Moving to an unfamiliar city is certainly a bold move, since you are faced with many more challenges than if you were moving locally. The most distinct challenge is finding a new place to live. You probably don’t know how to find the perfect apartment in a new city if this is your first time moving long distance. We’ve put together some essential tips to assist you before you begin your apartment search from a different city.
The cost of living obviously varies from city to city, so be realistic with your expectations and know what you can afford. You might be paying $1200/month for an upscale 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in Texas, but if you’re moving to New York City, you’ll be lucky to find a studio at that price. In fact, you might have better luck in a roommate situation.
Don’t search too early
It’s normal to feel eager and anxious to apartment hunt as soon as you can, but starting your search too far in advance before your scheduled move will drive you nuts. You don’t want to fall in love with an apartment, and while may be available now, the landlord needs it occupied before you can relocate. Your best bet is to start your search about 4-6 weeks before your actual move-in date.
Research every resource available
Since you don’t know your way around your new city, you have to research it first. Read local blogs, newspapers and community forums to see what areas are safe, within your budget and close to your job, school or venues related to your interests. Use your network of future co-workers, friends and family for recommendations or advice on how to find the perfect apartment in your prospective city. Narrow it down to no more than three or four zip codes, and check out reviews and experiences in apartment communities in that neighborhood.
Enlist the help a professional
Contact a real estate agent or apartment locator who specializes in relocation. They know how to find an apartment in their area that suits your needs, and they understand the services you require from a different city. They can tell you from the jump if the areas you desire are dangerous, outside your budget and any other unknowns that concern you. Landlords and apartment management companies typically contract the professionals, so their services won’t cost you a thing.
Of course, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer and you’d like to take a crack at finding a new apartment home in a brand new city, then Apartment Finder has the tools to help you along the way.