This week’s post is a little out of the ordinary.
Due to recent events, I have become inspired to write about important things you need to look out for when moving into a new place.
Sometimes, it can take time to really check all the items we need off a list. However, when the deal is long term, it is important to know your health (and anxiety) are not at stake.
1. CRACKS IN THE CEILINGS OR WALLS
This one might be a bit obvious, but come on… more often than not we are willing to overlook a few cracks in exchange for the cute overlook onto the garden. No, ma’am. Be sure this sign is not indicating to you that the house is in need of more than a little TLC. Ask questions!
2. STANDING WATER
Be sure to take a good look around the backyard (if there is one) and then around the perimeter of the home. Standing water = bugs… and not the fun lady kinds. Mosquitos, flies, etc. Know how much work its going to take you to prevent these pesky critters.
Flush the toilet, run the water in the sink, check the hose outside… be sure you’ve got good pressure. If the pressure is low, there could be a bigger problem i.e. the plumbing, which could lead to bigger problems down the road.
4. AIR FILTER
In the Texas springs and summers, we all know how important it is to consistently change the air filters in our homes. Before you move in, be sure you have a place for the filter. Most homes do, but I have recently come across places that have a major air filter problem. Don’t let allergens have the chance to build up without any respite!
5. THE LEASE
Read, read, read, my friends. My current apartment manager was annoyed I took the time to read my lease, but boy am I glad. When I re-signed, he had put in the wrong time frame for my stay; he had me down for an entire year when I only signed on for six months! Don’t let a typo get in the way of you understanding your responsibilities as the tenant or owner. READ THE FINE PRINT and be sure you get a copy.
6. NEW LOCKS
Negligence is more prominent in the renting and leasing world than I anticipated. Be sure when you move in, that you are getting the first and only set of keys for the locks in your home. You don’t want some “used to be tenant” coming in randomly looking for that really important item they left. Nip it in the bud.
Man, oh, man… be sure you know when the flooring was last replaced and or refurnished. 10 year old carpet most likely means that more people’s skin, hair, nails, and all kinds of other gifts are left right under your feet. Ask questions: How long has it been since the floors have been replaced? What kind of damage are you responsible for if there is a flood or leak that ruins it?
All of the previous items have come to one critical part of your move in: INSPECTION. I’d like to think that each renter cares about the well-being of his tenants… WRONG! They want money. They want a consistent check from you, and that’s about it. Be sure you are covered if, God forbid, anything major happens during your stay. If things are already in a chaotic state, at least you have paper to prove it.
9. RENTER’S INSURANCE
Get in touch with your insurance company and be sure you are covered. Also be sure your coverage covers YOU and not just the paper pushers “managing” your stay. It’s not a lot and some companies will give you a discount if you already have auto, life, or any other insurance policies with them.
There is an endless list of things to keep on the lookout, but hopefully this provides you with a good start.