Know Before You Rent

What Should I Know About a Neighborhood Before Renting?

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Moving to a new neighborhood, a new city or even a new state requires some research to take place before you decide to change your address. Without research, you could discover your new home is in a flight path for the local airport, or that the area is prone to high crime rates. So before you go through the apartment rental application process, check out the following.

Tips on what you should know about a neighborhood before renting an apartment or house:

  1. Crime rates – Every police department publishes crime statistics in its community. Either call the local precinct, or search for these facts online to determine if the neighborhood you’re interested in moving to experiences a high volume of crime – and if so, how violent the crimes are.
  2. Location – Use online mapping tools and satellite imagery to “see” the neighborhood. Are there major highways nearby or train tracks? Also look at the business listings in the area. Is the rental unit near a hospital, fire station or police station with emergency vehicles constantly coming and going? If you’re in need of public transportation, look up the bus maps to find out how far you’d have to walk to find a stop.
  3. Proximity – How far is the apartment from work, schools (if you have children), social activities or other family and friends in the area? Before meeting with a landlord and applying for a rental unit, consider how centered you’d like to be, or if you want to have your home be an escape from other aspects of your life.

The process for applying to rent an apartment can be tedious, and expensive. In addition, landlords often will do a rental history check, credit check or background check on candidates, so the fewer applications you make because you know exactly where you want to live.