If you look at apartments this summer, what questions should you be asking?

May 8, 2020 by Ted Bauer

Of your job

  • How long might we be on work-from-home (assuming we are)?
  • What's the long-term strategy in terms of office spaces?
  • Are there any planned layoffs in the next six or so months?

Goal here: get a "necessary location" and "broader financial" picture.

Of a locator or broker (us)

  • What complexes seem to be taking the most precautions?
  • Are there any complexes with more space or area between units?
  • Are there any major deals out there or move-in specials to boost demand?
  • What's in each neighborhood that's walkable?
  • What options are there for dogs or other pets? {We have covered this before}
  • Are there any complexes with flexibility programs in case there are future layoffs?
  • Where should I be considering that I'm maybe not right now?

Goal here: overall idea of the landscape and where to target, as well as what complexes are doing in this moment.

Of a complex

  • What did you do in mid-March when COVID first rapidly scaled?
  • How have you maintained social distance in the complex?
  • Any illness or anything like that?
  • How often do you clean and what's the general protocol there?
  • What about shared amenities like pool, gym, game rooms, etc? Are those open? Are they cleaned with the same frequency as the rest of the complex?
  • How's the Internet speed/connectivity, broadly?
  • What's nearby amenity-wise/food-wise that you like?
  • Has this complex and your parent company been pretty flexible with any individual economic reversals due to COVID?
  • Any COVID-friendly move-in precautions?

Goal here: you can have these conversations through us as well, for sure, but the goal is to figure out how the complex responded to March and April and what some of their plans moving forward might be -- as well as to see how fast the connectivity is (in case you're working from home a lot) and how flexible things can be (if layoffs or anything else happens).

Of yourself

  • What can I realistically afford?
  • What would be a stretch goal?
  • What do I want to be located near?
  • If this is a 12-month lease, how do I see life going between now and summer 2021?
  • What do I want to save for? 
  • Do I eventually want to buy?
  • How quickly might bars, restaurants, Mavericks, Rangers, concerts, etc. open up fully?
  • Is this a weird-enough period of time that I should consider a completely-different area than I might otherwise?

Goal here: self-awareness and individual financial planning, We've done a couple of rent calculations previously, if interested.

This is a weird time but we're all going to get through it and do the best we can. This is a guide to some questions to ask, but whatever others you may come up with, wing them right at us. We're here.

Happy weekend. 

About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.