Your time and energy is precious, so the most convenient way to begin the apartment hunting process is to turn to the Internet. Otherwise, driving around and personally visiting apartments can turn into a time-consuming and possibly fruitless search. Whether you’re moving to another city or you just have a busy calendar, using the Internet as your primary tool is extremely beneficial if you know what you’re doing. Here are three useful tips to help you on your online apartment search.
- Select applicable criteria: There is a myriad of real estate and apartment hunting websites, but there is probably also a plethora of available apartments to peruse. By selecting search criteria pertinent to you, you can easily search for available apartments by city, state and zip code. Think about the proximity to work, school and other conveniences, such as grocery stores, banks or public transportation, so you can narrow down your search to the most convenient location for you possible.
- The more details available, the better: Many listing agents and websites have learned the more photos they provide, the chances of finding a renter increases greatly. Some even provide virtual tours, YouTube videos and multiple photos of the interior and exterior of the property. If you see something that peaks your interest, call or email the listing representative. Many times rental applications and other necessary paperwork are available to download and complete before you arrive for a physical inspection.
- Determine safety: One of the biggest disadvantages of apartment hunting on the Internet is the inability to personally survey the neighborhood and the surrounding area. Utilize Google Maps for an in-depth street view, and search websites, like SpotCrime. The number of arrests, robberies, vandalism and burglaries in a particular area may make or break your final decision. Also, keep an eye out for on-site security measures, such as 24-hour security, in-unit alarm systems and coded gates or building entrances.
It’s common for prospective renters to find their ideal apartment online, especially if saving time is a priority, and it can work for you, too! Just be smart while apartment hunting online, be aware of potential scams, and take your time. Visualize what you want, and try to find the closest thing to your vision.