Virtual apartment tours have been on the rise since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, proving much safer than physically moving from one location to another and potentially spreading germs.
A virtual apartment tour allows a leasing agent to take you through the ins and outs of a potential unit. Good tour guides will also take time to answer any questions you may have about the apartment and the surrounding community. But since this is the place you could be spending the bulk of the forseeable future, it’s important to pose relevant questions and make sure you’ve covered all the bases before agreeing to anything long-term.
If nothing else, make sure you ask these 11 questions on every virtual apartment tour:
Would You Send More Photos?
Most property agents post very attractive, enticing photos of vacant apartments online. However, some key areas of these units are often intentionally not included in the photos, such as the sinks, toilets, and kitchen pantry. Other agents edit their images before including them in the gallery. For these reasons alone, it’s best to ask for real images of every corner of the unit you’re viewing. Make sure you’ve seen every part of the apartment upfront to avoid disappointment later down the road.
If there’s an area of a unit you’d like to see some improvements done to, mention it to the agent so that the necessary changes can be made if possible.
How’s the Cell Service?
It’s pretty much impossible to test this one out from a distance. You’ll therefore have no choice but to ask your tour guide to give you information on the strength of the available cell signal and nearby providers. This is very important, especially if you plan on working from home.
Where Can I Set Up a Home Office?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced unprecedented levels of people to work remotely. If this trend continues, you’re going to wish you had a decent place to be productive in your apartment. To avoid getting frustrated when you have to work from home but no place to work from, double check with the landlord that there’s at least a small section of the unit where you can easily set up a home office.
How’s the Water Pressure?
This may sound very irrelevant, but it’s actually a very important question. This is because it can be very frustrating to do things like wash dishes or shower with nothing but low-pressure water. Ask the landlord to turn on the water during your virtual apartment tour and see if the pressure’s to your liking.
Can I See the Inside of the Oven?
This not only helps you inspect the cleanliness of the oven, but also gives you a better idea of the size of the kitchen around it. Does the oven take up too much space when it opens? Does the door bump into anything? Questions like these go a long way towards determining whether a kitchen meets your needs.
Can I See the Parking Situation?
This will help you estimate how far the parking is from your home. It’ll also help you know whether you’ll actually be able to see your car from the comfort of your apartment – which is especially important when it comes to safety and security.
How Close is the Nearest Major Highway or Public Transit Stop?
This is a critical question, especially if you plan on commuting to school or work. Being close to highways and public transit stops will usually make your life a lot less stressful. Plus, this question also helps you know whether to expect noise from moving trains or cars in the area.
How Close is the Nearest Restaurant and Grocery Store?
Who doesn’t want to live in a place where they can easily walk to the grocery store to replenish something like sugar when it’s all out? This question will help you estimate how long it’ll take you to go to the nearest store or restaurant when walking and driving.
Can I See the Storage Spaces?
Can all your belongings fit in the apartment’s available storage space? Ask the manager or landlord to show you spaces like the closets and kitchen cupboards. Ask for the measurements to be even more accurate.
Which Internet Provider Do You Recommend?
Many companies are now opting to allow their employees to work from home even after the pandemic. To make sure you’re prepared for this as soon as you move in, ask the landlord to put you in touch with some companies you can contact to connect you to the internet.
Do the Windows Open?
It can be very disappointing to move into a house only to realize the windows don’t work. Ask the person taking you through the tour to open all windows so that you can check whether they’re all in good condition.
Virtual apartment tours are quickly becoming the new normal for viewing properties, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Stick to the questions above, and you’re sure to find the perfect unit in no time.