Picking out an apartment in Roanoke, VA to call home can bring out the inner commitment-phobe in anyone. Once you sign a lease, you're locked in. That means the pressure is on to find something in your price range that won't come with unpleasant surprises in the future.
To help you out, renters have shared their best advice and tips.
Scope out the ratings
One thing to do when I'm apartment hunting is I check the ratings online to see what problems other people have had with the management or place. And If you go see a place in person, don't be afraid to ask people outside if they like living there. They'll tell you the truth.
Carry a charger to test the outlets
Bring a phone charger and plug it into all the main outlets, that way you can make sure they work. Some apartments have only one outlet in the bathroom and it doesn't work. It sounds like a minor inconvenience, but you may move that apartment further down on the list if you had known.
Check the cell phone signal
Even if you look like a crazy person, walk through every room and send a text. Not having cell service in certain parts of your house will make your life so much harder...no one likes having to get dressed and go outside to make a phone call.
Check the fridge
Always see if the fridge and window tracks are clean- that's a good indicator of how clean the apartment really is. And always get things in writing! It will make your life easier later on.
Be willing to move in the off months
You may find the best places when you look at "weird" times, like in September right after everyone in school has found their housing or in January when it's freezing and no one wants to think about moving.
Get renter's insurance
Get renter's insurance! Many renters don't have it because they don't know how cheap it is. It covers all computer, electronics and belongings for less than the price of a meal. Plus, you can usually roll it into your auto insurance if you have a car to make it even cheaper.