Finding an apartment can be exciting but the hurdles can still make it a tedious task. Whether you’re buying or renting, the cost can be scary. Affordable housing is usually a challenge, no matter where you’re moving to.
Still, apartment hunting doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep reading to find any apartment hunting tip to help you find home success.
Tell Friends and Colleagues You’re Hunting for an Apartment
This is a tried and tested apartment hunting tip. Your friends and relatives can be useful when you’re hunting for an apartment. First, they are likely to be more honest and lead you to places you could not think of.
You won’t pay a dime for their help. Plus, their recommendation can land you on a listing that could have gone off the market anytime.
Research Is the Key to Finding the Best Apartment
Research before apartment hunting can help you understand the neighborhood you’re moving to. It can also help you with tons of apartment hunting hacks.
It would help a lot to visit the place and talk to the people who live there. Ask about the rental process in that area and when the listings become available.
You should also try to figure out the amenities to expect and the cost of accessing the amenities. For instance, in some places, an apartment containing a basement can be more expensive.
Find a Credible Agent
Searching for an apartment can be a hectic and time-consuming game. The process can be unending and sometimes you may end up with a large list to sift through. The best apartment hunting tip to save you time and hassle is to work with a credible realtor.
Look for a licensed realtor affiliated with the National Association of Realtors. These realtors abide by the NAR code of ethics. This helps ensure higher conduct and professionalism levels.
Ask for referrals from friends or focus on working with top realtor companies in the local area. Check experience and verify their reputation on sites such as apartmentratings.com or Yelp.
Have a Budget
You can get carried away by a spacious living room, beautiful views, and the perfect location. Sometimes you may even forget to ask about the apartment’s cost or rental price. But with a budget, you’ll stay level headed and fixate your search on what you can afford.
Set a budget to determine what apartment is within your means. What rent can you afford per month? Also, consider expenses such as utilities, social activities, groceries, and even gym membership.
Use a Checklist to Make Sure You Have all the Needed Documents
Even if you haven’t found your dream apartment, it’s best to prepare the needed documents. In most busy cities, competition for apartments is tough. You may lose the best rental a few minutes after thinking you’ve found your new home.
Want to land your new apartment right away? Here’s a guide on how to find a good apartment with all the standard rental requirements. Other needed things include rental history, a fee of $50-$100 for filling out an application form, and the SSN.
Consider the Commute
A longer commute can frustrate and stress you. You will sit longer in traffic and use a lot of gas than when in a shorter commute. As hinted earlier, a shorter commute may also mean higher rental fees. You must make sure that you assess the commute cost well before picking your apartment.
Do a quick cost-benefit analysis to see what commute is more expensive and stressful in the long run. Is the stress of commuting for many hours worth it? Does the time wasted, cost of gas, and your car’s wear and tear justify paying a smaller rent?
Consider the pros and cons and use them as guidelines to help narrow your search.
Take the Time of the Year Into Account
One apartment hunting tip that can save you some dollars is to move during the off-peak season. There may be tons of vacant rentals during the summer but this is the time everyone finds ideal for moving. Most rental prices go up, and moving companies are too tied up to pay attention to price negotiations.
The best time for finding an affordable apartment is during the winter. The period from October to March is usually the most appropriate for someone who wants to save costs.
Ask for an In-Person or Virtual Tour
Once you’ve made up your mind on at least three possibilities, plan for an in-person or virtual visit to each new apartment. Make a list of everything you would want to ask the apartment manager.
Be sure your questions address every aspect of the apartment. Confirm rent payment processes and apartment info. Ask about the building’s age, washers and dryers, and the maintenance services.
Also, establish if the apartment is near the expected community and social amenities. Are gyms, fitness centers, clubs, hospitals accessible? Bet you also wish your apartment to have enough parking and safety and security figured out.
If you’ve opted for a virtual tour, make sure you get real-time photos. Make sure the manager calls you from every room to test the phone reception. You may also ask for a practical test of the shower, taps, kitchen, oven, and refrigerators.
Ask for a Discount
If you want the fairest deal, then you gotta be bold. Be in the front seat of the apartment search process and take control of the terms.
First, take your time choosing your next home. Remember, every deal is under your mercies. You can walk away when the contract isn’t within your expectations.
Make sure you’ve negotiated the best deal. Don’t be afraid of asking for a discount─ the most reasonable amount is 25%. When your landlord feels like you’re likely to look for an alternative, they won’t ignore you. The worst thing you can do is leave the price decision to your landlord.
Take Advantage of the Apartment Hunting Tip That Works for You
Looking for an apartment is usually an overnight process so take your time and be patient. Know your standards and ask questions when visiting the property.
Each top apartment hunting tip can help to avoid the stress and the hassle of endless searching. And when you find your dream apartment, don’t hesitate. The best homes may not stay in the market for long.
For more tips and discussion on home rentals, check out our blog.