Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post by Wendy Dessler, an outreach manager and content creator.
Finding the right apartment in competitive cities such as San Francisco and NYC can be difficult. You could consider moving to a sleepy town, but this might not be feasible, especially if you have a job in the city.
Apartment hunting in competitive cities is overwhelming, even for the most seasoned apartment hunter. Here are some tips that will come in handy when looking for the right apartment:
Be Ready to Research and Attend Open Houses
Look out for scams and avoid deals that seem too good to be true. Words such as ‘charming’ and ‘cozy’ can be used to describe small apartments with out-of-date features. ‘Converted’ is another word that you should watch out for; it could mean that additional rooms have been added using temporary walls.
You should know your rights as a renter to understand what landlords are permitted to ask you. Before you attend any open houses, you should arm yourself with the right information if you want to weed out landlords with illegal demands.
No matter how badly you want an apartment, you should not be afraid to ask questions. After all, you will have to live in the apartment once you get it. Make sure you ask about past tenants and the neighborhood. You don’t want to be stuck living in an apartment you don’t like.
To discover new listings, create user accounts with several online listings to find out when apartments are available. You also need to keep track of the rental information you find. For example, use a spreadsheet to compile the information for all the apartments you like.
To make a good first impression on the landlord, you should prepare a good description of yourself. When a potential landlord asks why you want to move out of your current apartment, you need to have the right answers.
Make Moving a Priority
In a competitive rental market, you need to jump on listings quickly. This is because many people are interested in the property and waiting means you could lose out. If you only have weekends free to take apartment tours, it will take longer to find the right apartment for your needs.
Apartments such as the Urban Avenue are in high demand, so clear your schedule and make time for showings. The apartment search process is overwhelming, and you should take time to care for yourself. Moreover, you need to have a clear head to find the best apartment. Landlords in competitive cities have many potential clients, so you need to respond quickly to the listings you are interested in.
Do you have an apartment searching app? Set up notifications to know about available apartments on time. Let the landlord know you are ready to pay the deposit and sign the lease if you want him or her to give you top priority.
Unlike other markets, you might not be able to negotiate rent prices. Because you have plenty of competition, you might also have to sign the lease without negotiating.
When you prepare for open houses and make moving a priority, you will be able to find the ideal apartment. You will have the confidence to dive into a competitive market and find a good home.
Once you have found your dream apartment, make sure to use as much care in choosing a moving company. See tips for moving long distance and find a handy moving checklist here.