Tips for finding an apartment in a new city

Moving to a new city is very exciting for most people, but it comes with its challenges. There are multiple things you need to do before the big move and one of the most important is to find a home. Finding a new apartment in a city you have never lived in before is quiet challenging, and it is worse for people who do not have any friends living around the city. It can be a little bit intimidating but with the right moves you should have a less challenging time.

The following tips will help you find an apartment fast and make you move to the city more manageable.

Do plenty of research

You just do not wake up one day and decide you are going house hunting in the city; you have to do plenty of research first. You need to know the location, transportation, average prices of apartments in that area. Anyone looking for a home is usually interested in much more than how it looks.

 There are plenty of things to look at when searching for an apartment; there are also different types of apartments that are comfortable to different types of people. Maybe you are looking for a loft, one bedroom or studio apartment? You will never know until you do the right research. There is plenty of information online about real estate in whatever city you want to move in, which makes the process much easier for you.

Go for a neighbourhood that looks interesting to you

A little bit of research will give you an idea of what city areas look like, then you will be able to make a decision on what kind of neighbourhood you would like to live in.  Once you have made a list of some of the best places in town, it is time to do a one on one research. Remember to choose an apartment in a neighbourhood you are interested in. if you are looking for apartment in quiet streets, search for apartments in suburban neighbourhoods near the city.

What is your budget?

Now that you have found new potential homes, you have to decide on the best. A home that gives you a quick commute to your job, has a variety of shops and restaurants close by, has walkable streets is no good if it does not fall within your budget. One mistake most first-time renter makes is to rent an apartment than is more than ½ their salaries. This could leave you in a financial crisis super-fast. It is better to create a budget and seek advice from a financial expert before you start apartment hunting.

Search online and also visit the location in person

Thanks to the internet, you can now do an extensive apartment search online. Most landlords and property owners put apartment listings online to make it easier for people like you to hunt for apartments in different locations of the city collectively. While this is very convenient, it can lead to major issues if you are not careful. Fraudulent people will put fake pictures online which is why you have to visit each location and talk directly to the owners before you make a final decision.

The top things to look for when house hunting

Buying a home is not just something you wake up and decide to do. There are plenty of financial and physical matters you will ned to deal with to get the perfect home. yes, the condition of the roofing and flooring, size of the kitchen, yard set up and water system of the house are important but there are other things you need to look at before you make the final purchase

Things to consider when searching for a house

The location – Location is quiet an important factor when you are searching for your new permanent home. if you love the neighbourhood enough and what it has to offer, you can live with some of the imperfections in the home.  if the location is not that pleasing, you will not see the need to love even in the most perfect home. choosing the right location is important because it is one of those things you can never change.

One you buy a home in a poor location, that’s it for you. You will either have to live in it or find someone who will buy it off you.  Consider the home’s proximity to your work, the charm of the neighbourhood, noises from roads and neighbourhood, pets, traffic, access to public transport, school, shopping, ease of access and more.

The neighbourhood- The neighbourhood, and not just the home, should meet all your expectations and needs. as the popular real estate saying goes, you should a home, no matter how small in the best neighbourhood as long as you can afford it.  A good neighbourhood should provide you will all the social and public amenities you need, should be clean and generally be satisfactory to you. 

The size of the home and the floor plan – Your home should generally reflect your lifestyle; a simple home for a simple lifestyle and a Tudor/Victorian style home for a more expensive and complex home. check out the exterior features of the home to ensure they are within interest and affordable to maintain.

How practical is the home?  how many bedrooms and baths do you need?  Large homes give you the extra space you need for art, home office, gym and more but you will make more payments on the taxes. Decide on the total number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need so you can look for homes that meet that criteria.

The general condition of the home – The kitchen and bathrooms are the main parts of the home. if they are not functioning as they should then there is no need to make a purchase and end up paying more for the renovations. In some cases, you are allowed to make purchases on homes that can be remodelled or some parts can be replaced at a simple cost. Old homes have old doors, windows, closets and storage but this should not throw you off from making a purchase when it is a bargain.

Final word

Sometimes, some of the best homes are very simple. This allows you to make renovations at your convenience to make the place more personalised.

Mistakes Millennials make when renting an apartment

In the us, around 21% of the people are millennials, which means more and more people are moving out of their parent’s homes and renting for the first time before they can purchase their own homes.  Shortage in rental units in major cities and towns has led to increases in price making it harder for people to find the perfect place to live in. like most first times, millennials makes plenty of mistakes when apartment searching. Below are some of the major mistakes to avoid when apartment hunting.

Sticking to online shopping/online listings – more than 90% of people looking for real estate property do their apartment/house searching online and majority of them are the younger generation. Tech development has changed the way people shop for housing and apartment.

Nowadays, most people do an online search and close the deal through their cell phone; a dangerous thing to do if you ask me. This increases the risk of dealing with fraudulent lenders and scammers from the internet. It could also be as simple as edited listing photos or emitted information. You do not have to do everything the modern way, getting a real estate broker will do plenty for you in terms of getting an affordable apartment in a convenient location.

Shop in off-peak months – forget the high seasons- just like most markets, the rental market is seasons. There are high and low seasons depending on several factors. Holiday months like January and December are great for people looking for cheaper rentals. High seasons come with certain school seasons. You will be better off and save more cash by getting an apartment in the low season.

Searching for an apartment too late or early- to get the best deals, you need to find your apartment in the ideal timeframe.  People tend to search for apartments two week/ 4 months before moving; which is never great. While apartments go fast, especially in busy cities, starting apartment shopping too early will not guarantee you a spot while searching too late means you will need to search extra hard to get the perfect apartment. the best time to do it is one month before you move in. this way, you have just enough time to get the right apartment.

Obsessing over one amenity- amenities are a big part of an apartment and could help you determine if you like a certain home or not. Luxury features mean you have to look for a slightly expensive apartment but should not change the way you view a certain home. if you find the perfect house, is lacking one simple amenity that you can live without there is no reason to obsess over it.

Searching without a down payments and guarantor – just because you think/know that you can afford a certain apartment doesn’t mean you will get it. Some landlords and real estate owners are pretty difficult to convince. A guarantor will make it easier for you to get an apartment anywhere in the city as long as your pay check and down payment fit the qualifications.

How to find the perfect rental apartment – simple process

Living on your own for the first time seems cool and easy, until you have to look for the apartment yourself. Going from comfortable mortgage to a monthly rental is not that easy. First, you have o find an apartment that pleases you which is where the hard task begins. You will need to be ready before you start hunting for the apartment; the whole process can be overwhelming but the following steps will help make it easier for you.

Step 1 – determine affordability

How much are you willing/able to pay for the new apartment?  The monthly rent should not surpass your income by 30% or more. A person who earn monthly income of 5,000 dollars should look for an apartment that costs 1500 or less just to maintain financial security. Remember, you need to make payments on food, clothing and other basic necessities so rent should not be the only priority.

Step 2- find lower costs

There are several steps you can follow to find lower rental apartments or pay less for a rental apartment.  If there is absolutely no other option, you could choose to live directly outside the city and commute. This only works when the transportation cost is manageable. You could always get a roommate to share the cost of a two-bedroom apartment; make sure the landlord or owner of rentals approves before you make that decision.

Step 3- get rental insurance

While renter’s insurance is choice for some landlords, it can be very beneficial for both you and the landlords. Rental insurance covers all he loses in case you suffer any break ins and also helps the owner to cover any damage to may have over the property. Believe it or not, rental insurance will actually help you get your desired apartment faster.

Step 4 – run your credit check

Most landlords will run credit checks on you to see if you have any financial issues.  This helps them gauge the possibility of financial issues on your part; which means they can tell if you will be able to make rental payments on time. Ensure all your credit disputes are cleared before you start apartment hunting.

Step 5 – start house hunting

Apartment hunting is not easy, mainly because there are large areas to cover around cities. Which is why you need all the help and alternatives you can get. The good news is, there is plenty of information and pictures online but the bad news is, you have to check each listing personally before you make the final decision which means you will still have to go around the physically.  Check for price, transportation, convenience and safety while apartment hunting around the city.

Down payment and documentation

Today, landlords check your documentation to reduce risk of renting out the apartment. In addition to credit checks, they run tax return checks, employment checks, reference letters and more.  Preparing your documentation beforehand will make it easier for you to get the apartment you wanted and so will the down payment. Gather up enough money to make the rental payment for a specific period of time to reduce any financial hassle.

Financial questions to ask the landlord before you sign the rental lease

Apartment hunting is like house hunting, buy with less finances. Generally, you need to make a budget and list of all the things you should know before you settle on one apartment. having conversations with the landlord will help you compare several apartments and make the right decisions that are best suited for your needs.

Here are important questions you need to ask the landlord before you put down your signature on any paper

How much is the rent?

This is the most obvious questions anyone should ask before renting or purchasing real estate but you would be surprised by how many people actually forget to ask this question until the last minute.  Make sure you confirm the rental price with the landlord; sometimes you find that the price posted online is not necessarily the rent for the apartment you are being shown. ask for the legal and clear terms of the lease and rent to be sure. Do not forget to ask for expectations in rental raise so you can determine your affordability period.

What is included in the rent?

Find out how much extra you will need to pay every month for utilities. This helps you compare the total amount of rental payments you will make for each location. it allows you to compare between more expensive rentals that include utilities; this way you are able to make a more informed choice. 

Learn the terms of the lease

Some landlords only agree to a monthly rental payment while others have cheaper offers where you can sign a longer lease agreement for much less. Month to month deals can be deceiving and often means the landlord wants to sell the property real soon.

This will leave you searching for an apartment sooner than you would like to.  Monthly payments also mean that the landlord can raise the rent or get rid of you with a month’s notice.  Choose a landlord that will allow you to make a longer lease at first for your convenience.

What appliances are provided with the apartments?

Some apartments come fully furnishes while for others you have to move in with your own furniture. For most modern apartments, appliances are included in the rental feel. This mean you get a fridge, stove and dishwasher among others.  If important appliances like the washer and dryer are not included, ensure there are hook ups to install your own.

What is the total amount needed to secure the apartment?

Before signing the lease, you need to understand how much money you are required to pay upfront.  Most rentals ask for the first month’s salary plus a security deposit while others ask for your first and last month’s salary.  Different states have rules regarding what the owner or landlord can charge when you sign the lease.

Additional fees

are pets allowed in the apartment or is there an extra fee imposed for that?  Some landlords charge extra security deposits for such issues so make sure you get an affordable location that does not charge for pets or one which will give you a money back guarantee on the pet deposit when you move.