From choosing a new location to picking out the decor, finding a new apartment is exciting. There are plenty of things you probably know that you want from your new apartment. However, even when you think you’ve found the perfect apartment, there are things you need to keep in mind.

Research the Area

The first thing to do when looking for an apartment for rent is carefully researching the area. Living in the city is different than living in the suburbs, and living in the suburbs is different than living in a college town. Doing research on the area ahead of time is a great way for you to know whether or not you want to move there.

Be sure to thoroughly look over the area before making a final decision. Consider things like demographics, economy, and crime rates as you do your research. If you belong to a church, look to see what denominations are predominate in the area and if there’s a congregation for you to attend. If you have certain health problems, it’s a good idea to find a home near a hospital or health facility.

Do an Amenity Check

The next step in the prioritization process is to take stock of what you have, want, and need. Other apartments may have more than the one you’re currently in, and there may be some things you currently have that you don’t want to lose.

Research what the apartment you’re interested in offers. A pool is nice, but air conditioning and access to public transportation may be more important. Don’t get distracted by flashier utilities and miss out on the more vital basics. Additionally, look to see if any of the amenities require an extra fee. You may sign the lease expecting a parking space only to find that a reserved spot costs extra.

Put Together a Budget

Moving is one of the most expensive investments anyone can make. From hiring a moving company to putting down the security deposit, it can be difficult trying to prioritize. Luckily, this is nothing a proper budget can’t fix.

Making a budget helps you see how much you can afford and makes it easier to keep your finances in order. However, this isn’t something that can be rushed. Creating a moving budget requires a lot of thought, so go over your finances carefully and determine what you’re going to need the most. You may have to save up for a couple months before you move, so do this early in the moving process. Note that you should be spending under 30 percent of your monthly income on housing.

Make the Necessary Compromises

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to make a few compromises as you create your apartment priority list. Maybe the apartment building is in a great area, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of amenities. Perhaps the apartment costs a little more than what you originally budgeted for. It’s likely that not everything on your priority list will come into fruition, so keep that in mind.

Figuring out your priorities is crucial when it comes to looking for an apartment. However, this isn’t something that can be rushed. You’ll need to really think about your needs and wants long before you sign the lease.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.