What's the best way to find a new apartment?

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Answered by: Hillary, An Expert in the Searching for an Apartment Category
Finding a new apartment can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are several steps you can follow to make apartment hunting easier. You may even find it fun!

Step one: Determine your budget.

There’s no point in taking the time to look at apartments out of your price range. Chances are you may end up loving the apartment, and you’ll just get frustrated that you can’t afford it. Figuring out your budget can help save you tons of time and energy. Sit down and take the time to determine what you can afford. This is the most important step, and once it’s out of the way, you will be ready to find a new apartment!

Step two: Define your criteria.

Now that you know what you can spend, you have to figure out what you want. The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to look for apartments that fit your criteria. Here are a few questions you may want to think about:

1. Are you looking for a one-bedroom or two-bedroom?

2. Does the apartment need to allow pets?

3. Do you want a washer and dryer in the unit?

4. Would you rather garage parking or street parking?

5. Do you want other amenities like a pool or gym?

Prioritize what is most important to you, and go from there.

Step three: Start your online search.

There are tons of great websites to look for apartments. Some good options are Craigslist, Zillow, or Apartments.com, and a lot of them let you apply filters to make the search easier. Most apartments are posted across multiple sites. Find a couple sites that you like, and keep checking back frequently. When you find a place that interests you, reach out to the contact person.

Step four: Check out several apartments in person.

If you want to find a new apartment near where you currently live, it’s definitely worth the effort to visit each apartment in person. You can only get so much from pictures, and seeing the place in person gives you another perspective. Maybe you’ll notice that the apartment complex is loud. Maybe the apartment is smaller than you wanted. You won't know if you'll like it unless you see it for yourself. Also, make sure to schedule a few visits. It’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket in case the apartment goes off the market or something falls through.

Step five: Evaluate and make your decision.

It’s helpful to realize that you may not be able to meet all your criteria. If you find the perfect apartment, then great! If not, decide what you can compromise on. Maybe having a washer and dryer in the unit isn’t as important if it means you can get your own parking spot. Take a day or two to think about it, and go with the option that feels best to you.

If you break down apartment hunting into these simple steps, it’s not so scary. Staying organized and knowing what you want will help you land an apartment you’ll love!

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