Searching for a new apartment isn’t always the most enjoyable of tasks, and in today’s competitive rental market, it can be difficult to lock down the ideal place without spending a fortune. If you’re soon headed out to canvas the neighborhoods in search of a new place, keep these apartment hunting strategies in mind.
Choosing the Right Location
Don’t jump on a property just because it has all of the amenities you’re looking for. One of the first and most important considerations should be the neighborhood in which you’re looking. There are many facets to consider when starting your area search, including affordability, local amenities available like restaurants, bars, and schools, and the main demographic of the area. If you’re a young professional, you may prefer a neighborhood with walkable bars and active nightlife. Denver, for example, is a mecca for young entrepreneurs and small business owners. Because of that, there are plenty of apartments for rent in Denver CO . If you’re a new parent, checking out the local school districts can be a make it or break it situation. Always do your research on the neighborhoods you’re looking at, and use the advice of a real estate agent if you’re moving to a city you have little knowledge of.
Consider Your Budget
You’ll be asked for personal information, as landlords want to run credit and background checks before allowing an individual to live in their space. Always be sure they’re using certified services to run said checks. You’ll likely be handing your social security number out to numerous individuals, so it’s important to keep yourself protected from the unfortunately high amount of rental scams out there. These checks benefit the landlord, but they can also keep you safe as well. If you run into a property manager or landlord who doesn’t wish to run a check, be wary. While you generally pay an application fee for the landlord to be able to run said checks, the right tenant screening services help save tenants money, not to mention save your credit score from getting dinged.
Use the Resources Available
These days, finding and securing the apartment you want is about how fast you can click refresh on your web browser. Canvassing is a thing of the past, and while it still works in lesser-competitive rental markets, you’ll need to take advantage of the many online apartment listing sites to see a better range of what’s available. Sites like Hotpads.com have filter options that allow you to cut out properties from the get-go, decreasing your search time and providing better housing options that fit your specific parameters. This site also allows for high-quality imagery, giving you a great idea of the listing before you actually get in your car and drive over to see it. The instant and easy communication features of this site will help you get in contact with the landlord with urgency, bettering your chances of being considered for the place.
Be Respectful and Professional
As you begin to meet landlords, remember that this is their profession, and treat it with the seriousness it deserves. Always dress to impress (suit and tie not necessary) and speak clearly and respectfully when you do meet. Come prepared with any information they may commonly ask for, including bank statements, proof of employment, references, and anything else that may have been mentioned or requested on the apartment’s application.
Take a Hard Look at the Lease
Don’t sign a lease or any type of rental contract until reading it word-by-word. Once you sign, you’re liable for anything written, and this can work against you should the relationship go south and you find yourself in court down the line. If you know anyone with rental experience, ask them to take a look at the lease with you. Common provisions to look out for include the guidelines on subletting, the allowance of pets, pest concerns, and late fees. The more thorough you are with your check, the better protected you’ll be. Once you have signed, make sure to do a walkthrough with your landlord before moving in. This allows you to verbally confirm the condition of the apartment (take pictures of any issues you see) and will save you from being charged with unfair penalties when the time comes for you to move out.
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