Whether you’re looking for a new place to live or searching for your very first rental, finding a good apartment can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are ways to make an apartment search go smoother. Take advantage of these five handy tips to save time, effort, and money.
1. Know Your Budget
Before you begin your apartment search, work out a monthly budget so you know what you can afford to pay for rent and utilities. List all your income, and then subtract your expenses, including everything from your car payment to groceries and entertainment. For help creating your budget, use a paper or digital spreadsheet, or rely on handy budgeting apps like Mint or PocketGuard.
2. Allow Plenty of Time
Leaving an apartment search to the last minute limits your options. To find the perfect place, give yourself at least one month for apartment hunting and planning. Most tenants are required to give landlords a notice of at least 30 days before vacating the premises, which should give you time to gather funds for your security deposit and prepare for your move.
3. Find Affordable Options
The ideal apartment is comfortable and affordable. To find the most budget-friendly options, look for apartments outside your city center. If possible, conduct your search during the winter months when less competition tends to result in lower rental prices. Slash costs even further by:
- Getting a studio apartment
- Finding a roommate
- Negotiating on a fixer-upper
4. Be a Digital Investigator
To narrow your apartment search, check out places online before you see them in person. Search websites like ApartmentSearch.com, and list your preferred features and amenities, such as a dishwasher, laundry facilities, parking, wireless internet, and allowance for pets. Use Google Maps to familiarize yourself with particular neighborhoods, and look for grocery stores, shops, restaurants, and parks in the area.
5. Gather Essential Information
When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few apartments, take a notebook with you to your showings and jot down important details like rental prices, security deposit amounts, utility coverage, average energy costs, pet and lease policies, and contact information. If you plan to commute to work or school, then check on proximity to public transportation.
People rarely look forward to apartment hunting, but your experience doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Use these five tips for an easy process, and forget about furnished apartments. Instead, turn to CORT Furniture Rental for stylish, well-built pieces, from dining sets and sofas to comfy beds delivered right to your door and picked up when you’re ready to end your lease.