What is your apartment Worth?

Have you ever wondered if you are paying too much for your apartment?  How do you know if you are getting a good deal?  What factors determine what an apartment is worth paying for and how can you know if you are getting ripped off?

Square Footage
The quickest and easiest way to determine what your apartment is worth compared to other apartments can be calculated by dividing the monthly rent by the size of the apartment.  For example, you may live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom and living room for a total space of 1000 square feet.  If you pay 500/month, you are basically paying 50 cents per square foot.

There are cases where the apartment's location plays a major role in its value.  Perhaps the school district is important, or bus routs, or distance to work or even entertainment.  This is harder to put a number on, but if we start with the square footage calculation, you can determine how much the location is worth to you.  For example, if you live in an apartment similar to our square footage example, but you pay 75 cents per square foot because you are on the 400 block in Wausau, you can determine that your location cost is $150/month.

Quality of Life
Each apartment will provide you with a different level of comfort and ease.  There are an unlimited set of factors that play into these calculations, but look for things like appliance types and availability, apartment layout, bathroom sizes, porches and decks, parking availability, Garages, heating type, air conditioning, etc.  You can compare similar apartments and determine the quality cost of each in the same way we determine Location costs.

Unseen Property Conditions
Every apartment has a history.  Much of that history is good and will not impact your life.  There are some things you should know about your apartment that could make a difference in your and your family's life.  Make sure to ask your Landlord these questions:

Has there been any mold problems in the apartment?
Is there lead paint anywhere in or around the apartment?
What about criminal activities?
Has anyone died in the apartment?

What has been done to eliminate these problems from affecting my family?

Depending on the type of property you rent and the types of Property Managers/Property Owners you rent from, the services available to you may vary greatly.  No matter what type of property you rent, you are going to have something go wrong at some point in the rental.  You need to be able to count on the manager/owner to take care of you.  In many cases, a high level of service is worth more than all the other factors when considering the worth of your apartment.