Are you thinking about looking for a new apartment?
As you are probably already aware, the process of moving to a new place is rarely simple – even if you are thinking about moving just a couple of streets away.
Among all the inherent difficulties that come with relocating, finding your new apartment is probably the main one. Not just because of the realities of the real estate market, but because planning everything on time is hard.
When should you start looking for a new apartment? We’ll give you a couple of helpful tips below.
Proper Time Frame
There are plenty of reasons why someone might consider looking for a new apartment.
Primarily, if you realize that you’re not getting enough bang for your buck when it comes to the money you spend on rent. Or, maybe you want to move to a better place because your financial situation has improved?
Regardless of your reasoning, it is not easy picking the right date to start apartment hunting.
From the perspective of the rental market, we’d say that your best option would be to begin looking a month or two before you want to relocate to the new place.
This is ideal because anything longer than that probably won’t be feasible.
Depending on the demand on your local market, available and decent apartments may go pretty fast. But even in low-demand areas, the chances are that a nice place will be rented over the span of three months.
On the other hand, if you start looking for an apartment less than a month before your move-out date — you may find the pressure of finding a new place unbearable.
And even if you do, planning all of the logistics of your relocation can be a nightmare if you’re dealing with a short deadline. That’s why it’s important to hit the sweet spot while you’re timing your apartment hunt.
Go Over the Descriptions
These days, people find most of the stuff they need online. Whenever you need a service, product, or just plain old information — you turn to Google. That’s why landlords and property managers make sure that their rental listings are visibly advertised online, making the Internet your first (and probably last) stop when it comes to looking for a new apartment.
Luckily, the descriptions of individual properties have evolved to become more detailed than ever before. So you won’t waste as much time physically looking at apartments that only end up disappointing you. Of course, you need to tour an apartment to be sure that you want to move in. But you can eliminate a lot of the ones you don’t want by looking at online descriptions.
For instance, if you’re financially prepared for this step in your relocation, you know the precise amount of money that you can afford while browsing apartments. That means you can quickly rule out the pricier online listings without ever having to talk to a landlord or go there. Also, you can find out details, like whether the place is pet-friendly, or what kind of amenities you can hope for.
But, most importantly — you’ll learn when the apartment is actually available. If landlords know that their tenants are moving out in three months, for instance, they can list the apartment online.
What If the Apartment is Already Available?
On the other hand, the apartment may be listed as “currently available”. That means you’ll immediately know that the property is vacant, and the landlord will be quick to cooperate. If you are planning to move out in a month or less, this is perfect for you.
Of course, if your move-in date is further away, it is pretty much a waste of time to tour the currently available places. They will be rented by the time you’re ready to move in.
Still, plenty of online listings allow for virtual online tours these days, further expediting the apartment-hunt process.
Setting Your Priorities
If you want to be as efficient as possible in your search for a new apartment — you need to set your priorities straight. And sure, choosing the right move-in date and following a tight schedule is a part of that. But timeliness requires clear choices.
It might not be a bad idea to create a simple checklist of the amenities and features that you’re looking for in a perfect apartment. Systematically putting each listing through such a filter could help you go through more apartments in a shorter time span. If you handle this part of the apartment hunt right, you’ll be meeting your new neighbors in no time at all.
If you’ve done everything right so far, you should have enough listings that fit your criteria to start a tour. Even if an apartment seems perfect on paper and you’ve gone through a virtual tour — you still need to visit the place in person if you’re going to be sure of its quality.
Pictures can be touched up digitally, and a place can look better than it is in reality. With that in mind, schedule an in-person meeting with the landlord that will include a tour.
Also, use this opportunity to ask your landlord a couple of questions. There must be things that you want to be sure of before making your final call. While you can see the amenities that the apartment offers yourself, ask about the surrounding neighbors and the building. If you’re unsure of what your commute would look like, talk about the nearby public transit options.
If you are worried about whether you will be able to find an apartment on time and you’re facing a strict deadline, there’s no real reason to worry.
Even in smaller towns, apartments become vacant daily— you’re sure to find something that suits you, as long as you don’t procrastinate, waste time on less important tasks, or allow panic to set in.
Approach this relocation methodically, and you’ll finish looking for a new apartment in no time at all!