Think of searching for your first apartment as a treasure hunt. You have a goal in mind – you want a treasured place to call home, but you don’t quite know how you’re going to get there yet. There are clues you have to pick up on the way. The following tips will help give you clues to the apartment in Chico, Redding, or surrounding areas that is just right for you.
Only consider places you can afford
If you allow yourself to look at apartments in Chico or Redding that are out of your price range, then you’ll be tempted to compromise.
Take a look at your budget and decide on the minimum and maximum you’re willing to pay in rent and only tour the places that fall into that range. You don’t want to get stuck in a lease you can’t afford and with bills you can’t pay.
Know the amenities you can’t live without
Make a list of the amenities you would like your first apartment to have and the amenities you are willing to live without. For example, you're not willing to give up Fluffy, so it’s a must that you find a place that allows small pets. However, you’re willing to spend a day a week at the laundry mat or hauling it downstairs to the share laundry space, so you’re willing to compromise on not having an in-unit washer and dryer.
Choose a convenient location
You might have a certain area of Chico or Redding where you would like to live for a few different reasons, all of which probably go back to convenience. Maybe you want to be close to work so you don't have to fight any traffic. Maybe you would like to be close to public transportation because you take the bus often. Maybe you would like to be close to the park because you run there at least four times a week. Maybe you have young children so you don’t want to be on a busy street. Take a look at the general surroundings and check them out at different times during the day. This will give you an idea what the traffic is like and how tends to hang around.
Observe your surroundings
When you're touring your potential first apartment complex, pay attention to the environment around you. Ask yourself on first impression, do I feel safe here? Your gut will let you know.
Pay attention to the other people living in the complex. Do they look happy to live there? Are they friendly?
Take a look around and notice if there's plenty of lighting in the parking lot for when it's dark, clean landscaping, whether or not units need repair, and if the common areas are kept up. Also consider the buildings around you. You might feel safer in a residential neighborhood than somewhere that’s near bars or a homeless shelter.
These are just four tips that will give you clues to help you on your search for your first apartment in Chico, Redding or another area in Northern California.