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7 Healthcare Concerns to Think About When Apartment Hunting

There are many things to consider when hunting for an apartment ranging from price to the surrounding neighborhood to whether or not it allows pets. That includes healthcare concerns, like the proximity of any hospitals, clinics or doctors. Consider the following:

 

Is there a hospital in the area?

 

If your apartment is in a city, the answer is probably “yes.” An apartment out in the country, however, could be hours away from a hospital. No matter how robust you are, you will need medical care at some point and therefore need to be reasonably close to it. You should also consider future needs. For example, if you plan to have children, you need to be near a hospital that can provide obstetric services. At least one doctor has recommended that a woman with a low-risk pregnancy be no more than 30 minutes away from a hospital. WebMD.com includes a physician directory so you can locate doctors and medical services near your prospective new home.

 

Central Air

If you are prone to allergies, hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, or other pulmonary conditions, it’s worth it to keep looking until you can find an apartment with a central heating and air system. According to Slyman Brothers, modern AC systems come with powerful air filters that remove most allergens and pollution from the air before it circulates, creating an indoor atmosphere that will be safe for you and your family.

 

Is the apartment wheelchair accessible

Apartment hunters with disabilities will need to find apartments that can accommodate them. As per federal law, apartments built for first occupancy after March 1991 need to fulfill certain accessibility requirements. Their parking and public areas have to be accessible, for example. Their bathroom and kitchens also have to be accessible, and their doors need to be wide enough to admit a wheelchair. ApartmentGuide.com can help you find wheelchair accessible apartments. Click “More” on the homepage’s search feature, and then click “More Options” to get “Features.” Search the list for “Additional Amenities,” and check “Disability Access.” That will bring up a list of apartments that are wheelchair accessible.

 

How old is the apartment

The older it is, the greater the chances of it having problems like mold that can impair your health. It is also more likely to have been constructed with hazardous materials. During the early part of the 20th century, for example, lead paint was prized for its durability and was thus often used in places like kitchens that got a lot of traffic. It wasn’t until later that people learned that lead was a toxin that causes neurological and behavioral problems in children. Lead paint was thus banned for residential use in 1978. Older apartments may also contain asbestos, a hazardous material that was once used as insulation. Older apartments are also less likely to be wheelchair accessible.

 

What’s the humidity like

The relative humidity in an apartment should be between 30 and 60 percent. High humidity can be caused by poor construction and/or poor air circulation. It can cause problems like the growth of mold or mildew. Not only can mold eventually cause structural damage to the apartment, it can cause respiratory problems like allergies or asthma and is particularly dangerous to someone with a weakened immune system. While small amounts of mold are normal, especially in a rainy or humid climate, you shouldn’t find more than three patches of it on an area that’s three square feet. Mold can also grow on the inside of walls. If there’s a lot of it, you’ll be able to detect it by its characteristic earthy and musty smell.

 

When was the apartment last renovated

State laws vary, but the landlord or owner must keep their property safe and habitable. They need to comply with all of the state and local building and health codes. Since those codes change from time to time, the landlord will have to periodically renovate the apartment to bring it up to code. The apartment must, therefore, have working plumbing and central heating systems. It must also be free of mold and pests. The landlord, however, is generally only responsible for replacing the carpet if it gets moldy or damaged.

Rachael Murphey

Rachel is passionate about providing homeowners and young families with the tools they need to protect their future and be successful. She creates content to inspire and inform readers in the areas of home, personal finance, and self-improvement.