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6 essential flat hunting tips

6 essential flat hunting tips

<p><strong>Before you set out to find the perfect pad, prepare yourself with these 6 essential apartment hunting tips.</strong></p> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing like your student years. Sure, you&rsquo;ll have great times at other times in your life - but there&rsquo;s something special about being a student that&rsquo;ll live with you forever.</p> <p>Question is, though, will you be able to live with your fellow students while it&rsquo;s happening?</p> <p>A lot could depend on how you choose to live together - and if you are going to share, it makes sense to arm yourself properly when you go house hunting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>MAKE NOTES</strong></p> <p>Take a pen and paper - or use your mobile or tablet - and make notes of things like price, deposit, number of rooms, and so on. You&rsquo;ll want to refer back to them when you&rsquo;re comparing <a href="http://just.property/residential-property/for-sale/">properties for sale</a>, and when you&rsquo;re checking the terms of the lease or, if you&rsquo;re going to buy the property, drawing up your offer to purchase. (These notes will probably come in useful when you&rsquo;re dealing with <a href="http://just.property">real estate agents</a>&nbsp;or - if you&rsquo;re planning renovations or alterations - with contractors.)</p> <p><strong>TAKE PHOTOS</strong></p> <p>Take your camera - OK, your phone - with you when you visit flats or houses that might be suitable to rent or buy. Make as many photos of each place as possible - of the bedrooms, living areas, outside areas, approaches, and public areas like gardens or swimming pools - and open a folder for each place if you find yourself looking at a number of properties. This way you&rsquo;ll be able to take your time comparing them after you&rsquo;ve finished visiting them - and when you look at the images, you might notice things about the properties that you didn&rsquo;t see when you visited them.</p> <p>And if you&rsquo;re going to rent, keep your photos on file after you&rsquo;ve signed the lease (and give copies to your landlord, too). They&rsquo;ll serve as a visual record of the state of the building and its fittings when you move in - which is important because you don&rsquo;t want to find yourself losing your deposit at the end of the rental period over a broken hand basin that was damaged when you arrived.</p> <p><strong>TAKE A TAPE</strong></p> <p>Take a tape measure, and make measurements of each room in the house or apartment - and it&rsquo;s worth making a sketch plan with notes about the positions and sizes of doors, windows, and built-in cupboards, too.</p> <p>This&rsquo;ll be useful for three reasons: your insurance company might want to know the floor area; you can check whether the furniture you have will fit in to the rooms (and if you don&rsquo;t have furniture, you can make the right decisions about the pieces you buy); and you can divide the rent equitably between room mates if some of the bedrooms are smaller or larger than others.</p> <p><strong>BRING A FRIEND</strong></p> <p>If you know who you&rsquo;re going to be sharing with, bring them along on the hunt - even if you&rsquo;re planning to sign the lease or buy the property only in your own name. This way, everyone will know what they&rsquo;re in for - both in the physical space, and in rent and responsibilities.</p> <p><strong>BRING YOUR READING GOGGLES</strong></p> <p>Whatever you do, make sure you read (and re-read!) the lease before you sign it - making sure, for instance, that the landlord has no problem with the fact that you&rsquo;re planning to share.</p> <p><strong>WRITE THE RULES</strong></p> <p>Once the place is yours, discuss and write down the rules of play: who&rsquo;ll take care of what, how costs will be split, what&rsquo;s out of bounds, what&rsquo;s unacceptable, and so on - and make sure that everyone understands and signs this (preferably clear and simple) document.</p> <p>And then you can start planning your first house party.</p> <p>Article from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.privateproperty.co.za/advice/property/articles/6-essential-flat-hunting-tips/3310">privateproperty</a></p>