I wish someone told me how to properly rent a place before I did is backwards 3 times in a row, lost a ton of money and lived in crazy places. In today’s market, you may be very shocked by the competition. A great place at a great price is something you need to hunt for a bit, even if you have “things all fall into place” luck. Even if you can be liberal with price, finding a great place that matches your vision is not always an easy task. After spending loads of time and money (wasting is more the correct term) to find a great rental in the past, I have synthesized all of my hard-won lessons into a little guide for all of you to help you snag your dream home…fast!
Apartment Hunting Tips You Should Know!
You need to be clear on deal breakers before you begin. While price can be a big one, there are others like power lines in close proximity, a neighborhood that is close knit, wood floors and more that will be key to define before you start. My “almost dream place”, it turns out, has high voltage power lines draped in my view less than 20 feet from the house. You can reach out and grab them. Scary stuff. Not for me. For you, know your deal breakers beforehand and ask the management if possible before you go see. They likely don’t want to waste their time either.
Bring copies of anything you need for an application. Good things go very fast! Whether it’s an ID, financial papers or anything else, know in advance.
If you have dogs, bring printed photos. This can work in your favor if they are not sure about the size or breed. I had to send a picture of Gordon (who was being excluded from a property because he crossed their weight limit) to the owners of a building. It worked! He melted hearts! I passed on the place in the end, but it would have been just fine for Gordon to live there once they saw him!
Make it a priority to drive around where you want to live, looking for places. Lots of good things are literally just posted with small door signs. Also, you’ll learn what the parking situation is like in your prospective neighborhood if you drive daily.
Do not settle. If you get a bad feeling, it’s not a good thing, no matter what the deal “sounds like” or what the places looks like.
Google prospective buildings. I would have saved myself a lot of misery by checking reviews, even in luxurious areas! Also, Google the management companies if there are any.
Don’t take a place based on promised upgrades unless it is built into your lease. Talk is cheap when all is said and done! You do not— do not– want to sue your landlords or have them sue you. I have seen it in my neighborhood. It creates such duress!
If a place is vacant for more than a month and you live in a busy area, and it hasn’t been under renovation, that’s a red flag.
Fill out an application for your dream place even if it is “taken ” if the people haven’t completely closed their deal. Lots of decisions fall apart. I was ready to move 6 months ago until I got a call saying I needed to ensure my dogs never bark . They are dogs. What is that ?! Someone else who applied even though the place was not available got in before it was re-listed when I backed out.
If you love a place, visit the management. Talk with them. Stop by to check in on availability. While I don’t recommend stalking, I got my best place this way. Persistence can win in the end!
Also: if you have a specific purpose for your new place, take a bagua map with you and see how the space looks in the areas you are interested in improving. While you can always switch a place up later with feng shui, if you have more freedom to pick what you want that is already built into the structure, you should!
Happy hunting! xoxo Dana
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