Touring a model apartment can be an important factor in your decision to rent from a particular apartment complex. However, it’s important not to let the model impress you to the point where you make a decision on the spot. Consider a few other factors before you sign the rental agreement:
1. The Size
Most apartment complexes have multiple kinds of apartments available, such as one-bedroom apartments to as many as three- or four-bedroom apartments or amenities like in-apartment laundry versus no laundry. One type may have carpeting in most rooms and another may have hardwood or linoleum floors. Not every type of apartment will have a corresponding model apartment for you to tour, so be sure to consider whether the apartment you’d be leasing is bigger or smaller or has different amenities.
2. The Layout
Apartments may also share the same approximate size and types of amenities but have completely different layouts. If you like the window facing east in your bedroom, for example, don’t forget to consider that you may wind up with an apartment with a bedroom and window facing the opposite direction.
3. Potential Damages
A model apartment will be cleaned, repaired and set up to look as appealing as possible to potential renters. The apartment you rent may have minor structural damages, dirty carpets or flooring or other minor detractions. While your landlord will be under obligation to make the apartment livable, chances are it may not be as pristine and attractive as the model, especially if you’re moving into an older apartment complex.
4. What Your Furnishings Will Look Like
The landlord may arrange the model apartment with furnishings to create a sense of “home” when you tour the place. However, the landlord may also be skilled at choosing the right furnishings to make the place look larger than it is. You have to look beyond the furnishings that won’t be included with the apartment and look at the space. Picture your own furnishings in the apartment and where you’ll be able to fit it. (Remember that your own apartment may be smaller or larger than the model, too.) A roomy apartment may seem more cramped when you decorate the place yourself. If possible, ask if you can tour an empty apartment to help you look beyond the furnishings.
5. The Time of Day You Tour
If you tour a model during the middle of a weekday, you may not get an accurate picture of the noise that you’ll hear in the complex come the weekend when kids and pets are out to play or during rush hour when there’s a lot of traffic. Perhaps the noise from a concert hall tends to be heard in the complex at night. Try coming back to the model more than once at different times of day so you can get a more accurate picture of what it’s like to live there.
It may be possible for you to tour the actual apartment you’d be renting after a tour of the model apartment, but if it’s not, ask if it’s possible to see a few photos or for the landlord to disclose all differences and defects in the apartment.