Moving is stressful, no doubt about it. You have to sort your belongings and decide what you’re going to keep, donate, and throw away. You have to find a new home in a new city where you may not know anyone or be familiar with anything. It’s scary and exhausting.

Lucky for you, though, there are some ways to help your move be less stressful. If you stay organized, look at the facts, and prioritize your needs, you can find an apartment that is perfect for you. Consider the following tips to help you choose your perfect apartment community:

Find an Apartment You Can Afford

Most experts suggest that you should not spend more than 30 percent of your income after taxes on rent. While this is more difficult in notoriously expensive cities like San Francisco and New York, it is much more doable in San Antonio. According to PayScale, the overall cost of living in San Antonio is 8 percent less than the national average and 21 percent less for housing.

Before you start looking for apartment complexes, determine your budget. Use a budgeting app like Mint or use a good, old-fashioned spreadsheet. Do your research on the cost of living in your area (this includes utilities, internet, gas, food, and entertainment), and then see what you can afford in rent. Once you have a set budget, stick to it! Only visit communities that fall within your budget range so you’re not tempted to splurge on a home you can’t afford.

Research Your Location

There are many factors to consider when choosing your location. How far is it from work? What will traffic be like during your commute? Are you near family and friends? Are you in a safe neighborhood? Are there good schools nearby for your kids to attend? All of these factors are important, but you need to decide which ones are most important to your lifestyle.

Go through your daily routine and see how your neighborhood affects it.

Do your research and then visit your top choices multiple times. Go during the day and night as well as on different days of the week so you can gauge the noise and activity level, if you feel safe, and what the community atmosphere is like. This will help you determine if you’ll be comfortable in the area long term.

Take a Tour

Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to take a look at the property.

Once you’re inside the apartment, here are a few details to pay attention to:

With a little bit of time and research you can find the perfect apartment community to fit your needs. Take your time so you can confidently choose a new home that you’ll be comfortable in for years to come.

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