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Finding a home can be difficult if you aren’t sure what to check for. Check out this guide on what to look for during an apartment walkthrough.

Imagine this: you’ve just bought or rented the perfect dream apartment, and it has everything you want. It’s located in the neighborhood you’ve always wanted to live in, the windows let in just the right amount of light, it has all the appliances you need so you don’t have to buy more.

But a couple of days into having moved into your new apartment, you start noticing problems. Maybe half of the electrical outlets don’t work. Or maybe there’s a serious structural issue.

This is why, when you’re finding a home, you need to know what to look for when doing the walkthroughs of the different apartments you’re considering.

This way, you can avoid having any problems after you’ve already bought your home and moved in.

In this article, we’ll cover all the things you need to look for during an apartment walkthrough.

That way, you’ll find the right home for you without any problems, and finally, move into an apartment that feels like home. Read on to learn more.

Walls

One of the most important parts of the apartment you need to look at when doing your walkthrough is its walls. You should look for structural holes or cracks. Additionally, look for any evidence of leaks, especially in the areas around vents and windows.

If you find any of these issues, make a note of them. That way, your property manager can know that these are pre-existing issues.

In addition to these wall issues, observe the paint on the walls. It should have been done professionally, without any chips or drips. Additionally, be sure that paint colors are consistent and complementary throughout the apartment.

Kitchen

When you’re house hunting, you need to make sure the kitchen is working properly. This way, you won’t have a big home improvement project you’ll have to pay for once you’ve moved in. To start with, you should check that the oven is working properly.

It needs to turn on, first of all. Additionally, the interior and burners should be clean. You’ll also want to check that the light and fan work on the range hood.

Next, you should check the freezer and fridge. Are they both cold? Is there no ice build-up in the freezer? If the answer to these questions is yes, this means these appliances are probably working properly.

Open up the dishwasher and look inside. Does it look clean? Additionally, check to see that it turns on.

Once you’ve done this, open and close the drawers and cabinets. Are any of them sticking? Check for scratches and chips.

Finally, take a look at the sink. Make sure that it drains correctly. Notice whether the faucet leaks. Look for any issues such as mold growth. If there’s a garbage disposal, make sure it works, too.

Bathroom

When you go into the bathroom, there are several things you should include on your inspection checklist. Whether you’re looking for a home at The Fountains Apartments or elsewhere, here’s what you need to do when checking out these rooms in your new potential home.

First of all, you want to make sure it’s clean. A bathroom that isn’t clean will be more difficult to check for issues such as water damage and mold. Check for these too, while you’re at it.

Test out the faucets, making sure they all work. Additionally, don’t forget to test the water pressure and how hot the water gets. You’ll also want to check the drains, both the one in the sink and the one in the shower.

Next, check the shower, bathtub, and sink for missing grout or cracked tiles. Check that all the light fixtures are working, too.

Check the pipes around the sink and toilet. Note if any of them are leaking. You’ll also want to check for any damp areas. Make sure that the toilet flushes normally and the fan turns on.

Finally, open the medicine cabinet to make sure the door works properly.

Fire Safety

Check the fire safety of the building by getting a confirmation that the carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors work both in the apartment and in the building. Additionally, do a walkthrough of the whole building, where you check for:

  • Fire alarms
  • Sprinklers
  • Emergency exits

Once you’ve done this, ask about the building’s evacuation plan. Be sure that it’s easy to get to the safe evacuation area. If you’re moving into an apartment that’s located in a highrise or midrise building, ask about the location of the staircases.

Electrical Outlets

Before you move into your home sweet home, you should check the electrical outlets during your apartment walkthrough. Check every single plug to make sure that it works. Bring something small with you, such as a nightlight, so it’s easy to do this.

When checking electrical outlets, check to see if you smell a burning smell.

You should also check visually for cracks in the electrical outlet covers and burns around the electrical outlets.

Security

If you buy a home but it’s easy to break into, then you’re at risk and your expensive items are, too. For this reason, you should check that all the locks are working properly. You should also ask about the security system and make sure it’s functioning.

Laundry Room

You might have found the perfect apartment—but does it have the right laundry facilities you need? Ask if there’s a laundry room somewhere in the building, and, if so, go downstairs to make sure the appliances work.

Check to see if the lighting works in the room, too. Additionally, ask about regular maintenance.

What happens if the washer and dryers stop working or there’s a blackout that affects them? You should also ask about safety features. For example, maybe there’s a swipe card system for getting into the room.

This way, you can be sure that only residents of the building have access to the laundry room.

If there are laundry appliances in the apartment itself, make sure they’re working. Additionally, ask about any warranties that come with them and how fast someone can come in to fix them if you have any problems.

AC and Heating

It can be easy to overlook whether the AC and heating are working if you come in on a mild day to check out the apartment. However, you don’t want to end up unexpectedly too hot or cold later in the year. Test the AC and heating in different parts of the house.

Additionally, ask what type of HVAC system there is and whether it’s been repaired or upgraded recently. You’ll also want to make sure that the thermostat reading is accurate.

If there’s a radiator or window unit, check that it works properly, too.

Cable Hookups and Internet

Check that all the fiber optic, Internet, and cable outlets aren’t blocked, are available in parts of the apartment where you’ll need to access them, and are in good condition. If the apartment comes with a satellite dish, make sure it’s secure.

Additionally, check for any holes or leaks around the area where the unit connects. You might also want to try out the speed of the Internet by connecting your phone to it.

Lights and Fan Switches

When walking through your potential new home, turn on all the lights and fan switches. Check to see if any of the lights flicker when you turn them on. Then turn them off and on again to make sure that they work every time.

You’ll also want to check for burn marks or cracks. If any of the fixtures are high up, ask that the light bulbs be replaced before you move in.

Shades, Blinds, and Curtains

Inspect all the shades, blinds, and curtains for holes or damage. Also, close and open them to make sure that they’re working and easy to move. You’ll also want to make sure that they match the paint and decor of the apartment.

Check for discoloration, too.

Windows and Doors

Open and close the apartment windows. If they get stuck or don’t open at all, then this is a problem. You should also make sure that they lock since you want them to be secure. If there are screens, make sure they aren’t damaged.

When you close them, make sure they close tight. Otherwise, you might end up with a slightly higher A/C or heating bill down the line.

You should also check the doors for potential drafts or leaks. Take a look at the insulation, and determine whether there are any brittle areas or cracks.

If there are any cracks through which you see light coming through, this is a sign of poor insulation.

Flooring

Inspect all the carpets and floors, including in corners and in areas behind furniture. When you do this, check for holes or stains. You should also get onto the floor and check for strange smells, such as those associated with pets.

Tug at the edges of the floorboards and carpeting. This way, you can see if they come up more easily than they should.

You should also check for flooring nails that haven’t been installed properly. It could be painful to step on these by accident after moving in!

The Ceilings

When doing the walkthrough of your potential future apartment, it can be easy to forget to look up and check the ceilings. Look up to check for any water damage signs, such as brown spots or bubbling paint. Speaking of paint, you’ll also want to be sure the paint job is professional.

Overall Cleanliness

If you think that an unclean apartment is something you can fix yourself after moving in, that isn’t the case at all. Sure, a little grime here and there isn’t a problem. But if the apartment you’re checking out isn’t overall clean, this can cause problems.

An unclean apartment can hide a larger problem: an infestation of some kind. When you’re doing your walkthrough, check for insect eggs and little brown pellets.

These can be signs of the presence of rodents, roaches, or other insects.

When checking for these signs, look for them around utility wires and plumbing, near the bathtub, and in gaps within walls. Check every nook and cranny, too.

If you’re checking out a furnished apartment, check that all the furniture is clean.

Fuse Box

It’s easy to forget about checking the fuse box since it’s usually hidden away in the utility closet. Ask to see it, then open it up to make sure it looks like it’s working properly. All the fuses should be turned on, and nothing should be tripped.

It should also be clear which fuse is which. This way, when you move in, you’ll know which fuses to switch if you have any issues.

Building Amenities

If you’re thinking of moving into an apartment building that has many building amenities, you should ask to visit these, too. These might include a mailroom, common area, gym, pool, roof terrace, or garden. Considering that you may have to pay fees for their upkeep, you should check them out.

Need More Tips for Finding a Home?

Now that you’ve learned about what to look for during an apartment walkthrough, you might need additional tips for finding a home. Maybe you want help figuring out what size apartment is best for you, or you need help choosing between a furnished or an unfurnished apartment.

Whatever you need, we have plenty of tips that you can use. Check out more of our blog posts to find out more.

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