While it’s easy to use sites like ApartmentFinder.com to find the perfect apartment, some aspects of apartment hunting can still be frustrating, but not if you have an idea of how to conquer your search. Finding an apartment you love is important, since you’ll be locked into a lease for at least six months to a year. To help make your search less intimidating, utilize these five tips:
Know What You Want When Apartment Hunting
This is the most important piece to apartment hunting. Your life will be more comfortable and easier in an apartment that offers the features and amenities you need. Have an idea of the area of town where you’d prefer to live, and decide whether you favor to live in a large or small apartment community or building -- just realize one or the other requires compromise, like more neighbors or less amenities.
Apartment hunting is serious business, and to come out of it successfully, you need to be organized. Purchase a folder or binder, and gather the documents you need to file them all one place. This means your credit report, pay stubs, bank statements and recommendation letters. The more you have readily available, the more prepared you will be when it’s time to submit an application.
Conquer Online Postings
Craigslist, realtor postings and apartment hunting websites will be your best friend, so get to knowing how to navigate them well. Download apps on your smartphone, and check for daily updates. The more you frequent online postings, the better chance you’ll find an apartment without wasting gas or unnecessary energy.
Be Aware of Scams
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Make note of how a post is written, and if there are grammar issues, misspellings and generic looking photos, you’ll know it’s a scam. Certain words, such as "charming" or "cozy," are commonly used to replace “small,” so keep an eye out for these types of phrases. Also, never give out personal information, like banking information or your social security number, if requested by email.
Know What They’re Looking For
If an apartment community requires residents to earn at least three times the rent and you earn more (or less), move on. Cover visible tattoos in more conservative communities and neighborhoods, or play up your artsy vibe in an up and coming urban area. Try to get a feel for the type of applicant they need, and become that person for a greater chance of getting your application approved.