2023 Apartment Guide

Is moving on your list of to-do’s in 2023? The process of finding an apartment and moving has a reputation of being overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve collected all the resources you need to find your next home!

Perhaps you’re not moving but interested in refreshing your current apartment? Check out our list of apartment essentials at the end!


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 In This Apartment Guide: 

  • Budgeting for Rent
    Not sure how much of your monthly income should be budgeted for rent? We’ve made it easy to build a basic budget for your living expenses.
  • Must-Have List
    Consider your must-have list. What amenities are most important to you? Determining this list will help you narrow down your apartment search!
  • Questions to Ask While Touring Apartments
    After you have determined your budget and created your must-have list, now is the perfect time to brainstorm what questions you want to ask while touring apartments.
  • New Neighborhoods to Explore
    Columbus offers a great mix of neighborhoods to explore, and there is never a shortage of places to go. What neighborhood is right for you?
  • Pre-Move Apartment Checklist
    Moving doesn’t have to be stressful! Prepare for your upcoming move with our Pre-Move Checklist.
  • Renter Friendly Decorating Tips
    Whether you’re decorating a new space or hoping to refresh your current apartment, we’ve compiled renter-friendly decorating tips to help make your apartment feel like home!

Budgeting for Rent

Each individual has different priorities on how they spend their income, and the percentage of your income you should spend on rent depends on many factors. The industry sweet spot is to spend approximately 30% of your monthly income on rent. Keep in mind that oftentimes utilities are not included in rent prices. Make sure to budget for monthly utilities such as cable, internet, water, gas, and electric!

Finally, leave room in your monthly budget for additional expenses such as pet rent or garage rent. All Champion communities are pet friendly, allowing residents up to three pets per apartment. Pet rent is $35 per month, per pet. If you would like to have a garage, plan to budget approximately $85-$125 per month for the garage.

To build your budget, consider your monthly net income, the percentage of that income you feel comfortable allocating to rent, utilities, and finally any extras such as pet rent. Having a defined budget will help you stay organized and focused on apartments in your comfort range.

Apartment Must-Haves

Consider your must-have list and what amenities are non-negotiable for you. Finding an apartment and a community that meets all or most of your must-have list will help you love where you live! Below, we’ve compiled a list of amenities that are commonly found on renters must-have lists.

Compare Champion Communities

Questions to Ask While Touring an Apartment

Knowing what questions you want answered during an apartment tour will save you time and energy. It will also help you compare each apartment community accurately, because you’ll have the same information for every apartment you viewed! Below are questions we recommend that you ask during a tour to ensure you find the right apartment for you.

  • How long does a maintenance request take to complete on average?
  • What utilities are residents responsible for?
  • What is your pet policy?
  • Is there assigned parking?
  • Where are guests allowed to park?
  • What is the guest policy?
  • What lease lengths do you offer?
  • Do you offer furnished apartments?
  • Do you have a preferred employer program?
  • What school districts are your communities in?

For Champion’s answers to these questions and more, visit our Top FAQ page

Frequently Asked Questions


Columbus, Ohio Neighborhoods to Explore

Part of what makes Columbus special is the plethora of neighborhoods to explore! Choosing the right one for you will depend on your interests, where your friends and family are, and proximity to work. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your search, we’ve included information on some of the most desirable areas in Columbus!

  • Gahanna

    Named one of the ‘Best Hometowns’ by Ohio Magazine, Gahanna offers 750+ acres of parkland, vibrant neighborhoods, opportunities for business growth and more. Rich in heritage and diversity, Gahanna offers a friendly environment, unique historic attractions, high-quality restaurants and accommodations, eclectic shopping destinations and expansive green space.

  • Upper Arlington

    The City of Upper Arlington was incorporated in 1918 and has grown into a primarily residential community of approximately 34,000 residents covering 9.67 square miles. The City enjoys a convenient location as a first-ring suburb of Central Ohio, with easy access to downtown Columbus, the Columbus airport and major highways.

  • Hilliard

    With roots that began as a village built in 1869 around the railroad station, Hilliard has grown into a thriving city full of 33,000 residents, local pride and history.

  • Dublin

    Dublin, Ohio has been recognized as a premier community in the nation. With its vibrant cultural scene, combined with a strong workforce, and top-ranked schools, it's no wonder more than 47,000 residents call Dublin home.

  • Polaris / Lewis Center

    Acting as the gateway to Columbus from the North, Polaris, or Lewis Center as it is formally called, is the city's most vibrant mixed-use development where thousands of people live, work and play every single day.

  • Worthington

    Located right in the center of the state at the crossroads of US 23 and I-270, you'll find Worthington. Residents in Worthington enjoy easy access to wherever they need to be, but there's little reason to leave-- with a best-in-class school system, historic downtown and lively community events, Worthington is a great place to call home.

  • Sunbury

    The Village of Sunbury's motto is "Small Town. Big Ideas. Perfect Balance." Located in eastern Delaware County, Sunbury is quickly growing, with those looking for a smaller town feel and a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the Polaris area. With popular additions like the Tanger Outlets, Sunbury reached city status with more than 5,000 residents in 2021.

New Year Resolutions

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution in 2023? If so, how does the resolution fit in with your normal day-to-day life? Below, we’ve listed common New Year Resolutions, and how your home can contribute to making the resolution sustainable! 

Exercise More

Fitting exercise into a busy schedule can be one of the biggest hurdles people face to routinely working out. The convenience of having a fitness center where you live makes exercising regularly that much easier! At Champion, our community fitness centers are thoughtfully designed and fully-equipped to meet a wide range of exercise needs. Additionally, most of our fitness centers are open early in the morning to late in the evening to accommodate a wide range of schedules! 

Eating Healthy

Cooking dinner at home and weekly meal prepping are a healthier alternative to eating out on a regular basis. Having ample counter space and refrigerator room assists in making meals at home more attainable! All Champion Communities have fully-equipped kitchens with dishwashers, microwaves, and full-size refrigerators. Check out our communities to find your dream kitchen! 

Get Organized

Looking to be a little more organized in 2023? One way to successfully get more organized is by going through your current possessions and donating or throwing away any unwanted items. Then, think about how you can utilize your current space to its fullest potential. Many Champion Communities have walk-in closets which are a great space to store and organize your belongings! 

Make Coffee at Home

Making coffee at home can save you both time and money in the morning. Still want that Starbucks fix from home? Champion Communities have free Starbucks coffee bars in the clubhouses! Choose from a variety of coffees, creamers, and seasonal syrups to make a custom beverage every day!

Read More

Reading books can reduce stress, aid in sleep readiness, and be entertaining! If your goal is to read more books in 2023, Champion has Little Free Libraries at our communities that are filled with books for residents to borrow! 

Pre-Move Apartment Checklist

We’ve created a checklist to help make the moving preparation process as easy as possible. This comprehensive list will help you stay organized during your move!

  • Collect free boxes
    Groceries, restaurants, and bookstores are great places to get free boxes! If you can’t locate anywhere to get free boxes from, usedcardboardboxes.com sells gently used, recycled cardboard boxes. You can even select a moving kit according to the size of the space you are moving from!
  • Label your boxes as you pack
    This will make unpacking easier and faster! Take this a step further and mark fragile boxes so you know to handle it with care.
  • Schedule an internet appointment
    Check with your community what internet providers are available. Schedule your internet installation appointment for your move-in day ahead of time so that you don’t have to go days in your new home without internet.
  • Update your address
    Update your address on file with your bank, credit card company, loan provider, and payroll at work.
  • Transfer/sign up for renter’s insurance
  • Make a plan to move your pets
  • Update your driver’s license
  • Update your address with Amazon and any other monthly subscriptions such as magazines.
  • Pack an essentials box with everything you want easily accessible on your first night in your new home

Apartment Living Essentials

When moving to a new apartment most people remember the common essentials for your main living areas such as the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. We’ve compiled a list of essentials that are less commonly remembered so that you are fully prepared for every circumstance that comes your way.

Understanding Your Apartment Heating System This Winter

Heat Settings

On most* apartment thermostats, there are two heat settings: “Heat”/“Norm” or “Emer Heat”.

The “Heat”/“Norm” setting is best when the temperature outside is 35 degrees or warmer and is the most cost-efficient way to heat your home. The heat comes from the outside heat pump when this setting is on. The heat may feel cool to the touch, but the system is operating correctly. It’s normal for the outside unit to steam and create more noise during the defrost cycle. 

The “Emer Heat” setting should be used when the temperature outside is colder than 35 degrees. The heat comes from your indoor furnace and is less cost-efficient than using the outside heat pump. When heating your home in this setting, the air from the vent will be warm to the touch.


Tips for Efficient Operation 

  1. Keep your thermostat on the “Auto” setting as much as possible. If heat is always set to “On”, then the fan will run continuously, causing your electric bill to rise.
  2. Find your most comfortable temperature and keep the thermostat there. Continually changing the temperature in your home makes the HVAC unit work twice as hard and will cause your electric bill to rise.
  3. Do not block your Air Flow Vent with furniture. The Air Flow Vent is not blowing out any air, it circulates the air back in through the furnace filter. Blocking this vent prevents proper circulation of air, which will prevent your home from heating to your desired temperature.
  4. Check and replace your furnace filter as needed. A dirty furnace filter can cause allergens to build up in your home and will make your furnace work harder, causing your electric bill to rise. On average, it is recommended that you change your furnace filter every three months. Consider changing the filter more often if you have pets.

Pro tip: Furnace filters are available for free at all Champion Communities in the leasing office of your community! 


*This may not apply to your thermostat, check with your property manager if you have any questions.