Your apartment is supposed to be your home, an oasis that you can retreat to after a long day at school, work, or another outing to find a sense of tranquility; in short, it’s supposed to be a safe space.
However, nothing can quickly ruin a peaceful, calm apartment the way noise can. Whether it be your neighbors, a busy street, or a combination of the two, no one likes to come home to constant noise.
So, how do you find a quiet apartment? Here are five key steps to help you find a quiet apartment:
- Check for environmental noises around the building.
- Meet the landlord/research the noise policy.
- Do a listening test.
- Consider the structure of the building.
- Talk to potential neighbors.
The remainder of this article will go into more detail on these 5 steps, to help you ensure that your next apartment offers you the peace and quiet you’ve been looking for.
5 Steps to Help You Find a Quiet Apartment
So, you’re visiting a potential apartment. How do you figure out if the building and unit, are quiet or noisy? Well, first, you’ll need to start with the neighborhood the apartment is in and work your way inward.
1. Consider the Noise Around the Apartment Building
Before deciding on an apartment, it is good to research the neighborhood. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there any construction or road work happening currently?
- Are there plans for future construction work? If so, how long is it estimated to take?
Why should you be concerned about neighborhood construction? If you are planning to rent an apartment in a rapidly growing neighborhood, chances are there will be a need for new and frequent construction.
Construction projects can be quite loud and are also a hassle to drive around, meaning you’re probably in for a wave of loud clanging, with accompanying honking car horns. None of this is conducive to a quiet home.
2. Get to Know the Landlord & the Noise Policy
Speaking with the landlord is essential when deciding which apartment will be your home.
You should speak to your landlord specifically about the noise policies for the building if it’s a multi-unit building (you’ll want to know if your upstairs neighbor has a treadmill or a drumset!).
Knowing what the noise policy is will let you know how much noise is tolerated and how the policy is enforced. Ask questions such as:
- Do you have quiet hours during the day or at night? What are those hours?
- How are noise complaints handled? Have any tenants been evicted or warned about noise?
The answers to these questions will also tell you how seriously the apartment management or landlord takes their noise policy, and the lengths they are willing to go to enforce it.
3. Do a Listen Test When You Tour
When you visit the apartment, take a moment to listen for different types of noises. Here are a few tips to help you do this test effectively:
- Visit during a time of day when neighbors are most likely to be home, like the late afternoon or early morning.
- Bring along a friend or relative to help you do the listening, especially if you might be too distracted by the landlord/agent.
- Walk around the neighborhood block to see if there are any obvious noise sources (construction, big intersection, concert/sports venue, train or bus stop, etc.)
- If it’s a multi-unit building, check the halls/common areas to listen for noise, and to check for noise sources
- Check if the floors in your potential unit are squeaky (if there’s a unit above you, then there’s are probably squeaky too!)
- If there are current tenants there when you tour, ask them about noise. Current tenants have no reason not to tell you the truth!
4. Consider the Structure of the Building
The structure of the actual building you may be living in is another important factor to consider when determining how loud or quiet an apartment will be.
Building Design & Construction
Try doing some digging to see what the apartment building is made of and how it was designed. Believe it or not, some apartment buildings are designed for optimal noise control.
Buildings like this often feature soundproofing measures such as special insulation added within the walls along with doors and windows that are also insulated and well-fitted. Concrete floors and walls also play a part in soundproofing a structure.
Also, think about which floor of the building you will live on. If a building is three stories high, the third floor is the only floor in which you will likely not hear your neighbors.
On the first and second floors, chances are you may hear the people above you walk around. On top of that, if they also have young children or dogs or both, you’ll probably hear them more often than you would like.
All that being said, if the people above you are older or have no pets or children, being on a lower floor may not be so bad.
Another critical factor to consider is whether the building you’ll be in is facing a busy highway or street and if the building itself requires renovation or construction.
If your potential apartment building is next to the street, you are likely to hear more noise versus living in a building closer to the middle of the complex. The landlord may also have plans to renovate or continue to build on the existing structure down the road.
5. Speak to Current Neighbors or Tenants About Their Experience
Now when it comes to landlords and real estate agents, they may tell you all the benefits of the apartment with very few of the negative. I don’t blame them, they’re trying to do their job: lease apartments.
So, you’ll often get a more accurate answer if you speak to someone who lives in the building, who also has no reason to “hype” the apartment. In other words, talk to the current tenants or neighbors.
This insight can be really important when it comes time to decide whether you’ll rent the apartment. Here are five helpful questions you could ask current tenants or neighbors to find out if an apartment is right for you:
- What is it like living here?
- How would you describe the area?
- If there was something you could change about the apartment building or the neighborhood, what would it be?
- How do people like to socialize in this neighborhood?
- Is there anything I should be aware of regarding the apartment?
- Do you have any problems with noise, from the floors, neighbors, surrounding streets, etc?
These questions will give you insight into anything that a leasing agent or landlord may not have told you (or may not know) themselves. And as an added bonus, you might make a good connection with your future neighbors.
Is It Worth the Effort?
So far, we’ve talked about ways you can find a quiet apartment. Now let’s pause for a moment to consider if finding a quiet apartment is worth the effort. Here are a few important benefits that a quiet apartment can provide:
- Whether you work from home, have schoolwork to get done, or just need some much-needed downtime, a quiet apartment can provide the appropriate setting so you can focus on the important things.
- Naturally, a quiet apartment allows us to decompress and rest easy after a long day. Going to sleep in a quiet space can also help you wake up feeling energized the next morning. You buy food when you need it, and you should be able to get sleep when you need it as well.
- Finally, living in a quiet space can be good for your health. Believe it or not, in some cases, noise can actually trigger a stress response; on the other hand, a quiet environment can help you alleviate stress, lower blood pressure, and maintain a healthy heart rate.
It may seem impossible to find a great apartment that has a peaceful atmosphere that can offer these amazing benefits, but it’s easier than you think.
By following the above five tips, you can quickly discover the information you need to ensure you find the quiet apartment you’ve been seeking.