With an increasingly tight rental market and less vacancies than ever, finding an apartment is a stressful affair for most. If you happen to be moving to a new city, things can get even more hectic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the process ahead. Here are five tips to make renting your next apartment easier.
1. Know what to expect for your rental market.
Renting an apartment will be different all over the country, and knowing the market in your area will help keep your expectations realistic. In cities where real estate is the hottest rental criteria are most stringent, and you can expect to pay first and last month’s rent as a deposit and higher rent each month than you would in other locations. In some places, a small security deposit and application fee are all you need to pay to snag a new place.
2. Decide what you can and can’t live without.
We all have our idea of what the perfect apartment looks like, but you should know you probably won’t end up with that exact image. Still, you can get something that’s fairly close. Figure out what you absolutely can’t live with and what you definitely won’t go without in your next apartment. For instance, exposed brick walls, updated appliances, and a spa tub may be things you want but can compromise on, while living on the first floor, having washer and dryer connections, and being able to bring along your pet may be must-haves.
3. Use an apartment locator or agent if your search gets tough.
This is helpful in large rental markets, as real estate agents have access to listings that may not be online. They also know key information about the area you’re moving into, and their services are typically free.
4. Know your credit score.
Most landlords and apartment complexes these days will check your credit score to determine the deposit you’ll pay or decide if they’ll rent to you at all. If you have bad credit, some landlords will be willing to rent to you with a larger deposit, especially if you have a stable job and a positive rental history. However, one way to avoid wasted application fees and rejections due to having marginal credit is opting for no credit check rentals. You can find no credit check apartments here.
5. Pay attention to the neighborhood.
Everyday people sign leases based on how an apartment looks inside without accounting for the neighborhood around it. Your particular rental may be fine, but you could be a block or so away from a rundown complex that’s crime ridden. Or you may have kids and not notice before moving in that the majority of your neighbors aren’t friendly towards families.
No matter how great an apartment’s interior is, such scenarios can make living there a terrible experience. It’s also important to consider how long your commute will be and whether there are quality grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities that you’re used to in the area before signing a lease.