This article was first published on MetroResidences under a different title: 11 Things you MUST avoid when choosing a Serviced Apartment.

Want to find the perfect apartment but don’t think it’s possible? Fret not—it is, my friend! We’ve compiled a list of the top things you must avoid when choosing your next apartment.

There are many things to consider when choosing a serviced apartment. And we know a thing or two about apartment hunting. We’ve compiled a list of the top things you should definitely avoid when choosing your next apartment, whether you’re looking for a short-term or long-term place to stay. Want to know what to steer clear of? Pay some mind to the following 11 tips.

1. Avoid apartments that are way over your budget, even if they look great

Budget is an important factor when choosing a serviced apartment. Thankfully, there are providers and online housing platforms, like Anyplace that offer a range of apartment types and options. Most of these serviced apartments offer flexibility in price. Your pay may depend on your length of stay—ideal for digital nomads who like to roam from place to place. 

No matter how good the apartment looks in pictures or how beautiful the sun enters the room in October, stick to that budget. It’s tough living in a new city so help yourself out and only go for options that are within your price range.

2. Avoid apartments that do not offer the kind of convenience you require

One primary reason people opt for serviced apartments over hotel rooms is convenience. As a business traveler, remote worker, or someone on a short trip, make sure the serviced accommodation meets all your needs. If you are going to stay for a long time, you might have to consider how this accommodation option can suit your living style.

Is there a desk in the apartment for work? Does it allow pets? Is there a fitness center? How far is the nearest grocery store? Is there high-speed internet?

Sit down and make a list—note down the important things you need and keep these items in mind when choosing your next apartment.

3. Avoid apartments that are in locations that do not suit your needs

No matter how beautiful a furnished apartment is, always check its location before making a choice. The location of the apartment has a lot to do with the convenience level that you require. If you are on a trip that requires a major shopping extravaganza, make sure it is located close to a shopping district. 

It’s a good idea to have a look at the local map before choosing the apartment. If you are considering driving, be sure to check the main roads leading to this apartment. If you’re there on a work contract, it’s probably best to pick an apartment that is close to the office. Plus, some digital nomads may not have a lot of extra cash, so it helps to find a place closer to public transport.

It won’t matter if your apartment looks like The Ace Hotel if it takes you 6 hours to get to work.

4. Avoid apartments that do not have the amount of space you require

Space is an important deciding factor when it comes to picking the perfect apartment. Depending on your needs, you want to choose an apartment that isn’t too small. Travelers with families generally need a bigger living area with an attached kitchen. Those on business trips looking to work remotely could consider units with larger study areas to make into an office space or even to hold meetings in.

5. Avoid apartments without a proper kitchen

Thinking of saving money while on a work trip? Go for a serviced apartment with an attached kitchen. Save money on always buying take-out and feel more at ease with home-cooked meals. And it never hurts to support nearby local markets! With a fully equipped kitchen, you also have the option of inviting people over and hosting dinners. Just a thought!

6. Avoid apartments without proper facilities and amenities

What is one of the first things you should absolutely do? Always look at the types of facilities and amenities that a listing offers. Make sure to check services like laundry, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and weekly cleaning. This is increasingly important if you are going to stay at a spot for a few months.

Nowadays many apartment complexes come with a swimming pool and/or a hot tub but bear in mind that older properties do not have such amenities. There is a wide range of amenities you should consider depending on what you need for your stay.

7. Avoid apartments without adequate security

One of the essential things to check before booking a serviced apartment is how safe and secure it is. Consider things like security cameras, in-room safes, and 24-hour call reception when making your choice. Long or short term, make sure it is safe and secure.

This is especially important when you are moving into a foreign country. You’ll never know the nature of your chosen area so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

8. Avoid apartments with poor customer reviews

Before booking a serviced apartment, make sure you look at the reviews of past customers. Reviews offer a great insight into the actual living conditions and experiences the chosen unit offers. You will also be able to take a peek into the quality of service provided.

Guest reviews are largely unbiased. So our pro-tip is to look at the worst of the lot. Scroll to the negative reviews and make your judgment from there. If the worst isn’t really that bad then you’re in for a good stay. 

9. Avoid apartments that are too far from what matters

Distances from places like work, school and family should take the utmost importance when deciding which apartment to choose. For those with families, you want to make sure that your apartment is close to your children’s school but also close to your workplace. And digital nomads may want to find locations near restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or a yoga studio. Basically, close to places that can help to enhance your social life.

If you’re there from overseas and have family in the country, you might want to consider apartments that are within a short drive from your loved ones. You won’t realize it in the beginning, but constant traveling can take a toll on the body and mind.

10. Avoid apartments with over-edited images

Those pictures look good on the website, don’t they? Be warned, most serviced apartment providers out there usually use over-edited images. More often than not, you’ll miss the fine print; ‘Images are for illustrative purposes only. The actual apartment might differ.’ Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about this on Anyplace!

It’s beneficial to request an apartment viewing whenever possible. That awesome designer couch you saw on the website listing? It could be staged. If you have the chance, take the option of going down to see the apartment of your choice before making the decision.

At Anyplace,  you can rest easy knowing that all the images on website listings are from the actual location.

11. Avoid apartments that have bad mattresses

This last one sounds weird but is easily one of the most important tips. Test that mattress. Business travelers that choose to stay in serviced residences often neglect the benefits of a quality mattress. 

Just think about it, you use it for almost 8 hours a day (I know you’re working hard but at least try). It’s the first thing that you wake up to in the morning and probably the thing you look forward to most at night. So when you’re going to that next apartment viewing, try to see how that mattress feels. 

Don’t launch a cannonball dive into it—although that would be pretty funny—just ask the agent if you could see how the bed feels. Trust me, they have had weirder requests. This small test could make your whole trip a lot better.

What do you think? Will you consider these 11 tips when you shop for your next apartment? Feel free to share yours below, too!


MetroResidences is an online apartment booking platform that sources serviced residences to match your specific living needs. We remove the hassle from booking serviced apartments; connecting people to homes by providing a variety of options while building a community of trusted owners and tenants. Check out our Expat Life blog for tips and guides about Singapore-living!

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