The school year is winding down and if you’re about to graduate college it’s an especially exciting time.  The years of hard work are about to pay off and you’ll finally be able to live the life you’ve only dreamed of until now, with a new job, new friends, and a new place to live.  But along with the new opportunities come new responsibilities and challenges, including finding your first post-college apartment.

Don’t base your opinion solely on the model apartment you’re shown by the leasing agent.  In some cases, available units may not have all the amenities that the model has, so be sure to ask if the actual unit you’ll be leasing has the “must have” features of the model.

If possible, it’s a good idea to talk to current tenants when the leasing agent isn’t accompanying you.  In most cases, they’ll give you their honest opinion of the apartment community.  They may also give you some helpful tips – like the best local restaurants, or a nearby intersection that becomes congested with traffic during certain times of the day.

Don’t base your opinion of the apartment community on a single visit.  In most cases, you’ll be shown the model or the actual unit you’ll be leasing during regular business hours.  Remember, most of the tenants will be at work so it may appear that there’s more available parking space than there actually is. And the peace and quiet you experience during business hours may not be representative of what you’ll experience at night or on weekends, so be sure to visit during these times as well.

Even if you’re not planning to use public transportation, it’s a good idea to check for public bus and commuter train stations.  You never know when you might need them in an emergency, and showing up late for work at your new job is never good.

Don’t limit your visits to the actual apartment building or grounds.  Spend some time exploring the entire neighborhood to make sure there are grocery stores, dry cleaners, gas stations, hospitals or emergency medical clinics, and other shops and services located within a convenient distance of the apartment complex.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider and the process of finding your first post-college apartment can be a time-consuming task.  Using our FREE apartment locator service can make the process much easier.