- Check the air conditioner (and heater if there is one) to make sure they work on all settings. Unusual sounds or smells might mean it needs a filter change, or it could be another issue.
- If your rental has a fireplace, make sure it works.
- Make a note of any particular scents you smell, like cigarette smoke, pet odor, or even moldiness. If the smell is bothersome enough, ask management about it. You might be able to request a thorough cleaning of the living space before you move in.
- Do a safety check for a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher. If these aren’t located in your rental, you’ll need to buy (and possibly install) them yourself. Also, ask whether or not the complex has a fire safety plan (and tornado safety plan if the rental is in a tornado-prone area). You need to know where to go in case of an emergency.
- If your rental has a laundry facility, ask where it is, then visit the facility. Make sure it is within a favorable distance and is in a safe area. Also, make sure their washers and dryers are all in working order.
- Check for proper lighting on the property, especially in the parking areas, as well as external hallways (if your rental has any).
- Make sure the overall parking is adequate. You should be able to get in and out of parking spaces without much of a problem.
- If your potential rental happens to have security gates, make sure they’re in working order.
- If it’s possible, visit the housing or apartment complex during both the day and night, and do it on both a weekday and weekend. It will give you an idea of what you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis. You’ll know ahead of time how much noise you’ll be dealing with, as well as how safe the neighborhood is.
Note any and all current and potential issues you find and bring them up with the landlord before signing the lease. Get details on the security deposit and take care of any necessary repairs.
After you visit your potential home (and also before you sign the lease), find and read reviews about your building. It will give you some insight into any maintenance problems or other management issues that you could be dealing with in the future should you choose to live there.
You’ve finally found the rental home you want to live in, and you’re ready to move in. But before you sign your lease, you need to do a walk-through. Here’s what to remember.
- Do a walk-through of the actual apartment you’ll be living in, not the model. You need to know what’s wrong (and what’s right) with your potential living space before you move into it.
- Use your cell phone or a camera to take photos of any visible damage or other problems. Use flash when necessary (or use a flashlight if your flash feature isn’t working). These photos will be proof if and when you decide to sign the lease.
- Check the front door locks when you’re walking in. If they seem faulty, speak with management and discuss replacing them. Make sure to get a key for each lock. Also make sure the front door is properly sealed.
- Check the other doorknobs to see if they are indeed secure. They might need to be fixed or replaced.
- Look for any cracks, holes, stains, dents, chipping, peeling, as well as signs of mold, mildew and other water damage on or in the floors, walls and even the ceiling.
- Look for proof of a bug or rodent infestation. This includes holes, chew marks and small droppings.
- Play a little with the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom areas. (You might want to turn on the shower as well.) Take notice of the water pressure, whether or not there is hot water, and any weird sounds coming from the pipes.
- Flush the toilet in each bathroom to make sure they flush properly and don’t have potential flooding issues.
- Check the bathroom mirror for any discoloration or cracking, and check to see that the medicine cabinet and any additional drawers open and shut properly.
- Make sure your kitchen pantry and drawers open and close without any issues.
- If your rental comes with a refrigerator and any appliances, check each of them out (and turn on if necessary) to make sure they meet your needs and standards.
- Go in every room and flip each light switch.
- Bring your phone charger and plug it into different outlets around the rental. Make sure the outlets are working.
- Make sure your windows have screens. If not, and you choose to move in, screens will need to be put in. Also open and shut the blinds, as well as any and all windows in the rentals. If you can’t easily open or shut a window, it could be a problem in the future, particularly for safety reasons (such as fumes or fire safety).
Are you looking for a place to live off-campus, but have no idea where to begin? You’re excited to be more on your own, but also dreading the whole process because you’ve never done it before. You might have help from parents, grandparents or friends, but could also be doing it alone, which is great! We agree that it can be scary and daunting, that’s why we at Comb’s Properties compiled a list that we recommend you check out while looking for a place to live.
Choosing a place to live that is safe is of the utmost importance when searching for a place you’re going to live for at least a year. Talk to students who are older than you to see where they live. The office of student life at your University should have information for you also. Last but not least do research on the Internet. CrimeReports is a great resource for you to figure out which places are safe and which aren’t. This tool helps residents or potential residents see where crime is happening in their neighborhood.
Signing a Lease
Be careful when signing a lease. This is not something to take lightly. Many students simply sign a lease without looking the document over or asking questions about it. If you aren’t sure about something get your parents, a lawyer, someone you trusts’ opinion and if everything looks good, then sign it. A lot of landlords can take advantage of you because you are young and have not done this before.
Roommates are great because they enable you to live cheaper and if you are living with friends that could be a lot of fun. However it’s important to have open communication between everyone or things could get a little rough. For instance taking about cleaning, paying rent, and sharing central living spaces beforehand could help you out in the long run. Coming up with a set of house rules and enforcing them would be the best way to go about this.
This is a very short list of items to consider when looking for a place to live off campus and there is obviously a lot to think about. We do this every day and have a lot of experience with it. If you have any questions, reach out to us! We are happy to help and we might have a property that you just might be interested in.
It doesn’t matter the reason that you are moving or looking for a new place to live—the bottom line is that you will need to find a roof and four walls. In the Portales and Clovis areas of New Mexico, there are many different housing options, depending on your needs and budget.
But beware, not all of the real estate is the same, and even homes right next to each other in the same neighborhood could have different values of thousands and thousands of dollars.
It all starts with what you need. Are you traveling to New Mexico and are only planning on staying a short amount of time? Do you attend the university, have to travel because of the military, are you working at the hospital? Temporary housing is a far better alternative to living in a hotel or cramped unit.
Combs’ properties has the corporate rentals that will make you feel like you are truly home, not on some endless work assignment. When you factor in the total costs, including laundry and the ability to cook, corporate rentals make financial sense as you can save a lot more money.
Are you currently looking to buy a home but you are not sure if you can get the financing you need? For starters, Combs’ Properties can help you with 1031 real estate options. No sense in paying excess taxes when you can put those tax dollars towards your home. Build equity the right way—with the money that you have already made.