As I get ready to search for my next apartment, I am going in feeling more prepared and experienced. The first time going out on the hunt was terrifying. I was faced with realtors who would try to talk down to me or trick me into huge fees, worried about settling for a bad place, or even worse – not having a place.
When I finally began researching, touring and eventually signing a lease I definitely felt I had learned so much more along the way. I decided to write this post (as I now need to remember these tips myself) to share with you some advice for first, second or even third-time leasees:
- It is OKAY to bring your parents on tours, they probably know what to look for and what to ask.
- Go in with an open mind. No, you are not going to get your dream place…but it can still be a good place.
- Decide a budget BEFORE not AFTER searching for an apartment.
- Make a list of must-haves, wants, and can not haves. This will make searching easier for both you and your realtor.
- Try to schedule multiple tours in one day. Just going on one tour a day is quick and can be a waste of time when you could’ve seen multiple apartments.
- Check Zillow and Trulia. Don’t be afraid to show listings to your realtor and ask to be shown them.
- Your realtor is there to help you find a place, don’t let them push you into signing anything you are unsure of.
- Know your credit score – it can be helpful if you are thinking about applying for a place.
- Take note of where outlets are – are there enough outlets for your way of living? Are they in good spots? (I once toured a place that had 3 outlets…total.)
- Be excited! You are looking for a new home! This is a great thing!