When you look for an apartment, it’s tempting to use the dollar to square foot mentality, because you want to get the best deal for your money.  But there is much more to apartment living than the square footage.  Here are some other things to consider when looking for your new apartment:

Location:  You’ve heard it’s all about location, and obviously it is important to live in a nice neighborhood, and everyone strives for that short commute, but what about the fun stuff?   How far is it to the movies, clubs, pubs, bars or bowling and other activities you might enjoy?  How hard is it to get back and forth from these activities?

Community:  When an apartment complex has a spirit of community, it makes for better neighbors.  If you know your neighbors they are much more likely to help you change a tire, or look after your dog or cat when you go out of town.  An apartment complex can help you meet your neighbors and people with like interest by having parties and events.  Meet fellow readers at the community book club.  Compare pinots with the oenophiles you meet at the annual wine tasting.  Make sure there is a community for you to become a part of by asking the leasing agent about the resident activities when you are touring the community.

Amenities: (The ones you will use!)  It’s all well and good to have a theater in the clubhouse, but if you never set foot in there after you rent, it does you no good.  If you enjoy working out, look for an apartment complex with a 24 hour fitness center, free-weights and cardio.  If you like swimming, ask about pool hours and how many days it was closed during the last summer.  If you like a care-free lifestyle, ask about concierge services. Make sure your community amenities fit your lifestyle.

Staff:  Make sure you like and get to know the people in the office at your complex.  If you get to know your leasing agent, they will remember and take care of you when you need help.  They are also the ones that can refer you to child care centers, mechanics, good places to eat, etc. when you first move in.  They should be experts in the area around the complex, so make sure to tap into that resource.

Looking for an apartment can be information overload.  It’s obvious to compare price, but make sure you are looking at the other factors involved in selecting an apartment.  By researching beyond the price, you can find a complex that will make you feel at home.  And isn’t that what you’re looking for?