You can learn a great deal online, about a great many things. You could learn about anything from medicine to Mandarin if you look hard enough for the right resources. But there are things that you can learn beyond the text or videos on the page. Did you know that there are five things Twitter can teach you about apartment hunting? Click through to find out how they can help you to be a better apartment hunter. As always, we promise no slideshows!
1. Always Click Through, 140 Characters Is Not Enough
One of the things that Twitter can teach you about apartment hunting is to always click through, because 140 characters is not enough. That doesn’t just go for what you see online, though. It also goes for when you go out to look at an apartment. “Always click through” is a metaphor for digging deeper to see what’s there once you scratch the surface. Just because there’s new paint doesn’t mean you don’t have to make sure the walls are thick enough for your liking, for example.
That also includes the grounds in general. Sure, your apartment is nice, but is there dog waste everywhere? That raises concerns about whether your neighbors care about the community. Are the exterior features well maintained? Do you see signs of obvious disrepair? Look beyond the surface and remember that you’ll be staring at this community for at least the next 365 days, and probably much longer because moving is a nightmare no matter how long its been since the last time you moved.
2. Paul Is A Real Estate Novelist
This one cuts two ways. We all know the Billy Joel song being referenced here, of course. In one interpretation, Paul is selling or renting real estate, but he prefers writing novels to his day job and so does only the bare minimum to get through what he has to with renting apartments to people. If you’re considering renting from a small landlord, you need to make sure they’re committed to maintaining the property and being responsive when you need it.
As far as sage advice learned from Twitter about apartment hunting, real estate novelists are also the people who write short, glowing blurbs about apartments that include words like “cozy” (smallest apartment ever) and “spacious” (one square inch larger than the neighbor’s place). Don’t just take the word of the real estate novelists, especially on Twitter, view the property and consider whether it meets your needs effectively.
3. Everybody Lies, The Only Variable Is About What
While these words are most famously said by Dr. House, they certainly apply to Twitter and every other form of media, as well. Whatever you see in print may or may not correlate to what you see in the property itself. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions both when you call and when you go to view the apartment. This isn’t just limited to apartments, of course. Some of the lies are more egregious, like celebrity death hoaxes – Paul McCartney, Jackie Chan, and even Eminem have fallen victim to such hoaxes. It just goes to show you should never believe anything you read when you’re apartment hunting – or ever.
4. Keep It Short And Sweet!
While 140 characters might be a bit too short, be careful about how much information you share on an application. First of all, remember that there are standards and things that landlords are not allowed to ask about – don’t put them in a position where they have information they shouldn’t have, that’s bad for them and bad for you because you should know not to proactively share things that disclose protected status.
On the other hand, make sure you’re sharing enough. Was your last apartment only for a few months because you got an offer for your dream job across the country? That’s useful information because it says you’re not just jumping between apartments every three months.
5. Sometimes The Little Guys Win
Remember when Twitter was just a little startup that mostly communicated with you by text message? That’s where the 140 character limit came from, because they needed the remaining 20 characters for additional information like who you were sending the message to. For some time, no one paid attention to the crazy startup that thought you could say something worthwhile in 140 characters. And then suddenly, they were huge.
Don’t write off the little guy just because he’s little. While you get consistency with a complex managed by a national company, you can find some amazing apartments offered by people who only have a few units. Check out #1 on our list of Top Ten Austin Apartments With An Unexpected Awesome Factor for examples!
Twitter can teach you quite a bit about apartment hunting, and quite a bit about life if you know where to look. Make sure to follow @ECInsure for great tips on apartments and renters insurance, and make sure you protect your family with the coverage you deserve. You can even buy renters insurance online.