There is a difference between getting an apartment and getting the right apartment at a reasonable price. The latter is only possible if you know how to hunt for an apartment like a pro. Here are three tips on how to get started.
Go Slightly Off the Beaten Path
People want to live where the action is; they want to be near the best schools and restaurants, and they want to have easy access to transport networks. It's understandable, therefore, that apartments in such areas tend to be more expensive than apartments in other areas. This is a frustration to those who wish to live in such areas but can't afford the rent. Professional apartment hunters know, however, that they can still enjoy these desirable services, amenities, and infrastructure by moving just slightly off the beaten path. The advantage is that they won't have to pay an arm and a leg by moving just outside the most desirable areas.
Understand the Red Flags
The real estate industry, just like other industries, has its share of fraudsters. Apartment hunters must be on the lookout for scammers by watching out for red flags that may point to fraud. Examples of red flags that should arouse your suspicion include:
- an excellent apartment advertised at a ridiculously low rate;
- a landlord interested in getting your money, in cash, as soon as possible;
- an absentee landlord who wants to handle everything remotely;
- a landlord disinterested in your background check or other conventional security measures.
A pro apartment hunter can easily avoid getting scammed by comparing an apartment's tax records with the details of the landlord to confirm that they match. The records can easily be accessed at the local assessor's office.
Have Everything Ready for the Lease
Lastly, just because you have found a good apartment and the landlord is legit doesn't mean that you will get the apartment. If an apartment is good, rest assured that there are other interested parties who have also noticed it. One way to beat them at the competition is to have the rental prerequisites ready to go. This way, immediately after you find your desired apartment you can present the requirements and get it. Typical requirements include recent bank statements, identification papers, money for deposit and fees, and pay stubs, among others.
Practice these tips to successfully find the apartment that is right for you. To better increase your odds of getting the right apartment,consult a respected realtor to help you in your search.