Updated: Jun 9
Apartment hunting can be one of the most frustrating tasks. It can be annoying when you’ve already looked through more than thirty listings and none of them seem to have what you want. Most of them maybe too high in rent, and others might have the right rent but not the right location. On top of the packing and moving stress, the stress of how to find the best apartment can be too much to bear. So, to take away some of that stress, we bring you a list of tips that you can follow to know exactly how you should prepare yourself before starting the search for the perfect home.
First and foremost, you should conduct some form of soul-searching before entering a potential apartment. You need to be sure you know exactly what you’re looking for before committing to the process of apartment hunting. This will set your priorities straight and save you tons of time. To do it, you must determine the precise requirements for a location. Is a rooftop necessary? And be sincere: If you're renting out the first floor, will you utilise said rooftop? How about a gym within the building? Don't visit 30 listings before determining your top priorities and avoid being duped into paying for extra perks and utilities you won't need (or use).
Have your financials ready
It's crucial to prepare your documentation before beginning the apartment search if you're signing a lease. Get guarantors involved (if necessary), print recent bank statements and proof of income, and ask for an employment verification letter. The application approval procedure is frequently a race to see who can submit everything first. The worst-case scenario? Finding your ideal flat, only to lose it to someone else who has all the necessary paperwork.
Know when to negotiate
Although negotiating rent may seem like a risky move, it rarely hurts to give it a shot. Before you sign the lease but after you've been given the go-ahead, is the greatest time to talk about prospective concessions. Landlords are most willing to sign at this time, especially if the renter is well-qualified. One strategy? Since landlords are aware that it will be simplest to turn the apartment over to the next renter at the end of one calendar year, offer to extend your contract so that it ends then. Or you may suggest prepaying a few months in return for a lower monthly rate if you're ready to delve into your savings (and remember to pay yourself back). Don't simply concentrate on the money, either; other factors, such as the duration of the lease or access to amenities, are negotiable as well.
Verify the shower's water pressure. Listen for traffic noise as you lean out the window. Keep an ear out in the stairway for any loud neighbours. To ensure that your couch will fit the doors, measure them. Search for any water stains on the ceilings. Ask doormen and nearby residents about the structure and anything else to be on the lookout for. The more research you conduct, the less likely you are to be surprised after signing the lease.
Watch out for shady broker moves
Unfortunately, there are some dishonest rental agents out there. Brokers are no different from other steps in the home-buying process in that they present opportunities for fraud. Those who perform the standard upsell or who show you too-good-to-be-true apartments that magically vanish as you try to clinch the transaction should be avoided. Read the small print when signing a broker agreement because there may be fees there that you weren't aware of.
Put out feelers
One of the most crucial steps is to let everyone know that you're looking for a place to live. In fact, we mean everyone. Friends, co-workers, people in your community or future neighbourhood, doormen at residences you'd like to live in, etc. The more individuals who are aware of your search for a new home, the greater is your chance of receiving a hot tip when a suitable opportunity arises. If you're lucky, you'll find out about a vacancy before it hits the market and have first dibs.
Hunting apartments can be a chore. But it is also an experience. You go into the process not knowing how to get started and what to do next, and come out educated with a lot more tips and tricks down your sleeve. So, we suggest enjoying the process as you go through it, meanwhile taking note of all the knowledge you are accumulating. And when a person you know is apartment hunting, help them out like this blog helped you!