- The time has finally arrived. Youíve got a good job, and you canít wait to be on your own. But before you wave goodbye to your parents, itís important to sit down and think about what youíre actually looking for in an apartment, what type of neighborhood you would like to live in, and whether or not you can afford your dream place. Getting an idea of how much rents are in a particular area is as easy as turning to the classifieds in a newspaper or going online. If you find out you canít afford your ideal apartment, you can either go back to the drawing board or consider sharing the space with a roommate. Having an exact plan of what you want will help you begin your apartment hunting with a clear head and prevent you from taking the first apartment that you see.
- Once you know what you want and can afford, tell everyone you know that youíre looking for a new place. Make sure you fill them in on your likes and needs so you donít waste everyoneís time telling you about an apartment that doesnít fit your budget.
- Pick up all the newspapers you can from the area you want to live. If an ad interests you, call the number as soon as possible before someone snatches up your dream living space.
- Check out the Internet. The Web is home to plenty of sites that can help you search for apartments in your area. The listings on the sites may not have everything available in a particular area, but it will help you get an idea of whatís out there and the price range.
- If youíre looking for an apartment straight out of college and are remaining in the area, check out the bulletin boards on campus for vacancies. Also, post your own ad on these bulletin boards stating that you are looking for an apartment.
- Finding an apartment in a new town doesnít have to be a hassle. If youíre moving away from home due to a job, ask your future employer for ideas. They may know of some success stories from their employees or at least steer you in the right direction as to what newspapers to pick up and the names of realtors that can help.
- If you reside near the town you wish to live in or are visiting there before the big apartment hunt, walk around the area to get an idea of the surroundings. How close are the grocery stores, banks and other services you will need. Do you feel safe walking around the neighborhood? Itís always a good idea to walk around in the evening when more people are at home so you can observe how safe other people feel or how loud the traffic and people are in the area. Also, donít be hesitant to ask people who live in the neighborhood or in the building you wish to reside what they think of the area and the building itself. And of course, bring some paper and a pen so you can write down any numbers you see on the ďFor RentĒ signs.
- When meeting with a landlord or a realtor to look at an apartment, dress neatly to present the best image possible. Itís also a good idea to bring someone else with you for a second opinion and for safety reasons. If you decide to have a roommate, try to go together so you donít drive the landlord crazy with multiple visits. Itís also best to go during the daytime so you can have better lighting to check out the apartment. Make sure to check the Internet or books on apartment hunting to get a list of things you should inspect such as the appliances, lighting, laundry facilities, etc.
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