Apartment hunting is rough. Between application requirements and personal wishlists, finding the right place can quickly go from exciting to exhausting. If you’re moving from one city to another, the search for your new home can be even more difficult as you struggle to navigate unfamiliar territory and pick the right spot in a new place.
While it might not be as easy as you’d like, you can take the stress out of apartment hunting and find your next rental with minimal stress by following these tips!
Start Your Search Early
Around six months before your current lease expires, begin researching the area and looking for potential buildings. If you’re moving to a new city or even relocating to another state, this preliminary search period will give you plenty of room to explore various options and determine which neighborhood is right for you.
You don’t have to apply right away; just give yourself plenty of breathing room to take a look at listings in your desired areas, explore neighborhoods and get a clear, realistic visual on the average apartment in your ideal area.
Rent will be more expensive in managed properties that offer a host of on-site amenities such as laundry rooms, gyms, pools and co-working spaces. Evaluate which amenities are most important to you and factor that into how much you’re willing to pay for rent (or trade-off in terms of square footage.) You might be able to get a bigger place for less if you rent with a private owner, but there’s also less stability and fewer perks.
It all depends on what you want and how much you’re willing to pay.
Decide on a Floor Plan
It’s easy to sway your preferences when you’re touring a property with a chatty and affable sales rep. It can be hard to determine whether or not an apartment is really a good space when it’s either completely empty or filled with showroom furniture. In order to choose the perfect apartment, you have to breakdown the floor plan and contemplate its utility.
Does this apartment offer effective storage solutions? How is the lighting? Would the same square footage feel more spacious in an apartment with a different layout?
Contemplate the Rent in Worse-case Scenarios
Can you really afford your new apartment? If you lose your job, would it be probable that your savings would cover you until you found new employment? Would family or friends be able to help you make up the difference if you were short on rent on month?
Including commuting, utilities, groceries and other living expenses, your apartment’s rent shouldn’t push your bank account to its absolute limits. You might have to make some sacrifices in terms of size, location or amenities to settle on a place that’s both comfortable and affordable.
Don’t Make Your Wants a Must
When you’re paying so much for a space, it’s natural that you have a long list of desires. However, don’t let your would-likes turn into must-haves that ultimately derail your search. Do some self-checks and make sure you’re being realistic and practical with your apartment hunt.
You may wind up trading off some small preferences for a great deal, and you should be open to flexibility and listen to second opinions when they’re offered. The right apartment might not be what you dreamt of, but it could turn out to be full of surprises and plenty of unexpected opportunities.