How to find an apartment in a new city

April 5, 2011

So from the million of times I’ve moved I will tell you one of the hardest thing is finding an apartment in an area you do not know. So here is a little guide to set you on your way to finding your new abode.

  1. Craigslist.com is a great resource. The last four apartments I have lived in have been through Craigslist, but be careful.
    • Ads that say “charming” mean “small and tiny”
    • Ads with no pictures are not worth your while tracking down pictures
    • If it looks completely fake, it is a scam, yes they are on there
    • You can usually find reality websites through the Craigslist posts, which are a great site to go to
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  2. If you have time to go to the new area you want to live in, walk around, as hard as it may be to believe, a lot of landlords do not post their apartments on the internet and you will just see “for rent” signs in the front yard, so take down the numbers and call them
  3. Talk to local people when you are in the new town, coffee shops are a great resource, and a lot of times people there know of apartments or people who need roommates
  4. If you need a roommate I strongly encourage putting ads up on Craigslist, I have done this several times, but DO NOT put a picture up of yourself you will get a ton of creepers if you do
    • Talk about your interests in the ad, your cleanliness and what you expect out of a roommate, if you don’t want a friend, but just a roommate, don’t be afraid to say that, if you are not upfront you will not find what you want
    • After you have people interested in being your roommate email back and forth,  if your interests match, talk on the phone, Facebook,  Skype, and if you live close, meet up for coffee
    • Roommate finding can be intimidating so if you are meeting someone bring a friend along, if you can, and always hang out in public places.
  5. Things to ask when viewing apartments:
  • Is heat paid for?
  • Is electricity paid for?
  • Do I have to pay for water?
  • What is the parking situation?
  • Is there visitor parking?
  • Is there laundry?
  • Are there any noise restrictions I should be aware of?
  • Who are my neighbors?
  • Who does the landscaping? (if there is any)
  • What is the security deposit?
  • When is rent due and who is it due to and how much is it?

6.  Things to be aware of in the apartment/house that you are viewing:

  • Are the windows new/energy efficient? (This effects your heating/cooling costs)
  • Are the appliances/lights energy efficient? (This effect electricity bill)
  • Can you hear traffic/neighbors from the rooms? (Will you be able to sleep at night?)
  • What appliances come with the unit? (In CA most units do not have a fridge and you have to rent/buy one, You may have to bring your own microwave)

7. There is no reason to be a Debbie downer in the whole process, yes it is stressful, but being in a bad mood is just going to make it worse, so take a time out, relax, re-adjust, and don’t worry you will find somewhere to live.

Happy apartment/ house hunting in your new city!

My new city Santa Barbara, CA and my abode thanks to Craigslist

 

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