Top 7 Apartment Hunting Tips for Moving to a New City

171
Photo by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash

Moving to a new city can be the best thing that has ever happened to you. It will present you with many challenges, but also offer countless new opportunities to advance your career or education, get a new apartment, meet new people and experience new things. But not everything is so peachy. 

Moving to a new city is tricky because you need to find an apartment. The issues are that you can’t always attend showings, don’t know the neighborhoods, and have to change your lifestyle to fit your new expenses. However, if you follow these tips, you’ll manage to find a great apartment and start your new life without any stress. 

Get to know the city

Location is the most important part of every apartment search. All people have different needs and wants when renting a home, so examine yours and start discovering your new city’s neighborhoods. Do you want something urban and up and coming, or are you more comfortable living in the suburbs? Do some research on the vibe of every area by using tools like City-Data to find U.S. city maps and find the right neighborhood for you. Or you can find a local forum and ask people to tell you more about their city or neighborhood. 

Take a short trip

There are big chances that you’ve already spent some time in the city you’re moving to, but that’s not nearly enough. Take a short trip to your future home and look at it from a resident’s perspective and leave the tourist behind. What does that mean? Well, instead of searching for attractions, you might be focusing on offices, schools, shops, and parks. If you have the chance, talk to locals and you can expect to gain insight into areas that only locals visit and get the best feel of the city. 

Consider your budget

For most people, rent is the largest expense every month and does the biggest damage to your account. So after you find a neighborhood that fits your needs, it’s important to examine your budget. Between the movers, truck rental, deposits, insurance, and utilities, you’d be surprised how draining moving and finding an apartment actually is. Be realistic about your paying abilities and make sure to include every cost. When you notice a good balance on your account, you’ll be much less stressed. 

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Check out online

Today, you don’t have to travel to explore the rental scene in your destination city. Browsing online allows you to find perfect Midland apartments for rent even while you’re comfortably seated in your Fargo, North Dakota home. Websites allow you to use filters and search by location, price, and size, so you will end up with a perfect Texas apartment for you. When you find something you like and get the address, you can check the area on Google Maps and get the most realistic feel of the neighborhood and the building on the street level.  Once you find a few good places online, you can book your viewing and take a trip to see the locations in person. 

Consider the amenities

Once you know where you want to live and how much you can afford to pay for rent, it’s time to consider amenities that make a rental attractive to tenants. Are you looking for a place for you and your pet? Do you want to have a spare bedroom and enough bathrooms? For some people, an in-unit laundry station is a deal-breaker while some don’t want to be without a dishwasher. Other people don’t care about any of that but want to have a nice balcony to enjoy the outdoors. Do you need a reserved parking spot? Examine your needs and compare them to the offer in your destination city. 

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Ready all your things

No matter if you’re visiting in person, using an agent, or looking online, it’s a great idea to ready all your documentation and money so you can pay the deposit when you find something you like. An apartment that’s decent and affordable will be scooped up very quickly, so you need to be ready to leave a deposit and give it to your agent or pay online. 

Consider short-term options

If you’re not sure about signing a lease for six months or a year straight off, you might look into short-term options like Airbnb or sub-letting. This will provide you with a place to stay yet take the immediate pressure off finding a permanent apartment. You will have enough time to examine the city and settle down. When you have spare time, you can go apartment hunting. 

If you’re arriving out of state without a job or any solid plan, this might be a great option since you’ll enjoy a lot of flexibility. However, it does mean you’ll have to move twice once you find an apartment that suits you permanently. 

In conclusion

Today, finding an apartment in a new city has never been easier. However, you still need to do plenty of research because moving is a big hassle. Follow this guide and good luck on your quest.