Finding a rental home can be a stressful process. Finding a suitable apartment can sometimes be like adding a part-time job to your already busy schedule. Searching through listings, touring spaces, and filling out applications takes up a lot of time. One thing you can do to shorten it, though, is to decide what type of space you’d like to rent. That way, you can disregard a large portion of the listings. Do you want a single-family home, an apartment/condo, or a townhome? Use this quiz to narrow down your search.
- Privacy – How much do you need? Think about a normal week for you. What are some of your activities? If you value quiet time in the afternoons, enjoy listening to loud music whenever you want, or workout in your living room by doing jumping jacks and other loud activities, you may want more privacy. If you’re gone a lot, perhaps you don’t mind having less privacy. Also, consider your feelings about how close to others you’d like to be. Some people enjoy the safety in numbers.
- I value privacy a lot.
- It’s not a huge deal, but I wouldn’t mind having some privacy.
- I don’t mind living near others at all.
- Responsibility – How much are you ready for? Are you prepared to take on extra space and extra duties? Would you rather have most of your utilities grouped together into one payment, and not have to shovel the sidewalk or mow the grass? Or, are you ready to keep track of bills and be responsible for the appearance of your yard and sidewalk?
- I’m ready to take on any responsibility I need to.
- I could probably take on a little more…I know how to shovel sidewalks.
- I’m not ready! I’d rather have somebody do all of that for me.
- Amenities – What do you really want to have in your building? Some rentals might have a workout facility, a pool, a rooftop deck, tennis courts, or other such things.
- I could care less. I’m sure there will be a gym and a public pool close by anyway.
- I wouldn’t mind sharing a pool with some other buildings, but I don’t really care.
- I want everything I can get! I won’t have the money for my own treadmill anytime soon.
- Rules – How many rules are you willing to follow? Are you okay with having to be quiet at night, being mindful of your noise level during the day, and not do laundry at night, along with some other possible rules?
- I’m not really much for rules. I just want to live the way I want.
- I’m okay with a rule or two. They’re for the good of us all, right?
- Give me all you want! I’m fine with any noise restrictions and other such rules.
Mostly A’s – You’re ready for a single-family home. They usually involve more responsibility than an apartment, as you’ll probably have a yard, some extra spaces, and possibly a sidewalk to keep clean. However, you don’t have to listen to what’s happening in the next apartment through your wall, and you can play your music at midnight if you want. It’s also possible that you’ll have amenities to pay for on separate bills rather than one lump payment, but this varies by landlord.
Mostly B’s – A townhome is right for you. You value a little bit of privacy, but you’re okay with dealing with a rule or two to keep your neighbors happy. These usually feel more homey than an apartment, as you typically have a whole home that’s bordered on only one side by another home. Depending on your landlord, you may have some lawn space to take care of as well. Some townhome complexes or villages also have added shared amenities, like a swimming pool or tennis courts.
Mostly C’s – Stick with an apartment. You don’t have to worry about the lawn, the sidewalk, or the parking lot, as they’re all taken care of for you. Your rent and utilities are typically bundled into just a couple easy-to-manage payments, and many apartment or condo buildings have shared amenities, such as laundry, a pool, fitness equipment, or other such things. You’ll sometimes hear what your neighbors are up to next door, but if that doesn’t bother you much, then an apartment is right for you.
Jolissa D. writes for Gassen Companies, specializing in property management and maintenance for your HOA or Community Association.