Whether this is your first time moving into a new apartment, or you’re a veteran apartment hunter, you can always refine the search process and hone in on exactly what you need as a resident.
You may be looking for a small apartment close to work, a luxury apartment in a big city, or even a home to rent—no matter what your goals, the following guidelines will help you find what you need, fast.
- Know Your Needs
This apartment isn’t for your friends or parents, so don’t try to find an apartment intending to impress them. Make sure you consider all of the following factors, and determine which are priorities over the others.
– Costs: including rent, utilities, transportation, and furnishing.
– Distance: From friends, family, and most importantly, work.
– Rooms and Space: How many rooms do you need? Do you need an attic or basement for storage space? Would a studio fit all of your belongings?
– Pets: If you have a furry friend, it will definitely limit your search. Make sure you inquire about any additional pet fees and availability.
– Hobbies/Night Life: What do you like to do for fun? See if the area has social activities and recreation or places to get together and meet new friends nearby.
- Take Advantage of Technology
You have a huge advantage over apartment seekers of old. Now, you can see an apartment the moment it’s posted on the market, and you can set filters to show you exactly what you want in the areas you want. You can try websites like apartments.com, Zillow.com, hotpads.com, Trulia.com and more. If you’re not using these websites to assist in your search, you’re going to miss out.
- Be Prepared
When you go to look at an apartment, have everything you need to sign the lease. Bring a checklist to make sure the apartment has all of the features you need and that everything works correctly, and bring your checkbook in case you want to pay for an application or security deposit. You may need documentation such as a letter of employment, tax returns, or paystubs. You will also likely need reference letters or the phone numbers of previous landlords to complete your application.
Finally, make sure to read through your lease thoroughly before signing. Make sure that pets are mentioned if you’ve been told that it’s a pet-friendly apartment, and look out for any strange clauses or wording. Feel free to ask your landlord any questions.