Using Apartment Search Websites, Part 3

If you are looking at a sublet, a short term stay, usually from 3 months to a year, just about the same rules apply. Find out how long they plan to be out of the apartment and why, and what access, if any, they might want to the apartment while you are living there.

In many cases it is because they are relocating for their job, or they have met a new life partner and are moving in with them, but want to keep their place just in case things do not work out the way they hope.

Access will usually start out at about once a week until they remove all of their essentials, and it should then settle down to much more infrequently after that.

Once you have arranged for a visit to the apartment that you want to sublet or rent, be honest if you don’t like it or it doesn’t suit, or you really can’t afford it, because that frees it up for other people to look at.

Be realistic.


Using Apartment Search Websites, Part 2

At most times of the year there will be a fair number of listings to sort through, especially in a large city, so you will need to be organized and look through the listings carefully.

Make sure that you have an idea of where you wish to live, the price limit that you are willing to pay and how many rooms and bedrooms you need. Then your search will be easier and faster, without wasting any time on places that are not suitable for you.

Have an idea of what part of town you want to live in, especially if you are relocating, Where will your new apartment be in relation to your new job? What are the schools like? Are you going to college and want to live close to it, but it has more than one campus?

What is public transportation like? Even if you can’t get too close to where you will be working and studying, is your new place on the main bus or train routes that can take you door to door without too much hassle?

If you are relocating for a job, don’t be shy about asking for help. The human resource person who hires you is going to be either a local person who will be in the know about the area, or someone who has just moved there herself and can share all she has learned. In many cases she will know a good realtor or broker, or someone who has recently moved and who can help give you the inside scoop.

She might know of someone who rents, or might even be moving herself and can tell you all about the neighbors and the area. In some cases, she might know of people who are looking to rent a room or apartment, so you can have a place to move into right away, and then look more extensively once you get there.

Use more than one website or broker in order to find a range of apartments. Especially with this economy and the house foreclosure crisis, there is a lot more competition to rent since people are not buying or have in fact lost their house, and need to rent.

When you find a listing you like, print it out, and act quickly. Make sure you take notes on each page about the places you see, and ask about how much of a deposit will be required. It will usually be 1 month, but it might be more, so ask first and be clear about any other terms of the rental. Be sure to make notes and get everything in writing.

Once you have made arrangements to visit, be on time, and professional. If they are not, well, buyer or in this case renter beware.

Also be careful of apartments where they admit it needs repairs. Get the items in writing and an agreement that they will be fixed before you move in. Ditto painting the place. You will want everything to be ready when you move in, especially if you have a lot of personal possessions you need to move in.

If the apartment is furnished, this can help you save some money in the short term because you will not have to buy a lot of household items. On the other hand, Ikea and other stores are so cheap these days that you might be better off buying your own.

As for sublets, they can only charge a certain amount extra for the furnishings, usually 10%, so be sure to ask to see the rent bill and then get everything in writing.

We will discuss apartment hunting using apartment search websites in more detail in the next section of this article.


Using Apartment Search Websites, Part 1

When people need a place to stay for a prolonged period of time they generally think about renting or buying a home. The types of places they look for are usually houses and even more often, apartments.

While finding a good house can be accomplished with the aid of a real estate agent, you may need to use either a broker or the Internet to conduct an apartment search.

Apartment search sites will show you lots of different apartments which are available for rental. These apartments will be from a number of states, perhaps even different countries. While this may seem confusing at first, all that you need to do is to narrow the search down to your area of choice, size of apartment and budget/price range.

An online apartment search will yield lots of information about the different types of apartments that you can rent. Among the details, you will find the location, usually on an interactive map showing not only where the apartment is situated, but all the local facilities near it, such as supermarkets, schools, churches, gas stations and so on. All of this detailed information will be especially useful if you have a family.

In addition to the places where you can find an apartment you will need to see if the apartment has the space that you need, and the facilities. You need to find out their pet policy as well.

You can search the number of bedrooms, see photos of the place, look at the dimensions of the rooms, like whether or not the kitchen is eat-in, and so on. You will also find information about if an apartment is furnished or unfurnished. The price range of various apartments can also be found in the internet apartment search. You will also want to know if it is a direct rental from the landlord, or if it will be through a broker.

In the latter case, you will not only need at least one month’s rent and the same for a deposit, but a broker’s fee as well. In some cases you will need a second month’s deposit as well. In addition, there will usually be a credit check and perhaps even an employment check, so be prepared to shell out triple the monthly price of the rental, plus moving expenses.

We will discuss apartment hunting using apartment search websites in more detail in the next section of this article.


Apartment Hunting 4

Online apartment listings have several advantages over the local magazines of listings because the websites will be able to stay more current in terms of what is available and what has been rented.

These sites usually also have all of the details right up front. They keep their listings up to date, and will state terms of the lease (pets or no pets, children and so on), the deposit required, and the application process.

One thing to remember when you start looking online is that you will be going through a wide range of listings, so try to stay organized. Print out the details on each one and make notes when you speak to the landlord or the broker. Take the printouts with you and make notes on each apartment you see, and then decide the pros and cons of each.

Above all, be absolutely certain you understand the terms of the deal, especially with regard to the deposit and broker’s fees. Get everything in writing, and know your rights as a tenant in the area you are moving into.

One other valuable resource for finding a good place to live is friends, colleagues and family. It is estimated that the average adult will move 8 to 12 times in their life. Therefore, lots of people you know will be on the move. Find out where they are living, why they are moving, and what their experience has been. In some cases you might end up with their old apartment. In other cases you might be able to find out about the new place they got and if there are any other apartments available in the building. You might also be able to see some of the apartments that they didn’t take or get an inside scoop on the broker and how good they are.

Sadly, even the most detailed and meticulous apartment-hunt on your part can still result in problems. The truth is that you never know what a place is like until you move into it. After all, no one ever warns you about the crazy neighbor upstairs on the treadmill at 2 in the morning, or the one who blasts his stereo so loud at 6 am on a Saturday that the whole building shakes.

By getting the inside scoop from friends, or subletting, you will not be stuck in a miserable living situation, but you will have to move a couple of times until you are able to find a place that is right for you. Getting your deposit back can sometimes be a hassle, and having to pay a second deposit on your new place while you are waiting for your deposit back from your old one can lead to a cash crunch at times.

Apartment hunting can be a really frustrating process if there are a lot of people like yourself looking. This will be particularly true at certain times of the year, such as when all of the college students are coming back to the city for the start of the new school year.

But patience and persistence will pay off. Save your money, work out your budget, your must-haves, and start looking. Use all the resources available to you in book form and online to find the apartment of your dreams.


Apartment Hunting 3

For those of you looking for apartments online, the Internet makes it easy to find out more about the available apartments with the help of detailed entries, interactive maps, photos, even 360 degree apartment tours. There will be contact information, price range, and usually an application form to fill out.

The housing market is changing drastically as a result of the housing slump and foreclosure of many properties, which is driving up the demand for apartments. An apartment guide is great for the high end types of apartments, but what about a more ordinary flat?

Websites like Craig’s List in large cities are often used to find cheap apartments or rooms, but buyer beware. Many listings, especially the really cheap ones, are just a scam.

Especially if you are not sure that you want to get locked into a lease, you might consider sublettting first, and then looking around a bit more, especially if you find yourself suddenly having to relocate to a new city. has a range of listings, both short and longer term. There are rules with regard to subletting in certain cities, so know before you rent.

A sublet has a lot of advantages, in that it usually comes furnished and so you will not have to get a lot of things for the place to start with as you might if this were your first apartment, or you tended to share with other people or were still living with your family and do not have a lot of household items.

A sublet is also great because you can get to know the city and the area. If you like it, you can stay for a while and use it as a base of operations for being able to explore your other options and find a rental of your own eventually.

It can also be handy to have a place to move into with your family if you need to relocate, or if you are between houses, which can sometimes happen if you sell one property, buy another, and the sales falls through or the new house is not quite ready yet.

In the next section of this article, we will discuss apartment hunting online in more detail.


Apartment Hunting 2

A few of the apartment guide books feature another item to help prospective homeowners; small yet detailed maps which show the location of each of the properties, not only geographically, but in relation to the various shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, schools, community centers and gas stations. If the full address is listed, you can also look on Google Maps to get even more details, such as reviews and more. Knowing this kind of information in advance is essential if you have a family.

The guide will have photos of the interior of the apartment, and details about whether it is furnished or unfurnished. If you are just starting out in life with a first apartment, then a furnished apartment might be ideal so you do not need to start buying a lot of household items all at once.

Also, carefully look at the other amenities in the building or the apartment complex. It might have parking, or a pool, and many modern buildings are now putting in gyms for the tenants to enjoy.

Circle the listings of all the apartments you are most interested in and then phone the broker handling the property to find out more about each place, including the price. Arrange with them to view the apartment and hopefully you will be able to find the one of your dreams.

There are a couple of things to consider in relation to the financial aspect of renting before you start apartment hunting. The first is that you will probably need one month’s rent, two month’s deposit, and a broker’s fee. The broker’s fee might be a flat fee, a percentage of the annual rent, or one month’s rent.

Therefore, while the apartment may seem reasonable at $1000 a month, you would need $3000 to move in plus the broker’s fee. Put aside at least another $1000 for moving and other unexpected expenses, and more if you have a lot of things or are moving your whole family.

The second thing to consider is that in most cases these days, you will have to pass a credit and employment check. The landlord will want to know that you can afford the place in the short and long term. If you do not have a great credit history but you are employed, this can help. Expect to pay a fee of $35 to $100 for the credit and employment check, depending on how extensive it is.

In the next section of this article, we will discuss apartment hunting online in more detail.


Apartment Hunting 1

Apartment Hunting 1

There are times when looking for a place to live can be a problem. If you live in a large city, living in an apartment is the ideal answer. The various apartments that you can find will have a number of services and facilities which the tenants can use. The best way to find the ideal apartment for you is to use an apartment guide, either in print, or online.

An apartment guide is generally found as a giveaway in your local supermarkets in many large cities, or in large plastic storage containers with other free local papers. Just pull open the front door and pick up a copy or two.

The information which is contained in the apartment guide is based on the current apartment evaluations. It usually lists apartments being handled by real estate agents, so if you are looking for something cheaper or less exclusive, then you should go online to places like Craigslist and look for broker-free apartments.

When you look at the pages in the guide book, you will notice that the listing for the apartments is given in alphabetical order and according to the separate counties. This division of apartments makes it easier for the prospective apartment renter to find a place to rent from the myriad of apartments given.

Decide on your desired location, budget, and any other features that might be important to you, such as an eat-in kitchen or two bathrooms instead of only one in a two bedroom apartment.

Then start looking carefully through the listings. Also look out for other information included in the guide. In some cases, there will be a description of the type of neighborhood the apartment is in, and this can be very useful if you are thinking of moving to a new city but don’t know that much about it. A visit or two prior to making the big move can save a lot of disappointment and aggravation in the future if you know before you go.

In the next section of this article, we will discuss apartment hunting online in more detail.