location will often be more expensive, while a bad location can save you money. There are also hidden costs to consider before making your decision.

Crime Rate

If you’re living in a high crime location, this can cause your renter’s insurance rate to go up. While you’ll be paying a lower monthly rent, it can increase the cost of your monthly insurance premium. This can be partially offset by installing a deadbolt on your door and possibly a burglar alarm. Talk to your insurance company before moving into an apartment in a high crime area. Also, consider the potential costs you could incur if you do in fact get robbed, especially if you don’t carry renter’s insurance. Saving money on the rent might not be worth it if you end up having to replace your possessions.

Age of the Apartment Building

Find out the age of an apartment building if it’s in a bad location, and talk with your insurance company. If the building is made of older materials, this can also cause your insurance premiums to go up. Research whether the building was made with fire resistant materials, or if there are other potential hazards. Older buildings may still have fixtures in them that contain asbestos or lead, which can lead to health problems. If the landlord doesn’t know the answers to your questions, proceed with caution.

The Neighbors

You’ll tend to have more conflicts with your neighbors if your apartment building is in a bad location. While you’re there to save money on the monthly rent, many of your neighbors will be there because they couldn’t get into an apartment anywhere else. Expect noise problems, parties and perhaps even worse situations. Police departments in many cities keep track of how many times they’re called out to an apartment building in a given month or year. Check to see if there are a lot of noise complaints in your building. Is the amount you’ll save on rent worth sleepless nights because of partying or fighting neighbors?

Proximity to Job and Shopping

If you choose an apartment with a low monthly rent, it might not be as close to your job as you’d like. This can lead to a longer commute to and from work, which costs you both time and money. It might also take longer to get to the grocery store or other shops that you need to travel to on a regular basis. The money you’re saving on rent might not be worth it if it’s being eaten up by your gas tank each month. On the other hand, your apartment might be closer to your job and shopping, in which case it has even more savings potential.

These are some things to consider before rushing out to find the cheapest apartment available. You should choose an apartment that fits your needs, but also carefully weigh any potential hidden costs or hazards ahead of time.

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