Searching for short term housing in Houston can get overwhelming fast. With the diversity of neighborhoods, cost, and amenities, it can be difficult to narrow your list down to a manageable number of properties that offer the items highest on your wish list. The search gets easier if you ask questions that give you the information that truly matters to you. Choosing the right apartment for your situation can make or break your experience in Houston; use these questions to get your search started on the right track.

How close are we to major highways? If you’re working in Houston for a short amount of time, the last thing you want to do is spend hours a day in traffic. It’s important to make sure your rental is close to your workplace so that you’ll avoid the worst of Houston’s legendary gridlock. If you want to be able to explore the city on your time off, make sure that you’re also near major highways so that you can get around quickly.

What safety features are in place? You’re in a city that you don’t know well and living on your own. It’s important to consider the safety of an apartment both for protection and peace of mind. Some apartment buildings offer full time or part time front desk monitoring. Others come equipped with alarm systems or cameras outside of the apartments. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the set-up in any apartment you’re considering.

What services are included in the rent, and what extra charges can I expect? The rate you’re quoted may only cover the cost of the physical space you’re renting, or it may include additional services. Extras may include parking, laundry, and utilities, and the cost can add up fast. On the other hand, Some rental communities include extra amenities, like a gym, that can save you money. Don’t make your decision strictly based on the price you’re quoted. Ask for the details on what’s included, and then make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Are pets welcome? If your furry family members will be tagging along to your temporary home, your options may be more limited. If you have strong allergies to pet dander, it might also be worth checking if the home you plan to rent allows pets and if animals may have occupied the space recently.