An apartment hunting spreadsheet can make life easier for you when you’re looking to rent, especially if the market is troublesome like it currently is. This article will cover everything you need to know about building a spreadsheet to help you find the perfect apartment for your budget.
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Table of Contents
What Is an Apartment Search Organizer?
Creating a spreadsheet is a fast and accessible way to ensure you get your perfect apartment. You might think that each apartment is different and you can keep them separate in your mind, but when you tour some apartments, they can all start to blur. However, a spreadsheet can help you stay organized and remember which details apply to which apartment.
A home search spreadsheet is a simple table allows you to track information like size, cost, and amenities. After the tour and you’re ready to make decisions before moving on, it helps you organize these thoughts.
Why Use a House Comparison Spreadsheet?
There are multiple reasons for using an apartment spreadsheet. Some of these include:
- Visualization: Creating a spreadsheet allows you to visualize the data. You can add the data from the multiple apartments you tour and compare them with ease.
- Customization: You can easily download premade templates like the ones we provide in this article. But they may only suit some of your needs. However, you can easily add and remove features to ensure you have all the essential data.
- Collaboration: With Google Sheets, you can allow others to view and edit the spreadsheet with just a few clicks. You can add potential roommates or family members to help you decide on a place.
Factors to Consider When Creating an Apartment Hunting Spreadsheet
When going out apartment hunting, you should consider a few key things. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Establish your budget and then use apartment-hunting sites. Calculate your monthly rent payment by running some numbers. Remember to account for additional costs, as apartment living involves charges beyond rent, such as utility costs, parking fees, etc. Budget awareness is essential. This will guarantee that your chosen location is one you can truly afford.
Once you know your spending limit, look into local rental properties. Check out the price of a standard unit. You may choose a moderately priced apartment and even bargain if you know this information. If you believe there is an opportunity for negotiation, make an effort to lower the rent. If the unit needs to be repaired for several issues, it could be an excellent opportunity to haggle over rates.
However, remember that most of those looking for an apartment prioritize affordability. Remember that exceptionally low rent is frequently a sign of fraud.
The ideal apartment should have easy access to the neighborhood and a good location. Consider your typical destinations, including places like work, schools, etc. A good rule of thumb is to select a place to live that won’t make you extend your commute by 30 minutes or more and will fit your lifestyle instead of forcing you to change it.
Before you sign a lease, consider making a trial run to your favorite locations from the property to get a sense of the area’s traffic and roadways.
Naturally, you’ll want to choose a place that is in a secure neighborhood. Drive through that area to get a feel for the community. You can also look through the area’s safety history to further ease your mind.
In photographs, an apartment could appear fantastic. But seeing it in person is the best way to tell if it’s in good condition. To get a perspective on the location, arrange a trip. Ask the landlord if they will address cosmetic problems like cracked paint or broken appliances.
Additionally, keep an eye out for bigger issues. Significant red flags include broken windows, leaks, rust, bugs, etc. Finding a specialist who can inspect the apartment for insects before you sign your lease by looking up local pest treatment may be a bright idea.
Whether you own pets or not, it matters if your apartment building accepts them. Some people prefer to live in an animal-free complex. Some people will need to relocate because they have pets. Before signing the lease, ensure you understand the owner’s pet policy.
Learn which dog breeds and other pets are not permitted on the property. For instance, a lot of landlords forbid fighting dog breeds. If you own an exotic pet, you should speak with the building manager personally. Asking about whether animals are permitted is especially crucial if you don’t have pets but suffer from allergies. For instance, if the apartment prohibits animals but you have a cat allergy, you can still rent there.
You should ask if any extra expenses and security deposits are required for the pet.
Emotional support animals are usually excluded from the no-pet rule in rental properties. Therefore, a landlord must allow your animal if you provide a letter requesting an emotional support pet.
A lovely addition to the apartment’s other features is the amenities, which are optional extras. Examples of amenities include hot tubs, private clubhouses, a gym, and external laundry.
Sometimes the amenity charge is included in the application cost up front, but other times it is included in the monthly rent. Before agreeing to all those payments, think about which features you really need and which you could do without.
How to Make an Apartment Search Spreadsheet
By now, you understand how creating a house hunting spreadsheet can save you a lot of time and make your apartment search much more manageable. Let’s look at how you can create an apartment comparison spreadsheet template.
Here are the steps to do this:
- The first thing to do is add a header. You can do this using two methods. The first method involves merging cells and using a large font to create a label. You can merge cells by selecting them and clicking on Format and then Merge cells in the top bar.
- The second part of creating a spreadsheet for apartment hunting is to add the data. When creating this spreadsheet, we kept the above factors in mind. But you could add or remove categories based on your needs. (You can add checkboxes by navigating to Insert > Checkbox)
- With the data added, the apartment hunting template is technically done. However, it looks visually unappealing. We can do a few things to make sure the template is eye-catching. These include adding borders and colors to the cells. You can do this by clicking on the icons in the main toolbar. Some useful options include Fill color, Font color, Borders, Font, and Font size.
Related Reading: Income Spreadsheet Template for Rental Property
How to Use the Apartment Search Template
Search Online Extensively
Getting ideas is the initial stage. Some of the questions you should ask include; What alternatives are nearby? What is the typical price of an apartment in that area? What range of sizes do they offer?
Enjoy living in the era of online searches. Spend some time saving all the rental homes that grab your eye. You can get more specific afterward. You should first view as many apartments online as possible. Zillow, Facebook, Apartments.com, and Craigslist are excellent resources for searching for apartments.
Set Up Tours
Once you have a ton of possibilities, it’s time to focus on one. Choose your favorites from the apartments you reviewed online, then contact the landlord to arrange a visit. After the brainstorming phase, you ought to understand what you want more clearly.
Note a couple of points in this case. First of all, try not to overreact. Everyone has varying levels of stamina because we are all unique. We do suggest you only visit a maximum of five apartments in a day, though. Anything beyond that can be tiresome and lead to a disappointing experience rather than enjoyment.
Having way too many options will also make you more confused. You will start overthinking the smallest things, which will only delay your decision. Make sure your apartment comparison chart only includes the apartments you actually care about before setting up tours. You can simply exclude the apartments you don’t like from your spreadsheet.
Do not be reluctant to take notes and photos during the tour. When choosing an apartment, you always want to see the restroom and kitchen, so having good images on hand is quite helpful.
There are a few approaches to this phase. One option is to carry a notebook and pen and take notes along the way. Make sure you enter things into the apartment comparison template as soon as the tour ends to ensure you remember everything.
Another choice is to take notes during the tour on a smartphone or tablet and enter them directly into your house hunting checklist spreadsheet for searching for apartments. You can be sure that every piece of information is presented this way.
Make Your Final Decision
The notes and images are helpful when it comes time to decide. Obtain all of your notes, browse through your photos app, and select your preferred apartment. This is the most enjoyable stage since you can select a new home for the next step of life and prioritize your wishes and needs.
Make sure to take your time. After all, you will likely live there for a significant part of your life.
Related Reading: Google Sheets Expense Tracker
Wrapping Up the Apartment Hunting Process
The apartment hunting spreadsheet templates we provided in this article are just a small part of what can usually be an emotionally driven process. Remember to enter the logical information into the sheet, but also how you feel about the apartments into the notes section. Being excellent on paper doesn’t always equate to happiness.
The opposite can also be true, though. The one you like the best may not be the most fiscally responsible. Make sure you consider all your options carefully.