While hunting for an apartment, you probably don’t really think about what your entertainment options would be. It’s understandable, given that you would prioritize other aspects of apartment hunting first, such as the rental price, location, and nearby amenities.
However, once you’ve found suitable candidates, you should start considering how you would be spending your leisure time while at your place. If you love to watch television, particularly to catch up on the news or see the latest sporting events, then you need an apartment that is cable ready.
Cable ready is a term used by real estate agents and property owners to describe an apartment listing that is ready for cable installation. The apartment is already outfitted with the lines needed to receive the service so that providers can easily install cable TV at your unit.
If you prefer using cable television to Internet-based TV streaming services or you want to have both options available, getting a cable ready apartment is highly recommended. You won’t need to worry about any renovations to install the wires; simply contact your preferred local cable provider and sign up for their service.
In the age of Internet-based streaming services and social media, you might be wondering whether it’s still worth spending on cable TV. After all, it is really worth spending on a monthly cable subscription if you can watch shows like How I Met Your Mother and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. on demand?
Mostly, it depends on your preference and viewing habits. If you regularly get your entertainment from streaming services or from social media, paying for cable services might be redundant. However, if you like watching news on the major broadcasting networks or you love watching regional shows, then you should get cable TV.
It can also depend on your location. There are some areas where cable ready apartments are the norm because these regional broadcasts have the clearest and strongest signal. These areas might not be capable of receiving a strong Internet connection, so local companies have no choice but to offer cable TV services to the local community.
Generally speaking, a cable ready apartment does not necessarily mean that the apartment already has the service when you move in. All it means is that the wires are already in place, so you won’t need to wait for any installation before you can subscribe to a cable service.
In some cases, you can speak with the property owner to help you subscribe to a service before you move in so that you can start watching as soon as you live in the unit. Of course, you will need to sign the lease first before making this kind of arrangement with the apartment owner.
Some property owners will choose to have their apartments cable ready because it increases the value of the unit. In fact, if they live in a community where most people have cable television subscriptions, there is a good chance that the property is cable ready.
If you’re lucky enough to find a cable ready apartment, you need to find out which cable providers are available in the area. You can either ask the property owner for recommendations or search online.
Here are some other ways to find cable options:
In general, large providers such as TimeWarner, Verizon, and Comcast are available in most areas in the USA. You can simply check their website to see if they offer their services in your area. If they do, look for the number for their local office so that you can apply for a subscription.
The best way to find cable option suggestions is by asking locals who live in the area. Not only will they have a service that’s obviously available, they can also give you feedback on the service performance. You’ll have a better idea of whether the service is worth the money.
Asking the locals is also a good way to get the contact number of the person in charge of your area. This representative can fast-track your application if needed so that you can easily get cable as quickly as possible.
These days, many Internet service providers usually offer cable subscriptions as part of a value bundle package. Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast all offer cable services, so if they offer Internet in your area, there’s a good chance that they offer cable as well.
When you get in touch with a local cable company, here are some questions you should ask to facilitate your service application:
- How does the service get activated?
You need to know what the company needs to do in order to activate the cable service at your place. Generally, most cable companies will set an appointment to have a technician come out and set up your connection. However, some newer apartments have setups that can be activated remotely, without needing a technician to personally visit your home.
- What packages are available?
It might seem obvious, but you should always ask what packages are available. If you live in more remote areas, there might be channels that are unavailable to you. It never hurts to know just what you’re paying for.
- Are there any promos for new connections?
Many cable service providers offer promos as an incentive for first-time customers. These promos can come in the form of discounts, cable and Internet bundles, or free extra channels. However, always do the math before you say yes to any promos; sometimes, they just sound good but you would actually be spending more in the long run.
- What is the contract length term?
Before you sign a contract with the provider, make sure that you understand all the terms of their service, particularly the length of the contract and what penalties are attached for late payment or early termination. Many cable companies have a lock-in period that triggers a penalty clause if you break the contract early.
- What happens when your lease expires?
You should also know what happens to your contract after your apartment lease ends. This is why it might be beneficial to apply for cable service around the same time as your lease start date; there is a good chance that these two contracts will end around the same time as well. If the term of both contracts end simultaneously, you won’t have to worry about leaving any loose ends when you move out.
In general, you can either choose to close the subscription or you can choose to apply for a change of location, if your new place is also covered by the same provider. If you’re lucky, the provider can change the location of your service free of charge provided that you sign a new contract with the company.
However, if you choose to close the contract, you need to know what you need to do with the cable equipment that you have. Will the company send a representative to collect the equipment or do you need to return them yourself? Always be aware of this, because if you fail to return the equipment, you can get charged a fee.
In a nutshell, a cable ready apartment simply means that the unit already has wires installed so that you can apply for a service. Usually, the apartment does NOT have a ready subscription that you can use. You will still need to apply for a service in order to watch cable television at your apartment.