When you’re a single man,and you’re searching for an apartment, whether it’s your first or you’ve lived in several rental properties, it’s a big and often difficult decision. There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to rentals, but it’s not just about the home itself. Renting an apartment is also about the location and the lifestyle it will afford you.

The following are some things to think about as you make a decision.

Is It Pet-Friendly?

Pet Friendly - Choosing the Perfect Apartment for Your Lifestyle

If you have a pet and particularly a dog, this is a big decision. Considering how pet-friendly a property is can help you narrow down your options and focus on the ones that will meet your needs. Even though a property might be marketed as pet-friendly, is it really? For example, are there breed or weight restrictions you need to be aware of?

A truly pet-friendly community won’t just use it as a marketing ploy. When you visit the property, you’ll see designated areas for pets. You may also see they offer perks such as Valet Living’s pet services.

Pet services can include everything from dog park equipment to grooming stations and even services related to your pets, such as available dog walking.

Do You Even Need an Apartment?

When you think rentals, you might inherently think of apartments, but there are other options including single-family homes. Sometimes as a single, young professional you might think a single-family rental is out of your budget, but you should look around and compare prices before deciding on the type of property you’re going to rent. You may be surprised by what you find.

You can get more value for your money with a single-family home, but fewer amenities.

What Are the Amenities?

To attract young, discerning renters, most apartment communities are stepping up the amenity game. Amenities can make life easier and more fun,and they can also save you money.

For example, if you’re looking at a community with a gym and perhaps onsite workout classes, how much will you save if you can stop paying your existing gym membership?

Location

As a young professional, there are a lot of downsides to a potential apartment that you might be willing to overlook if the location is great. A good location can mean different things to different people, however.

You have to think about your priorities. Maybe a short commute to your office is number one. On the other hand, maybe you have an active social life,and you want to feel like you can get out and about on foot in the neighborhood.

If you’re not sure about a neighborhood, spend some time in it before you make a rental decision.

You may be surprised about what you like or don’t like when you’re actually experiencing it.

If you’re moving to a new city, having a walkable, energetic neighborhood can help you meet people.

If you don’t choose a vibrant neighborhood, some apartment communities, particularly in the suburbs, will offer social activities onsite.

Do You Entertain?

If you don’t do a lot of entertaining when you choose an apartment it’s just about you and what you prefer. If you do, there are certain considerations. For example, is the layout open between the kitchen and the living rooms?

How will your neighborhoods feel about your entertaining? Are the space and community conducive to this?

Give Yourself Time

As a busy young professional, you may wait until the last minute to start your apartment search, but you might have to sacrifice in a few areas, or sometimes more than a few. Typically from May through August is the busy season for rentals, so you should start looking at least a month in advance of the time you need to move.

Finally, what about cost considerations? You shouldn’t work just so you can make your rent each month, and a landlord might not accept you if it appears that will be the case. Usually, you should have a yearly income ratio of anywhere of 40 to 50 times the rent you’re looking to pay according to Nerd Wallet.

If you can’t comfortably swing this, you may need to look elsewhere. You’ll also have to think about other monthly expenses including utilities, storage, Internet, pet fees and building fees for things like trash and maintenance. There are upfront costs also include security deposits which are usually equal to one months’ rent, and some landlords may require you to pay your first and last month’s rent upfront.