It is easy to get carried away when choosing an apartment or condo to rent. In your mind, you have already decorated every corner. But making sure that you’ve found the right one requires due diligence and careful attention to details.

Now that you have an apartment in mind and have done initial visits and rental inspection, you are now ready to make it official. You like the location and the vibe. You like the look and you feel that everything’s right. Hold it right there. You must be able to tick off every item on this apartment inspection checklist.

Check water pressure

You walk into a home, you see a kitchen sink and a faucet. Do you turn it on? Yes, please. Strong water pressure is something you deal with every day — shower, laundry, washing dishes — but does not normally bother to check. To make sure the apartment has good water pressure by checking the shower and toilet.

Inspect switches, outlets, and electrical works

This may not be as thrilling as checking the interiors, but it is totally necessary. Bring something that you can plug such as chargers to test if power outlets are working. You must also flick every switch in the apartment. Check the main switch, electric meter, etc.

Test cell phone reception

A decade or two ago, no one really cared about this. But at a time when you do everything on your phone or laptop, it is important that your target apartment has good cell phone reception. You don’t want to have to go outside and look for better reception every time you need to make or take a call.

Additionally, the Wi-Fi situation should also be part of your new apartment inspection. Is it ready for Wi-Fi installation? Does the building allow it or are there accredited providers?

Do an appliance check

If you are renting out a semi or fully-furnished apartment, it is important to check the appliances. See if the refrigerator is working fine or whether the stove or microwave works. Remember that your rent is higher than most because your unit has basic appliances and furniture. So make sure they work and you get your money’s worth.

Examine doors and windows

The doors and windows are your most common point of entry, so you should take time in scrutinizing them. Make sure they open properly or you might find yourself in trouble during an emergency. Check to see if the windows have leaks or if the glass is broken. For the doors, look for chips at the hinges or the knob, run your hand along the edge of the door for insulation, and be alert about other possible damages. It is also advised to change the locks and reinforce your doors and windows for added security.

Address pest problems

One of the things to look for in an apartment walk-through is whether there are signs of a pest problem in the apartment. Look for cracks on the wall or ceiling, behind the stove or washer, and around cabinets. Check the bathroom for molds. Look for insect eggs or rodent feces and the like. You might need a flashlight for this gross activity, but you’ll thank yourself later.

Smoke and fire detection

Fire spreads quickly if houses are right next to each other. That’s why it is important that during rental inspection, you should check to see if the smoke detectors are working. Every room must have detectors, and a smoke alarm is a plus, too.

Where can I park?

Unless your apartment has its own garage or your condo comes with a parking space, you must check to see all the parking spaces available. This does not really concern the apartment you are looking to rent, but it does concern you.

If it is an apartment complex with some 100 tenants and there are only 20 parking spaces, you might have a problem. It would help if you can visit the apartment at different times in a day to really appreciate the parking situation. Chances are you visited in the morning and afternoon and most car owners are at work. Inquire about your options or your car may end up by the side of the road.

Old-fashioned research

Your apartment inspection checklist should include research. Apart from visiting the apartment, you must also walk around the entire complex. Security is one of your priorities, and you want to make sure your apartment complex is a safe haven. You may also talk to neighbors and ask them whatever queries you have.

Go over the lease once more

Read everything carefully before you sign. There’s more to the lease contract than just the amount of rent. You can find there landlord rules in terms of dues, decorating, pets, guests, house parties, and so on. Make sure that you agree with all the terms and that you have discussed them with your landlord before signing and moving in.

Before you shop for furniture and decorative pieces, a thorough inspection is necessary. Prepare an apartment walk-through checklist for the move in, and make sure you tick off every item in it. Once the deal is sealed, there is no turning back, or there will be consequences.