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Apartment Hunting Tips & Tricks

May 26, 2022

Apartment hunting can feel like a huge task, but if you know what you’re looking for and have your ducks already in a row by the time you find your dream apartment, you’ll be surprised at how easily everything can come together. Follow these apartment hunting tips to cut down on time, save money, and avoid costly mistakes.

10 Apartment Hunting Tips

Know Your Budget

And we mean know your real budget. That means understanding the maximum you can spend on rent when you consider all the factors like utilities, memberships, groceries, entertainment and other lifestyle expenses. There’s no point in looking at places you can’t afford. Knowing your budget not only saves you time, but also prevents you from getting into a lease you really can’t afford in the long run and can spare you the heartache of falling in love with a place you can't afford.

Be Prepared to Apply

Take the stress our of apartment hunting by having all your paperwork and information to apply ready to go before you start looking. That includes pay stubs, references, old landlord contact information, and your social security number (if you have one). That way you’ll be ready to apply immediately when you find the apartment of your dreams,

Ask Friends for Referrals

Ask your friends if they know of any available apartments for rent in your area. You may be surprised to find a great deal that’s not being advertised. You can also learn the pros and cons of different communities and rental situations. Online friends count too! Don't forget to look at online reviews to see what the general opinion of an apartment community may be.

Look Locally

NextDoor's local platform is also a great place to look if you're searching for an apartment or rental in the neighborhood you’re already living in. You may find a gem! Another great way to find your next rental is to drive around the neighborhoods you prefer to live in and keep an eye out for rental signs. Don’t be afraid to call those numbers right away. Some apartment buildings and landlords don’t advertise on the typical rental sites.

Move During the Fall or Winter

If you have flexibility, time your move during the off season. Late Fall and winter is the best time of the year to save money on rentals. Weather-wise, it may not be the ideal time to move, but if budget is your highest consideration, you’ll be thanking yourself the rest of the year with all of your savings!

Make the Most of Your Tour

When you take a tour of your potential new apartment, come with questions already prepared so you can easily make a decision whether to apply or not. You know what's important to your lifestyle, but here are some helpful apartment hunting ticks that will make the most of your time touring:

  • Check Your Cell Reception: Not getting cell reception in your own apartment is definitely a drag. Do yourself a favor and check while you’re on the tour that you get clear reception in every room.

  • Check the Shower Head: There’s nothing worse than a shower with really low water pressure or that doesn’t get hot water. During your tour, turn the shower on to see if pressure is up to par!

  • Bring a Tape Measure: Moving into a new apartment shouldn't mean buying all new furniture... unless you want it to! Bring a tape measure so you will know the exact size of the rooms in the apartment. You can measure your furniture before or after your tour to make sure it will actually fit!

  • Scope Out the Neighborhood: When you tour an apartment, don't limit your exposure to just the inside of the apartment. Explore your potential new neighborhood and keep an eye out for anything that doesn't feel right. Trust your gut - if something feels off about the area or who you’ll be living next door to, it may not be worth it.

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