Red Flags When Finding A Place To Live

March 22, 2021

1. No description of the place

You may be thinking the person who uploaded the house or apartment is just doesn’t know how to work a computer. We’re here to assure you that’s completely false. Do not invest your time into looking at a home when the person couldn’t put basic information up. If they were really wanting to lease the place, they would have written a description.

2. Zero or hardly any photos listed

Similar to what we’ve said above, do not waste your time. It may be in the perfect location for your work commute but the actual place may or may not be a hazardous waste site. Especially if the listing has been up for over a week, there shouldn’t be any excuse for why there aren’t photos listed. Take our advice, the place is probably a dump and not worth living in.

3. Photos are stretched

One of the most frustrating things is thinking you’ve found a great place to live and when you go to see it in-person, the apartment is half the size of what the photos made it out to be! It only takes experiencing this once to be able to tell which online photos are real and which are stretched. Don’t let the photos fool you.

4. Windows are closed in photos

On one hand the outside yard may need some work and on the other hand, you could have a VERY close neighbor whose window looks right into yours. This is something worth asking about. It’s possible the person who took the photos may have gotten lazy so make sure you know the truth of what view you’d be looking at.

5. Rent seems too good to be true

Extremely cheap rent could mean there are major problems with the property. Your monthly utility bills could be sky-high, everything will need to be replaced as soon as you move in, or in the fine print the landlord has mentioned you not getting your safety deposit back.

6. You're unable to look at the listing in-person until signing the lease

No, just no. If someone says you’re unable to look at the place until the papers are signed, run for the hills. The hills to a new place. They are obviously trying to hide something (and potentially MAJOR issues with the apartment) and don’t want you being aware until you’re trapped in the lease.

7. All the houses in the neighborhood are for sale

This could potentially mean all the places are new, but if you do a little digging you’ll be able to find out for sure. This could mean crime rates are rising in the area and it’s not a safe place to live anymore, or something in the community is being built or changed out. If you’re able to, ask around and see if you can figure it out.

8. Odors in the house

And no, we don’t mean food. If they have a strict no pet policy but the place smells like a litter box, tell them and let them know you’re confused. If there are odors you’ve never smelled before, they could be extremely harmful. Mold could be growing in the home and you have no idea. There could be plumbing problems waiting for you to fix once moved in. Make sure you speak up about this if you smell anything off!

9. The landlord doesn't live in the same city, state or country

A landlord should live in the same area as the place you’re leasing. If you’re confused as to why, check out our previous blog, Maintaining A Good Relationship With Your Landlord. If you run into issues during your stay, they are in charge of providing assistance. If you’re living in Boise, Idaho and they’re in Miami, it’s going to be near impossible for them to help you if a serious problem occurs. Make sure you do your research!

10. The landlord doesn't provide a damage checklist when moving in

Long story short, the landlord is going to try and charge you for things you didn’t do. When moving into a new home, it’s important to take note of everything that is damaged, doesn’t work, etc. If your landlord doesn’t provide you with a checklist, take notes AND photos while moving in. Make sure they’re submitted to them and saved on your end so when your lease is up, you can still receive your safety deposit back.

And there you have it! Be sure you really look into the place you’re wanting to live in before you move in so you don’t have unnecessary stress in your new home. Good luck in your search, we wish you nothing but the best! Stay tuned for a blog in the near future talking about the most important things to look for when finding a home!

-The Chillow Team