7 Tips to Finding a Perfect Apartment

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In today’s Real Estate market, renting an apartment or condo can be competitive and tricky.  It seems like there are more renters than apartments and prices are higher than ever.  Here are 7 key tips that you need to know to make your apartment search a smooth process:

  1. Timing is everything. You should begin your search 30-45 days before your current lease is up. If you start looking before then, chances are the home you fell in love with will not be there.  When looking, don’t waste time thinking you can find a better deal. The property you like today may not be there tomorrow.
  2. Be prepared. Although landlord’s guidelines vary, they all require the same basic information.  You should prepare a renters kit prior to visiting any properties that include a photo copy of your ID, 2 most recent pay stubs, previous landlord information, phone numbers for employment verifications, and any recommendation letters. Most apartments are lost due to the time it takes to get this information to the landlord. Being prepared also shows the prospective landlord how serious and organized you are.
  3. Don’t overload. Try to only visit your top 4 apartments. Visiting more than 4 apartments will contribute to losing focus on what is important to you.  Only visit more if the 4 you originally chose really do not fit your needs. Take notes to revisit at the end.
  4. Partner with a Realtor. The service is free to renters. It will save you time and money.  They will protect you and get you the best deal possible. Most realtors have visited properties before you and can match them with your needs. A good realtor should be able to find you a home in 72 hours or less.
  5. What are they hiding? Stay away from listings that have no photo. 90% of the time if there are no photos its because the listing agent is hiding something.  Let’s be honest, if you had something the renters would want, why would you not want to show it? If you have a realtor that you can trust and he can vouch for the property, then and only then, go see it.
  6. Be realistic: Know how much you can afford. Most landlords will require that your income is at least 2.5 to3 times the monthly rent. For example, if the rent is $1500/month your income should be between $3750 and $4500.  You can waste a lot of time looking at apartments that are nice that you will not qualify for if you don’t keep this standard in mind.
  7. Research. If you are unsure about an area, your realtor can not tell you it’s a bad area or a good area. There are a lot of websites and forums that will give you insight as to crime in the neighborhood.  You can visit the local police station for a crime report. If you know about the area you want to live, it makes choosing the right home a lot easier.

The more information that you have on the process, the more you know what to expect. Nothing will frustrate you more than not getting your perfect home because you were not prepared.  I hope you find this information useful in preparing yourself for your next apartment search.  Remember, partner with a realtor for more information.

If you do not have one, please contact me. I will be happy to help you!

Brian Colebrook

(773)396-4766

bcolebrook@kalerealty.com

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