Tips for finding a new apartment

KitchenGodsWifeOctober 7, 2003

We are moving from an expensive area that has lots of apartment complexes to a VERY expensive area that doesn't really have many complexes (the ones they have are tiny, new and way out of our price range in areas that are out of our price range). We have never moved to a new city without finding a complex to rent from, but frankly I think I'd like something a little less "transient" feeling anyway, either a condo (rental from owner) or a townhouse, maybe a small house or a large apartment in a 2 family house etc, something like that. Anyway, does anyone have any tips for apartment hunting in this situation? The pennysaver is online and I check it out every week when it's updated but it seems like most listings there are for immediate availability (we always needed to sign our leases at complexes a few months in advance) and the thought of waiting until January to find an apartment when we are moving in January makes me nervous, but with christmas right before I'm not sure looking in december will be much better.

Does anyone have any ideas/tips/advice? We really would like to find a place that is nice and large enough that we can stay put until we can afford to buy a house. I'm really sick of moving! (8 times in the last 11 years). Thanks.

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Call every realtor in the area. They usually have a contact or two in the rental world.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 12:30PM
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"any tips for apartment hunting"

If you are moving to a new job, ask the HR department of the new employer to help you. Look up the new area's newspaper online and check the rentals. If it's close enough, drive through the neighborhoods that interest you, and askpeople if they know of any rentals.

Actually, Christmas time is not bad for finding apartments because most people are out shopping.

Between now and then, clear out your clutter and get ready for the move.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 8:26AM
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more and more small-time landlords are using rental or real estate agents...and I have found that while complexes have good on-facility staff, the best places are privately owned.

the local chamber of commerce usually keeps a list of agents that are on their good side at the moment.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 10:00AM
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do you have ties to any organizations in the new area?

Are you a member of a church, and does that church have sister congregations in your new area? You could contact them. They have the benefit of having bulletins they send out to their members and they might put your plea in it.

I'm trying to think of some non-church-type organizations--a charity you work with, a political party you volunteer for.

but of course those are adjunct measures; I wouldn't rely on them completely.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 10:34AM
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When I moved to Seattle, I used an apartment/condo search service called Apartment Insider. I hesitated to cough up the $50 bucks, but was glad after I'd done so. I'd looked on-line and in the papers in vain up till that point, but found five good apartments within the first two days of using the service. Good apartment landlords and managers use these services b/c candidates have already been weeded out!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 11:35AM
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I'm a big fan of using a relocation service...we used one the last time my husband's company moved, and it was really great. We just told the person exactly what we were looking for as far as price, size, and amenities, and we had half a dozen places to look at in one day. It was fun and easy! But not cheap :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2003 at 9:38PM
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I have found apartment locator services to be usefull. The people who work there know of many places and could direct you to what you're looking for. The ones I know of around here do this for free to you. ( the apartment places pay them for sending you to them) , but that might not be of help in some locations, or if you're looking for a private owner. But, they might know of some good info for you. - wouldn't hurt. - To reach one, try calling an apartment property in the area where you intend to move to and ask them for a locator to help you. They tend to be friendly with each other and don't mind giving out the info, even though it means not getting your lease at there place.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 8:51PM
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