The thought of starting an apartment search can strike fear into the hearts of even the staunchest of men. Or women.
There’s a lot to think about and it can be overwhelming.
What neighborhood should you choose? Can you afford it? Do you need a roommate?
The questions can seem endless!
What you need to do is to get all your ducks in a row and follow some helpful guidelines.
You’re in luck! Read on!
What you need to know
Instead of letting anxiety take control, check out some of these tips to landing the apartment that’s just right for you!
- Budget first. There’s no sense in falling in love with a place only to find out that living there would require you to only eat noodles and walk everywhere. Plan out what you can afford before you begin your search! You’ll save yourself some time and possibly some disappointment.
- Timing is important. According to location and weather, there are seasons that are busier than others in the apartment leasing world. For example, fewer people are looking to move around the holidays, so you may get lucky and score a good deal. Searching in that busy season may mean paying a higher price because the demand is greater. Also, give yourself enough time to search. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to find and move into a place a week before your new job starts. On the flip-side, don’t start your search much more than a month before you need to move.
- Put the web to work. Thanks to the internet, you can weed out some places without actually having to spend the time visiting them. Narrow it down to several places that are possibilities and then schedule an appointment. There are a lot of helpful sites like this one, Renter’s Pages, that can help you find an apartment in Toronto or another location. There are great resources out there! Take advantage of them.
- Get organized. Once you’ve scouted out a few places, the details can become foggy. Take some notes or create a spreadsheet to help you keep the information about each possible apartment organized. Be sure to include the landlord’s name and phone number so that you can easily locate it if you need to contact them.
- Ask about the utilities. Make sure you find out what the average monthly cost is for utilities before you sign any kind of rental agreement or lease. Remember that budget? Don’t derail it before you even begin! Make sure you factor in these costs that you may not think of right away.
- Try to negotiate discounts. There is no guarantee that asking will change anything but it can’t hurt! For example, see if the landlord will offer a discount if you agree to sign a longer lease. Don’t be afraid to try to negotiate, especially if you have other options. Letting the landlord know you don’t have to go with them may be incentive to offering you a good deal.
- Be prepared to move. Sometimes the apartment scene is very competitive. What looks like a perfect place for you may also look like a perfect place to someone else. Know what kinds of information and documentation is required in order to sign a lease and have it all ready to go in case you have to move quickly or risk losing a great apartment.
It can be scary but with some guidance, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to call home!