1. Use your friends and extended network.
2. Check your cell phone reception in every room.
3. Test out the shower.
4. Move during the winter.
5. Figure out how much it will cost if you have a pet.
6. Look inside all of the cupboards, closets, and cabinets.
7. Ask if you can spend a night or two in a place you're thinking about renting to give it a test drive.
8. Find out if your car insurance will go up if you move to a certain area.
9. Make sure your furniture will fit.
10. When it comes to the average electric or heating bill cost, don't necessarily trust the landlord's quote.
11. Be realistic.
12. Actually. Read. The. Lease.
13. Drop by the building on a rainy day.
14. Be morbid.
15. Be sure all the outlets function.
16. If you have a good personality, USE IT.
17. Scout out apartment buildings from your car.
"Drive around the city you want to live in and see what apartment complex attracts your eye *THEN* go online and check the place out. I did this and I'm currently living in my dream home. Just make sure that you know the estimated income rate of an area so you have an idea what the price of rent would be."
—Jodie Hurst, Facebook
18. Be prepared.
19. Stay on the same page as your significant other (or roommate).
"Whenever I look at places with my SO, I fill out my thoughts first, then ask him for his—without telling him what mine are (so we don't bias each other). Doing this has saved us from picking a place that one of us was not happy with many times."
—Sarah Diane, Facebook
20. If you're looking at apartment complexes, beware of bottom floor units.
21. If you can move in right away, look for a vacant spot.
22. Enlist a friend to help you make good choices.
23. Google apartment complexes and read the reviews.
24. Visit any place you're thinking about renting at night.
25. Don't ignore the listings without photos.
26. Or the newspaper classifieds.
27. Avoid living above a restaurant.
28. Scope out your possible neighbor's yards.
29. Ask about the smoking policies or find out if you'll be living above (or below) a smoker.
30. Go apartment hunting in the rain.
31. 💰 💰 💰 💰 💰
The comments for this post have been edited for length and clarity.