Looking For An Apartment To Live In – Apartment hunting can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but put 2,000 miles between you and the haystack and it becomes an impossible quest. If you’re moving to a remote town, some careful planning can help you find a place to live.
When most people buy a home, they turn to a listing agent for help to advise them on the best neighborhoods, score listings, and manage the process. You may not realize that some agents can help you find rentals — especially useful if you don’t know the city. “A lot of people find something on Zillow or Craigslist and pick it up,” says real estate broker Jamie Pullman of Downtown Condo Case in San Diego. “They don’t know they can find a unit or part for less than they paid.”
Looking For An Apartment To Live In
Agents know the area well enough to help you find the right part of town, and they can even check out all the shows with the owners before you even set foot in town. Plus, they know specific market issues, as things can vary depending on geographic location – for example, the price of their services.
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“We charge a small flat fee: half upfront, then the other half once we’ve fully rented,” says Mr. Pullman, whose service costs $1,500. But each market is different in how agents make money. “In New York, the tenant pays the broker 10 percent of the total rent,” he says. “In other markets, such as Austin, landlords may pay a broker a month’s rent to help retain tenants.” If you go to town and the owner pays the agent a commission, there’s no point asking the agent for help because you don’t have to pay the bill.
Even if you’re moving to a city where the recruiting agency pays, check with your employer. Many employers can cover that cost, Mr. That’s because it saves the cost of putting yourself in temporary housing while you’re looking for a home of your own, says Pullman. Agents can help you negotiate lease and lease terms, for a fee. Make sure you hire someone with good reviews from past clients; Yelp is a good place to start, but if you know someone in town, word of mouth can be very helpful.
Every city has its own flavor, but in any major city, you’ll find unique environments, some of which suit you better than others. Once you know what you need in an apartment, you should start narrowing your search by location.
If you work with an agent, they will be able to provide you with a lot of information about the area. But if you do it yourself, you may have to do some legwork. Most major cities have their own sub-forums on sites like Reddit (for example, /r/Seattle or /r/Charlotte) where you can ask people which neighborhood might suit your needs and budget. If you have friends in town, call them and ask about their experiences. (Even if you don’t think you have any friends in a certain city, do a Facebook search first—type “Friends in Denver” into the search bar—and you might be surprised to find an old friend. You feel it.
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Once you’ve found a few areas you think might be relevant, dig deeper into your search. To take a virtual tour, find a nearby location on Google Maps and drag the yellow “Street View” icon. Google Maps can also give you an idea of your public transportation options, especially for your commute. Trulia gives you major crime data with “heat maps” showing dangerous streets, and WalkScore tells you how many restaurants, grocery stores, and other places are nearby. Some of these things may be more important to you than others, but you get the idea: There’s no need to lock yourself in a neighborhood just because someone else said you wanted to. See if it works for you.
It’s always helpful to know what you want before you start looking for an apartment, but it’s especially important when moving to a distant city. If you spend a long weekend exploring the city and looking at apartments, you don’t have to worry about spending time debating whether you really want in-unit laundry or a complex with its own gym. Let’s take a look at the “must-have” and “nice-to-have” lists and then you will know what is non-negotiable.
You should start looking at the listings to see how these options fit into your budget. Some of the facilities you rely on in the city you are visiting may be prohibitively expensive. General sites like PadMapper, HotPads, Apartments.com, and Trulia can help give you an idea of what’s available, but check to see if there are regional sites in the area. For example, when I moved to Los Angeles, I had good luck with Westside Rentals, which specializes in West Coast cities. New York City, on the other hand, has Street Easy.
Don’t look too far into the listing—after all, most of it will disappear when you move (unless you’re already connected). Look around to see what types of apartments are available and at what prices and if the city is on your wish list. Even if you’re working with an agency, knowing what you want ahead of time can save you (and them) a headache.
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Finally, you really want to go to town and hit the pavement. “I don’t recommend renting an apartment out of sight,” says Pullman. “I’ve had the client do that, but it will be a last resort.” (Some landlords won’t let you do this.) Plan a long weekend (or a week, if you have time) to visit the city and look at the apartments; If you work with an agent, they will list it for you in advance. If not, you can arrange it yourself before leaving.
Don’t start marching too fast, though, or they’ll get to your core. Your timeline will vary from city to city, so you’ll have to ask how soon units can be rented.
“Here in San Diego, when a unit goes on the market, it’s usually in stock and sells out quickly,” said Mr. Pullman said. “The perfect spot is about two weeks. Other markets may close months in advance. In Boston, many companies will market apartments before they become available, and rent out before current residents move in,” he says. “So book your trip and find out what the general windows are.” , then start planning your exposure days or weeks before your move. Check Yelp reviews for buildings or sites like Rate My Landlord and Review My Landlord before signing on the dotted line.
If you plan to fill out an application while in town, bring all the necessary documents with you. This includes credit reports, recent payment stubs or bank statements and – if you have pets – a photo and certificate of the service dog, if you have one, says Mr. Pullman.
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If all else fails and you don’t have the time or travel budget, Mr. Pullman still recommends waiting to sign a contract until you’ve spent some time in the city. If it means bumping into a friend or staying at an Airbnb for a few weeks, then do it; You don’t want to be stuck on a bad year’s lease because the pictures are “good enough.”
You can try to find apartments that specialize in short-term rentals or indefinite rentals. They can be hard to find, but they allow you to find a permanent place without rushing. If you can give yourself time to find the right environment, it will be easier for you to settle into your new hometown. By Jennifer Bradley Franklin Jennifer Bradley Franklin Arrow Right Contributed Author Jennifer Bradley Franklin is a journalist and multi-site writer, mostly in finance, real estate and more. Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Compiled by Michael Petrie Michael Petrie is a Senior Editor at Arrowite. Connect with Michael Petrie.
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