Moving home can be equal parts exciting and stressful, so it helps to have some points to refer to when considering a new home to make the entire process a lot easier. This list includes some things you may not have even thought about, or could serve as a reminder about important factors that are sometimes overlooked. Before committing to a new property, make sure you take a look at our five things to consider when choosing a new home.
Can I redecorate?
When moving into a rental property, you may not be permitted to redecorate, so you need to ask the landlord first if the current décor isn’t to your liking. It is convenient to move to a place that doesn’t need to be redecorated, as this will save you time and money, so do consider this when viewing potential properties. Should everything else is perfect, but you do want to redecorate and the landlord is happy to allow it, remain within your budget by doing it yourself. If you’ve been asking yourself What Can You Do With An Interior Design Degree, now is your time to shine, but if, as is likely, you don’t possess quite that level of expertise, you can still get some great DIY design tips online.
Are there any pests?
Unfortunately, if the previous residents weren’t the cleanest, or the landlord hasn’t kept on top of pest control, you could find yourself living with some unwanted housemates. Termites, cockroaches, and rodents can all be potential problems, so ensure you ask if a thorough pest inspection has been carried out on the property recently. You certainly don’t want to be left with the bill should you move in only to find there is a pest problem, so address the matter while you view properties.
What is included?
This can relate to furniture and bills, and you should have written confirmation of what is staying in the property, and what utilities, if any, are included in the rent. Also ask about any hidden fees such as maintenance of outside areas. Not all landlords are immediately transparent about costs and you don’t want to sign on that dotted line without knowing precisely what you are paying for. Likewise, there may be some stunning furniture in the property when you view it, only for it to disappear when you move in.
Can I bring my own furniture?
When an apartment is leased as furnished, you may find that the landlord doesn’t want any other furniture brought into the property for insurance reasons. Ensure you clarify this before accepting the lease so you aren’t in fear of breaking any tenancy agreements when you move in with your own furniture.
Who is responsible for maintenance of communal areas?
Ideally, the property owner, or an apartment superintendent, will be responsible for communal areas, including the cleaning of hallways, stairs and elevators, and lighting replacements. However, this isn’t the case in all buildings, so double check what areas you are responsible for, including the area immediately outside your apartment.
Contributed by: Greg Clarke Expert Real Estate Agent serving Vernon and Kelowna