If you are just starting out your search for a new apartment, you may be wondering where to even start. A lot of your apartment search will depend on how well you already know the city you are trying to move in. If you’re brand new to it, you’ll probably need some help from someone who knows the market whereas if you are familiar with the area and the price of rentals, you can probably do a bit more of the legwork on your own. Here are a few ways to get started:
Referrals. One of the best ways to find a great apartment with a reliable landlord is to ask your family and friends for referrals. They may be moving out of their apartment which means you have the opportunity to move right into it. Or, they may be able to refer you straight to their landlord who can give you a list of other properties that they manage. What’s great about this option is that you know the landlord has at least one satisfied customer and you may get access to listings before they go on the market and avoid a broker’s fee.
A broker service. Depending on what city you are searching in, this may or may not be a popular option. If you are looking to see a lot of apartments in one day, a broker can help immensely because they have access to huge number of listings and should have insight into the market that you may not. However, if you are searching in a city that you are familiar with and know what’s out there in terms of apartment quality and pricing, they may add less value for you.
Craigslist. Though it can sometimes be overwhelming to search through Craigslist listings, many landlords do post their properties on there to avoid paying a broker’s fee and if you have the patience and time to scour through them, you may find a great option.