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    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    September 23, 2019 at 10:48 am · · Comments Off on How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    Justin Becker

    Updated: February 24, 2022

    Moving to a new city is a big decision. It is even tougher if you are unfamiliar with the area and don’t have any friends or colleagues to help you. As your first huge task, you’ll need to find an apartment to call home.

    As you take this huge step to start your life in a new city, you will need to find a place to live. That said, you’ll have many decisions that need to be made, from the neighborhoods to the size of the bedrooms.

    Since you have so many decisions to make, it can be difficult to know where to start. With that said, you must find the right place for your needs and budget.

    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    It’s natural to feel overwhelmed while looking for a home in a new location, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Long distance apartment hunting is not something new. As such, you can utilize a variety of websites to search apartments for rent.

    For example, you can look for homes depending on their size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or even their closeness to amenities, such as grocery stores and public transportation, simply by apartment hunting online.

    With that said, what factors do you consider when deciding where to live? How much space do you need? What areas are safe? If these questions have been keeping you up at night, we’ve got some tips to help calm your nerves.

    Let’s get started and make your relocation a breeze!

    Research the New City: Know the Highlights

    Before rushing to search for an apartment, do as much research as possible! Neighborhoods can be tricky in big cities, and while they may look nice on the outside, there may be a dark side that waits inside.

    For this reason, you need to know about the neighborhood and its surroundings in order to make an informed decision. The bedroom size and safety levels are not enough; the cost of living in the new city will be a huge factor too. You will need to know things, like what’s the average rent cost? With that in mind, you may want to check for a neighborhood that fits your budget, depending of course on what you are searching for.

    Let’s say, for instance, the average rent in your neighborhood is higher than you expected. In this situation, it’s best to broaden your new apartment hunt and choose a location that meets all of your needs, while remaining within your budget. The cheaper cities’ cost of living might be what you need to look for.

    Choose Your Desired Location

    When you’re hunting for your next home, location matters, you might want to pick a strategic area where you can access everything you need easily. So, check out at least a few neighborhoods. You can also use Google Maps to have an overview of the locations you are looking into.

    It could be work, school, the grocery store, or public transport that is most important to you. When time is limited, it’s easiest to live near what you need. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting out the door to walk to your day job in the morning.

    If you prefer a calmer lifestyle, consider moving to a suburban area. Suburbs are often quieter than areas with heavy traffic and city noise. This can be advantageous if you have a high-stress job or work from home and need to focus.

    Make an Apartment List of Your Desires

    It’s critical to know what you want before searching for a new residence. Are you looking for one bedroom apartments for rent or two bedroom apartments for rent? Is this your primary residence or a getaway property? You don’t want to miss anything, so take your time and do some research before looking for an apartment.

    Calculating the above can also help you figure out how much you’re willing to pay for your next apartment. Also, think about how long you want to stay in an apartment. Most apartment leases are month-to-month, one-year, or two-year agreements, but be sure to choose what works best for you.

    Finalize Your Budget

    Luxury apartments often provide high-end amenities, like a pool, parking space, and gyms. These luxuries can make an apartment worth the extra cost. With that said, high-end available apartments also have a higher monthly cost.

    The truth is that you may have a glamorous dream of living in a luxurious apartment, but the reality is that you want to pick one that is not over your means. If it’s too expensive to enjoy the amenities on offer, it might be worth leasing a more affordable apartment for a year or two, save up some money, and then upgrade to somewhere more luxurious.

    You must establish how much rent you can afford to pay. A variety of factors go into determining the price range you can stomach for your monthly rent. For starters, it is dependent on where you reside and the amenities provided by the apartment, so do your research. For example, if pets are permitted in an apartment that you are interested in, you should be aware that there may be a pet fee to consider, so be sure to review the apartment pet policy and factor it into your budget before committing.

    Also, factor in the security deposit for an apartment, plus the first month’s rent and rental application fee. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much rent to pay, try using a rent calculator. Simply enter your monthly income, location, and some other miscellaneous information to help it calculate where you stand.

    Use Online Tools to Fast Track Your Apartment Search

    One of the easiest ways to find a home is to go online and search through the local market or national listing websites. With online real estate websites, you can search for the perfect home for your family. These sites have a variety of online listings with pictures, descriptions, and prices to help find the ideal apartment.

    In addition, you can even set up email alerts so that you are notified every time new apartments become available in your desired area.

    Here are a few real estate websites where to find apartments for rent online:

    • Craigslist
    • Zillow
    • Rentcafe
    • Realtor
    • Trulia

    Consider Virtual Tours Before Visiting the Apartment in Person

    Do you have any idea how long apartment tours take? A virtual apartment tour allows you to get insights into an apartment in a new city before wasting time by visiting it in-personi. The immersive aspect of these tours can certainly assist you in determining whether or not the apartment is worth visiting in-person.

    Virtual tours can also be used to view properties immediately that have recently been advertised and to preview units before needing to hop in your vehicle and spend time and money getting there. A virtual tour provides panoramic shots of your potential apartment and allows you to explore it with 360-degree views.

    Make a note of the units that meet your apartment search checklist standards, then make an appointment to see them in-person.

    If You’re Doubtful, Use a Real Estate Agent

    A rental agent is a trusted resource for anyone looking to buy, sell, or rent a property. They can help you with every step of the process of renting an apartment, from how to shop for apartments to negotiating on price. When you work with a professional, you can be sure that they are knowledgeable and experienced so that your interests are protected during the rental process.

    Keep in mind that for a good realtor, this is not just a part-time job for them, it’s their livelihood. They are fully dedicated to finding your desired apartment quickly, efficiently, and with as little hassle as possible. The catch is that you will need to pay them a service fee to find you a preferred new place. They will find listings, customize the apartment search, and schedule showings for you.

    Visit if Possible

    For people who want to rent an apartment, there is not enough time to see all that are on the market. Virtual tours and agents will help you find a great apartment, but the best way to find out if it’s the perfect one for you is by going on a tour in-person, preferably with a friend or family member who has similar taste in homes and styles as you do. Physically visiting and viewing apartments will help you make a better choice, especially if you can’t decide what to pick.

    Ask the Landlord as Many Questions as Possible

    It’s important to fully understand the apartment you want to live in and the neighborhood it is in, so it is important to know what to ask when apartment hunting.

    You could be spending an awful lot of time at home, and it’s important to make sure that you like the area. The neighborhoods in a new city can vary so much, with some being safer than others. Some might be great for families, while others are better for singles or couples without children.

    With that said, the best way to know what your neighborhood is like and where you want to live is by speaking not just with the management company, but also with current residents and researching the area. Be sure that’s what you want for an apartment because after signing a lease, there’s no wiggle room for negotiating the terms.

    Tips for Spending Less on Rent

    Renting an apartment in a new city can be expensive, not to mention the moving costs alone. So let’s go over some areas that can help you save:

    Find a Roommate

    There are various ways you can find yourself in a circumstance where you need to split the rent. Finding a roommate is a smart decision if you are a recent graduate who cannot afford your place or if you are searching for an opportunity to meet new people and make acquaintances in your neighborhood.

    Consider Negotiating Rent

    The rent price is not set in stone! This means that just because someone tells you a price at an open house, it doesn’t guarantee how much it will cost in the end. It’s feasible to work out a better arrangement with the property manager. For instance, sometimes paying bigger rent payments upfront can result in a cheaper monthly cost.

    Find Prospective Apartments During Winter

    Want to know what is the best month to look for an apartment? The demand for housing is low during the winter months. With people less willing to move and relocate during this colder time, the demand for housing dips, and prices decrease. Low prices and high availability mean that this is a great time to rent an apartment, buy a home, or even invest in real estate.

    Final Thought

    An apartment hunt can be overwhelming, and needs careful planning. It is important to remember that finding a place that suits your needs takes persistence and patience.

    Research the area where you want to live. Look for apartment listings that are available in your price range on real estate websites, and you should also take into account the neighborhood where the property is located:

    Lastly, make sure you have all of your details during the application, such as bank statements, credit score, and references. If you get accepted and become successfully relocated, also do not forget to change your home address.

    About The Author

    Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns both apartment complexes and mobile home communities and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.

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