Touring Remotely? Questions to Ask During Virtual Apartment Tour

woman in gray long sleeve shirt, wearing glasses, holding iphone upward and looking at it with a smileWhether you’re apartment shopping in a different city or doing your own remote research at home, virtual tours can come in handy. These allow possible renters to scope out living spaces with more comfort and convenience than ever. But with all the perks that this virtual advantage brings, it can still present some drawbacks compared to the in-person experience.

Make sure you’re getting the full inside scoop on your next apartment, even if you can’t go inside! In this article, we’ll outline a few tips for navigating this evaluation in its entirety. Virtual tours are the future of home hunting — ensure you’ve got the process covered by asking these critical questions.

Does this place check all my boxes?

Before you schedule virtual tours with all the apartment properties in your search area, it’s necessary to create a list of what essential criteria your next apartment must meet — and filter out any properties that don’t fit the bill! can help you find a place that checks all your boxes. Using our advanced filter system, you can narrow down properties based on interest points such as wheelchair access, fitness centers, pet-friendliness, and more. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of solid options, then you can reach out and schedule your virtual tours.

Is the unit we’re touring the same one that’s available?

Once you embark on your first apartment tour, double-check whether or not you’re seeing the unit that you’ll be renting! Often, apartment complexes will have a staged model to walk you through. This isn’t necessarily bad, but model apartments typically have more bells and whistles than vacant units. Additionally, they may also be more spacious! By asking this question, you’ll know what you’re looking at from the get-go.

What are the dimensions of the room(s)?

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that even the smartest phone cameras can be highly deceptive! Accordingly, ensure that you ask fundamental questions about the apartment’s layout and square footage. Pay special attention to areas where you know you require more space, such as the kitchen if you’re big on meal-prep, the closet if you’re sharing it with a fashion-forward partner, and so on!

Does the unit for rent have the same finishes and appliances as the one we’re touring?

As mentioned above, more often than not, apartment properties will take you on a virtual tour of a model rather than the available unit. Asking how the finishes and appliances shown on tour compare to those in your prospective home will help prevent you from falling for any bait-and-switch staging techniques.

For instance, if the model you’re seeing has granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, ensure the unit you’re leasing includes the same things or is priced reasonably for what it does/doesn’t have.

Where is the available unit within the larger complex?

Where a unit is located within the property can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things to glean from a virtual apartment tour!

For instance, if your apartment is right behind a dumpster, you may have to deal with the scent and pests that come from being near it. If your apartment is by the pool, you might be confronted by boisterous parties and after-hour shenanigans! Get some perspective on where your potential next apartment is by asking your leasing agent to walk you to the unit while on a video call.

Even if you can’t go into the unit, you’ll get a general idea of what’s around the apartment, whether you have up- or downstairs neighbors, and even how long the walk from your car to your front door will be. This is also a good opportunity to check whether the property is well-lit and well-maintained.

Is there anything else I should know about (insert your concerns)?

At the end of the day, no one knows your apartment better than the person renting it to you — whether that’s a landlord or a property manager. If you spot anything fishy during your virtual tour, or if there’s a particular amenity/feature that you’re especially interested in, inquire further! A few good topics to consider asking for more info about:

  • Is there anything else I should know about safety in the area?
  • Does this property have a courtesy officer?
  • Besides rent and utilities, can I expect any compulsory fees for internet, trash, or pest control?
  • I read an online review about some tenants having issues with [subject], can you tell me a little more about it?

Utilize these questions to ask when touring an apartment, and you’ll find comfort in knowing you’ve performed a thorough investigation before signing the lease. Apartment hunting can be time-consuming and even emotionally draining, but it doesn’t have to be hard from a practical standpoint! can help you create a shortlist of apartment properties to tour and explore before you commit.


How to Save Money for an Apartment

man handing over folded dollar bills

Whether you’re hoping to move out of your dorm, upgrade your current space, or finally live roommate-free for the first time—the financial logistics of renting an apartment can be overwhelming. The good news is, you probably can afford an apartment as long as you know how to save. When you budget efficiently, the cost of an apartment becomes much more manageable. Read this step-by-step guide to saving up for apartment rent, and start your search today.

1. Figure out the appropriate rent price range based on your income.

Before you set your sights on a specific apartment, it’s important to figure out how much you can afford to spend on rent. Broadly speaking, you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your gross income (before taxes) on housing. Keep in mind that there’s more to housing costs than rent—utilities, cable, Internet, and parking may add to your expenses.

Crunch some numbers and figure out your expected gross income for the year. Then, divide that number by three. The result, according to general wisdom, is the most you should spend on housing per year. Once you figure that out, you can easily calculate your maximum monthly rent—which you can then use to filter apartments by rent price on

2. Understand how much money you really need.

Speaking of rent, you’ll likely need two month’s worth of rent to get an apartment—your first month’s rent upon signing the lease, and an additional month as a security deposit. Some apartments will have other upfront costs, like pet deposits and renters insurance.

You’ll also need to save up a good chunk of change for other expenses, such as a moving van, and furniture and decor for your new apartment. Plus, don’t forget about groceries. In other words, you’ll need more than simply a month’s worth of rent to get into your new place, and it’s essential to be aware of every cost associated with moving.

3. Eliminate some of your “fun” spending… at least for now.

While you’re building up your savings account to move into your new apartment, you’ll probably need to make a few sacrifices. Not sure where to start? Check out your most recent bank statement, and highlight any unnecessary, “luxury” spending.

Skip your daily Starbucks drink and brew your coffee at home. Unsubscribe from your favorite retailer’s email list, so you’re not tempted to splurge on clothes. Give up cable for a few months. Cook your meals at home instead of going out to eat, or at least skip the appetizers and alcoholic beverages if you do go out. It may not be that much fun, but remind yourself that it will all be worth it when you spend your first night at your new place.

4. Embrace a few “side hustles” to earn some extra cash.

If you’re really motivated to save, consider picking up a side job (or two) to build your bank account faster. Babysitting and pet-sitting are two flexible options that can work around a regular 9 to 5. If those aren’t appealing, look for part-time gigs that fit into your schedule, perhaps for free evenings or weekends. Is your calendar already jam-packed? Consider selling items that you no longer need or want to make a little extra cash.

5. Move out during the slow season.

One way to make saving for an apartment easier is by moving during the off season. During fall and winter, moving services tend to cost less, and apartment complexes offer free move-in incentives to make up for the slower business. You may not have this sort of flexibility, but if you can move in the fall or winter, it could pay off.

Are you a total pro when it comes to saving money? In that case, you may be ready to invest in a new apartment! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and find an apartment that fits your budget on


What’s a Mixed-Use Building & Should You Live in One

Empty table in a downtown cafeAs more Americans move into urban areas, city planners have to get inventive to accommodate them. One solution that’s becoming increasingly popular is mixed-use developments. But just because this is a favorable option for city planners doesn’t mean it will be a good fit for you. Learn what mixed-use buildings are and read up on the pros and cons of living above a cafe or other type of retail space!

Mixed-Use Development Definition

As the name implies, a mixed-use development serves multiple purposes. Often, such buildings offer both commercial and residential spaces for rent or sale.

Typically, the street-level spaces in mixed-use buildings are reserved for businesses such as restaurants, cafes, drugstores, and boutiques. Higher floors may feature office space, apartments, condos, and lofts.

We can expect more mixed-use developments to come about as more renters move into urban areas.

Is a Mixed-Use Building Right for Me?

Having apartments above retail stores and businesses sounds like a cool idea. Imagine living above a cafe—opening your window to the smell of fresh-baked pastries and steamy espresso! But before you get too excited (or hungry), consider whether living in a mixed-use building is right for you.

Here are several pros and cons to consider before signing a lease for an apartment in a mixed-use development.

Pro: Convenience

Living in a mixed-use building can offer remarkable convenience. Living above a cafe, for example, might help ease the stress of cooking all the time.

Con: Cost

Easy and quick access to cafes, coffee shops, boutiques, and more can offer incredible convenience. It can also serve up a temptation to overspend on non-essential items and dining options.

Pro: Walkability

Mixed-use apartment buildings are usually in densely-populated urban areas. Typically, such neighborhoods are better-suited for pedestrians and cyclists since food, entertainment, and recreational destinations are close to each other.

Con: Self-Containment

Having too many conveniences within the building may decrease your desire or need to get out and about. But being confined most of the time indoors isn’t good for your health—no matter how convenient it seems! Time Magazine reports that staying indoors for too long messes with your circadian rhythm, which can increase your risk for obesity, substance abuse, depression, and more.

Pro: Nightlife

Mixed-use buildings are usually in cities’ most-happening neighborhoods. And when the city’s top bars and clubs are within walking distance of your place, you can take part in every party! Plus, you can save yourself the stress (and cash) of designating a driver or hailing a ride. After all, when happy hour is at the bar downstairs, home is just an elevator ride away!

Con: Noise

Living above a cafe sounds great until you hear the sound of their open mic night on a Tuesday at 1 a.m. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your mixed-use apartment building has strict rules in place concerning allowable noise levels coming from street-level tenants. Ask the property manager or leasing agent about vacancies in the higher-level apartments if you’re concerned about the noise. And if you find yourself waking up to the sound of the dive bar on the ground level, check out these ways to soundproof your apartment!

Mixed-Use Can Mean Great Fun

Mixed-use buildings offer tremendous potential for a fun and engaging lifestyle. However, they have their cons, too! But if the idea of living above a coffee shop or a retail store floats your boat, then ApartmentSearch can help you find the best apartment for your way of life.


Hottest Apartment Amenities to Look for in 2020

Apartment pool in the cityThe competition for your apartment rental dollars is HOT! To get renters’ business, property management companies try to “wow” prospective tenants. Many rental properties try doing this by designing apartment complexes with the top amenities in the industry!

Apartments with an in-unit washer and dryer? Increasingly common nowadays. Apartments with yards? You can find them with the right apartment-locating tool. Even apartments with attached garages are starting to become a thing!

However, laundry rooms and carports aren’t enough to dazzle today’s renters. If apartment complexes genuinely want to impress, they have to take things further!

Apartment Amenities By City

Houston, TX

Depending on where you live, trending amenities will vary due to variations in weather, cultural, and legal patterns. For example, if you’re looking for luxury apartments in Houston, you might come across properties that offer:

  • Beach-style pools with private cabanas
  • Poolside grilling and entertaining areas
  • Event space with a demonstration kitchen

Considering Texas’s notoriously humid summers, it’s not surprising that many renters filter their search to include only apartments with pools!

Minneapolis, MN

If Texas is too hot for you, you may opt for a colder city like Minneapolis. Luxury apartment in the Midwest often include amenities like:

  • A movie theatre
  • Zen gardens
  • Electric firepits

With luxury amenities like these, it’s hard to let polar vortex-induced winter blues slow you down. And if they do, you can always invite some friends over for roasted marshmallows over the heat of your apartment’s electric firepit.

St. Louis, MO

If Minneapolis winters frighten you and Houston summers make your palms sweat, consider splitting the difference and moving to St. Louis, MO. In St. Louis, luxury communities like Mansions on the Plaza include a variety of amenities that you might also find in Texas and Minnesota, like a:

  • Resident library and fire pit
  • Game room featuring billiards and a 24/7 coffee bar
  • World-class fitness facilities

Kansas City, MO

Do you prefer the Royals over the Cardinals? In that case, find a new place in Kansas City, MO. You’re likely to find KC apartments with amenities that keep up with the hottest trends. For example, some luxury properties in Kansas City, MO, feature amenities like:

  • A rooftop terrace
  • Outdoor grilling stations
  • Bike storage

As we’ve seen, you can find hot apartment amenities pretty much anywhere life takes you. Renter favorites across the U.S. seem to include:

  • Resort-style pools
  • Spaces for hosting and gathering with friends such as cabanas, decks, and multi-use rooms
  • Study lounges with 24/7 printer access
  • State-of-the-art fitness centers

Finding an apartment with the right amenities is vital to smoothing out life’s otherwise bumpy transitions! Plus, these community amenities are only one of the many perks of moving from a house to an apartment!

Apartment Amenities for You!

Pet spas? Demonstration kitchens? The future of apartment amenities is fascinating, competitive, and, let’s face it, a little out of this world!

Do you know which features your next apartment community must have? Or maybe you need some inspiration? Whatever the reason, visit ApartmentSearch. There, you can filter apartments by amenities, rent prices, and neighborhoods to help you find the right mix of luxe and low-cost for you!


What is a Garden-Style Apartment?

Woman reading a book in a windowWhen it’s time to rent a new place, there are tons of important decisions you’ll need to make. Are you looking for a one-bedroom or a studio space? Would you prefer a standing shower or a full tub? Do you want to live in a garden-style apartment or a high-rise with a view?

Each of these is a valuable question to consider before signing your next lease. Fortunately, ApartmentSearch is here to help you take a closer look at a garden-style home’s pros and cons to support you in a smooth decision-making process.

Characteristics of a garden-style apartment

A garden-style apartment is typically characterized as a low-rise building surrounded by a garden-like setting.

Garden apartments and condos are located in an outdoor-style complex that can be one, two, or three stories high, though two or three floors are typical. The grounds are decorated with trees, shrubbery, and sometimes actual gardens. Because of their outdoor nature, garden-style homes are usually found in either rural or suburban areas.

Amenities with a garden-style apartment

While garden condos and apartments may not offer an elevator, a fitness center, or a rooftop deck that some high-rises and mixed-use buildings boast, they still have many appealing and useful amenities of their own. The following are a few standard conveniences you can expect from a garden-style space.

  • Easy access: Many complexes offer on-site parking, so you won’t have to walk far at all to get to your car. Your unit’s exterior door may lead directly into the parking lot, making for a quick and easy commute when coming home after a long day. (Or when trying to unload all the groceries in one trip!)
  • More space between neighbors: In contrast to the close proximity of high-rise apartments, garden-style complexes have more space between their buildings. This can often translate to improved privacy, and possibly a quieter living environment overall.
  • Beautiful grounds and greenery: As noted above, a prime characteristic of garden-style apartments is right there in the name — a garden setting with plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy. A good management company will be sure to keep the flowers and landscaping looking beautiful all year long.
  • Community common areas: Common areas of a garden-style complex may include a pool, clubhouse, sand volleyball court, benches or picnic tables, and sometimes a shared grill. These little extras provide a great way to socialize with your neighbors or host all kinds of get-togethers.

Things to consider before renting a garden condo or apartment

The main difference between a condo and an apartment is ownership. Apartments belong to a building containing multiple rental units owned or managed by a professional company and leased out to individual tenants. On the other hand, condos are typically owned by an individual and controlled by the owner or a property management company.

So, is living in a condo worth it? That decision is entirely up to you, depending on the level of responsibility (financial, maintenance, and otherwise) you’d like to take on. But whether you choose a condo or opt for an apartment, a garden-style unit can make an incredible home.

Before you make a move, though, be sure to consider the location, the amenities, and the overall aesthetic you’d like from your next address. If you’d prefer green spaces over concrete, on-site parking over a parking garage, and a more suburban setting over living downtown, a garden-style space could be an excellent fit for you.

However, the defining attributes of a garden-style complex are definitely different than those of a high-rise building, so you’ll need to determine what features are most attractive and practical for your specific living needs. Also, some renters find that garden-level apartments come with annoying pests in the winter and summer, though most apartment complexes stay ahead of the seasonal challenges with pest control services. (Just ask about pest control during your tour!)

Are you interested in a furnished apartment in Austin or on the hunt for a Charlottesville garden condo? No matter what type of home you’re looking for, ApartmentSearch has your back. Use our search tool to find an apartment, and enjoy a cash reward to put towards your moving costs!


Can You Be Evicted If You Pay Partial Rent

Stressed woman at desk looking down at computerTimes are tough. When you find yourself struggling to scrape together enough money to pay rent, what are your options? Will you face eviction if you can’t pay all of your rent on time? While rules vary from state to state, learn what commonly happens and what landlords can and can’t do when you can pay only partial rent.

How Laws Affect Partial Rent

Laws designed to protect renters like you differ by state and even by city. Therefore, where you live might be kinder to renters or kinder to landlords. Oregon is considered a more renter-friendly state, while Texas is regarded as a more landlord-friendly state. Let’s look at how these two states treat the issue of paying partial rent.

According to Law Server, under Oregon law, a landlord can accept a partial rent payment. If an Oregon landlord tries to evict you for nonpayment of rent, you may stand a better chance of avoiding eviction if you’ve made a partial payment. In some cases, the landlord loses the right to evict you for nonpayment of rent if they’ve accepted a partial payment.

However, as reported by Oregon Law Help, landlords in OR do not have to accept partial payments as long they issue:

  • A 72-hour notice to pay rent or move out once monthly rent is at least seven days overdue.
  • A 144-hour notice to pay monthly rent or move out after your rent is at least four days overdue.
  • A 72-hour notice to pay week-to-week rent or move out after your rent is at least four days overdue.

A landlord in Oregon is not required to accept a partial rent payment during one of these notice periods.

On the other hand, according to Texas Eviction, a landlord in the lone star state can evict a renter if they pay only partial rent. However, advocates for landlords advise them not to accept partial rent at all because it might weaken their eviction case. Instead, it’s suggested that Texas landlords accept only full rent payments from tenants. If a Texas landlord has issued a 14-day notice to either pay rent in full or face eviction, they do not have to accept a partial payment during those 14 days.

The bottom line is that if you’re a renter in Texas, it might be more challenging to make a partial rent payment and remain where you live than it is in Oregon.

(Keep in mind that many states and cities changed rules about partial payment of rent during the coronavirus pandemic so tenants could avoid eviction.)

How to Ask a Landlord About Partial Rent Payments

Ignoring the fact that you can’t make a full rent payment won’t make the problem go away. It’s best to be honest with your landlord about your situation and try to work out a solution.

“A landlord who considers you a good tenant won’t want to lose you, since it’s often difficult and expensive to evict you, then find and move in good tenants. This means you can probably get the landlord to accept a portion of the rent now — maybe even a small portion — and the rest later,” according to legal website

If you find yourself unable to make a full rent payment, suggests that you:

  • Offer to make a partial payment in writing.
  • Explain your situation and emphasize (if you can) that the problem is only temporary.
  • Assure your landlord, in writing, that you can pay the full rent by a specific date. Be sure to honor that deadline.
  • Commit, if you can, to making full rent payments in the future.
  • Agree to pay late fees if such fees are mandated in your lease.

Find Apartment in Your Price Range

Whether you’re dealing with a limited budget, a prior eviction, or both — there’s an apartment for you! Use ApartmentSearch to filter available units by rent price, amenities, and more to help you zero-in on your next home.


What’s a Mother-in-Law Apartment? Should You Rent One?

decorated apartment living roomYou’re on the prowl for a new place to rent in your city’s super competitive rental market — so you think outside the box! One of your coworkers mentions a mother-in-law apartment for rent by one of his neighbors, and what do you do? You come to ApartmentSearch, of course! Here’s the ultimate guide on what mother-in-law apartments are, their pros and cons, and when you should consider renting one of these properties instead of a traditional apartment.

What’s a Mother-In-Law Apartment?

While the name comes from the fact that many of these dwellings are built for aging relatives to live in the same house as their family, you don’t have to be senior citizens or an actual mother-in-law to enjoy the benefits of a mother-in-law apartment.

Often called a guest house or in-law suite, mother-in-law apartments are separate living units incorporated into a larger home. They can be built in a variety of ways — as a finished basement apartment, built as a detached structure on the same property, or as a converted garage. Although they have varying floor plans, most include a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and a separate entrance from the main house.

Suppose it is a secondary housing unit completely independent of the main house — meaning it includes everything from a kitchen to a bathroom — but is located on the same property. In that case, it may also be considered an official accessory dwelling unit (or ADU). This term is often used to describe being legally able to rent out that particular dwelling.

The Pros of a Mother-In-Law Apartment

According to a report by iPropertyManagement, around 36% of Americans live in rental properties, and the rental industry in the United States “has increased by nearly 3.4% since 2014, bringing in over $176 billion in revenue in 2019.” In other words, renting is a popular option for many people when it comes to where they live. But what are the benefits of living in a mother-in-law apartment?

Easy Maintenance

One of the top reasons to move into a mother-in-law apartment is that in most cases, you don’t have to worry about the responsibility of repairs, yard work, preventative maintenance, and the additional expenses that they might bring. The owners of the mother-in-law apartment — who live in the adjoining house — are typically responsible for property maintenance.

Potential Savings

Some say that paying rent for a mother-in-law apartment rent is sometimes higher than a mortgage payment. Still, they don’t consider homeownership expenses like property taxes, insurance, and higher utility bills required to maintain a full house.

With a mother-in-law apartment, all that’s required is a small deposit fee, renter’s insurance, smaller utility fees, rent, and depending on the lease, little to no monthly maintenance expenses. It allows you to save money for your future and remain flexible, as you don’t have a mortgage to tie you down.

Increased Safety

Because a mother-in-law apartment is often connected to the primary residence — or at least close by on the property — you have the security of knowing that if something happens, there are people nearby that can help you in the situation. While you have your independence, you also have people nearby to provide an additional layer of safety.

The Cons of a Mother-In-Law Apartment

Of course, living in a mother-in-law apartment does have a couple drawbacks, including:

Restricted Space and Style

When you live in a mother-in-law apartment, you have to make peace with the fact that the amenities and features you see are the amenities and features you get. There’s often no way you can add on to the property, and any decorating and renovation have to be approved by the homeowner before being undertaken.

This means you’re often restricted when it comes to personalizing your space. While some homeowners might be okay with you painting a wall, still others might require you to change it back when you move.

Delayed Repairs

While it’s great that you don’t have to fix that leaky dishwasher, it’s not so great to be at the mercy of the homeowner to get it repaired. They might be out for the night when the heater dies and not be able to get in touch with a repairman until the next day, leaving you in the cold and at their mercy.

Lack of Equity

While an advantage of living in a mother-in-law apartment is that you don’t have a hefty mortgage payment, the disadvantage is that you also don’t get any long-term financial benefits from paying rent. Your landlord can increase rent at any time, and while it can be your home, you won’t build any equity if you’re renting a property. With a mortgage payment, the interest and property taxes are usually tax-deductible. This isn’t the case with a mother-in-law apartment.

How Can I Find a Mother-In-Law Apartment for Rent?

A mother-in-law apartment isn’t going to be right for everyone. Some people will want the freedom to customize their living space without restrictions, while others are looking to build some equity in a way that renting a mother-in-law apartment just can’t provide.

But if you’re looking for an affordable option that gets you away from the crowded, often noisy traditional apartment scene and you’re not ready for a mortgage payment, a mother-in-law apartment is the way to go. But how do you find one to rent?

First, word of mouth is a great way to help you find a new place to stay. If you live or work nearby, ask people you know in the area if they know anyone renting out mother-in-law apartments.

Then there’s social media — specifically Facebook, which is useful for more than just finding out what your old friend from high school is doing for the holidays. Since Facebook ads are very local, you can get localized listings and a great idea of what things would be like in the area before moving.

And last but certainly not least, if you’re running out of ideas for good housing solutions in your area, visit ApartmentSearch to browse rentals by price, size, amenities, and more! We can help you find a mother-in-law apartment that provides you with everything you need.


The Ultimate Guide to Different Apartment Types

apartment with second story open conceptApartment? Loft? Flat? Condo? Duplex? What do all those terms mean anyway? And you said rent is HOW MUCH? Bring on the face palm emoji. 

When you just want a place to live that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the different housing terms and buzzwords can start to run together in your mind. But, the type of apartment you rent can make a difference in how much rent you’ll pay, the amount of space you’ll have, and other key living aspects. Learn how these four different types of apartments vary to inform your choices and housing search.

1. Apartment

What is an apartment? An apartment is a residential unit that’s typically in a building with other dwellings—and all of those units are owned by one company. Everyone who lives around you in an apartment pays their rent to the same person or institution, and no one in the community owns their residence.

If you’re looking for an open floor plan, apartments can be hit-or-miss. New or recently renovated apartments may have the coveted open concept that you seek. However, many apartment buildings are designed to make efficient use of small spaces, which means you might not get the luxury of vaulted ceilings and open floor plans.

In a large apartment community with multiple buildings, you’ll likely have some amenities like an online rent payment platform, a maintenance team for repairs and issues in your unit, and even a shared pool and fitness center. Unlike other types of living spaces, some apartments come furnished—which can save you the hassle of purchasing and moving your furniture. Can’t find a furnished apartment but don’t want to buy pricey furniture? No problem—just rent from CORT to turn any apartment into a furnished one.

Oh, and you’ve probably heard the term “flat” used in place of “apartment” before. If you’re not sure what it means, it typically refers to an apartment that has a single story (as opposed to a townhouse, which has multiple levels). Loft apartments—especially luxury ones—are sometimes referred to as flats, too.

2. Loft Apartment

There’s an apartment with an open floor plan, and then there’s the next level of open concept: a loft apartment! Loft apartments are characterized by high ceilings, open spaces, and urban vibes (and breathtaking views, sometimes). Often, industrial buildings are subdivided and repurposed into residential properties. Since such buildings usually have vaulted ceilings, it’s easy to turn them into lofts!

Usually, the only walls you’ll find in a loft apartment will be enclosing the bathroom; the rest of the space is mostly open. The pros of this? You can arrange (and rearrange!) your furniture however you want to create different living areas or zones within the apartment. The cons? Less privacy if you live with a partner or roommates.

How much does it cost to rent a loft apartment? The answer can vary pretty widely. If you want to live in a quiet or older neighborhood, your loft apartment rent may be reasonably cheap. But if the area you want to live is in a city center or an up-and-coming neighborhood experiencing rapid growth, your rent will likely be higher. If you’re looking to move to an in-demand area, do your research to determine the best time to rent an apartment in your ideal neighborhood. Additionally, consider how the hustle-and-bustle of the city will impact noise levels in your loft, knowing that fewer walls + more activity = more noise! And if you do decide to move into an urban loft, check out some soundproofing tips to help you sleep soundly! 

3. Condo

Unlike apartments, condos are residential units within a building that have separate owners. Property ownership is the main difference between apartments and condos. In a condo, your landlord will be the unit’s owner, not a property management company. If you prefer having a one-on-one relationship with your landlord, this can be great. But, you probably won’t have things like dedicated maintenance staff or an online bill payment system. You’ll have to rely on your landlord to handle these things personally.

 Many condos serve as long-term primary residences for unit owners, and because of this, condo communities tend to have more perks and amenities than standard apartments. Think high ceilings, open floor plans, dedicated parking, higher-end pools, shared recreational areas, and, in some places, a doorman or concierge. These amenities come at a price, though. Most condo renters are required to pay homeowner’s association fees while they’re living in the community (yes, even if you are NOT the owner of the unit). But, HOA fees aside, the square footage per dollar of rent you’ll get in an apartment vs. condo is usually comparable.

Another perk of condo vs. apartment living is a uniquely designed space. Apartments within a community usually look very similar to every other unit—the same fixtures, the same flooring and finishes, and the same layout. With condos, owners often make improvements to their units to keep property values high, meaning you could enjoy a more updated, individualized space instead of a cookie-cutter one.

4. Duplex

Like with a condo, you’ll probably pay rent to an individual who owns the property (though, full communities of solely duplexes do exist!). Duplexes are most often in primarily residential zip codes, as opposed to apartments and condos, which are often mixed in with commercial areas. This can mean potentially lower rent and a relaxed neighborhood feel.

Ever been kept up at night when the person who lives above you stomps or blasts their music? That’s not an issue in a duplex! You’ll share only one wall with your neighbors (and there’s no one above you), which means less noise and more privacy.

The amount of space in a duplex can vary, but duplexes can offer something that other types of apartments can’t: multiple levels. If you choose a duplex with multiple floors, you could enjoy the perks of an open floor plan on the first floor and the cozy privacy of bedrooms on an upper level.

Find Different Types of Apartments to Suit Any Lifestyle

Loft or not? Apartment or condo? If you’re not sure what you want, perhaps a little browsing can help you narrow it down. Check out apartment floor plans, compare amenities, and even see rent prices with ApartmentSearch.


What Is Apartment Debt on a Credit Report

Man taking notes on notepad while sitting at desk

Plans can change unexpectedly. Changes in employment, relationship status, or finances may prompt you to rethink your living situation. Some changes may even lead you to move out of your apartment without paying rent for the final month or two on the lease.

And just like that, apartment debt is created.

Like all forms of debt, apartment debt doesn’t go away on its own. Regardless of how long ago that debt was accrued, it will stick around and may hurt your credit score. These tips can help you start to repair your damaged credit and resolve apartment debt on your credit report.

Renting a New Place When Apartment Debt Appears on Your Credit Report

If you’re dealing with the topic of apartment debt, there’s a good chance you’re doing so because you’re preparing to rent a new apartment. However, unless you find an apartment for rent that doesn’t require a credit check, having apartment debt will likely make it more difficult for you to rent again.

Fortunately, here are a few ways you can approach the matter:

  • Get out in front of the problem and meet personally with the landlord. Address the situation and let them know you’re taking measures to correct the problem.
  • Sidestep the issue by looking for a place that’s leased and managed by a homeowner, since private owners are less likely to run credit reports than property management companies.
  • Voluntarily offer to pay a larger deposit to calm any concerns from the landlord.
  • Ask a close friend or family member with good credit to serve as a co-signer on your lease.

Resolving an Apartment Debt Issue

If your apartment debt was sent to a collection agency, contact the agency to review options for paying it off.

According to NerdWallet, you may have several choices, including:

  • Establishing a payment plan
  • Paying the amount owed in one lump sum
  • Negotiating a settlement for less than the full amount owed

Paying the full or negotiated amount of your apartment debt is the best way of resolving it, assuming that it is genuinely your debt and not the result of an error by the landlord or collections agency. However, no system is perfect, and you can help prevent apartment debt errors by keeping proper records of all rent payments.

The Best Way to Tackle Apartment Debt and Other Credit Issues

Good credit is so important today. Credit reports are just one of many factors landlords look at. Additionally, credit card companies and even some job recruiters look at it, too!

Accordingly, it’s always a good idea to remain on top of your credit. Being proactive is the best way to tackle apartment debt, avoid reporting errors, and steer clear of other credit problems.

Start repairing a bruised credit score or building a good one by implementing the following practices:

  • Stay up-to-date with your credit report, checking your credit score on a reputable site. You can get one free report from each credit bureau per year.
  • Pay your bills on time; setting up automatic payments helps!
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid applying for new credit cards or taking any other actions that would trigger a hard credit inquiry.
  • Read up on more tips for healing a low credit score.

Don’t Let Apartment Debt Stop You!

Debt doesn’t mean you can’t find a dang good apartment. We have apartments for rent that match any budget. Begin your search for recently-listed apartments today!