It’s no secret that apartment hunting is an undertaking. It’s easy to find an apartment but the trick is finding a good apartment or the one that’s right for you. While we can’t promise we can instantly get you your dream pad, we can definitely help you to approach the hunt in a way that will weed out the sub-par places and hopefully decrease those hours you’re putting into it.

Timing Is Everything

The first thing you’re going to want to consider is what time it’s most popular to rent and move… and do it at the exact opposite time. One of the major roadblocks for you is going to be other people who are also looking for that perfect apartment. Warmer months and right before college classes begin are typically the busiest times for apartment rental. If you avoid this, not only will you be competing with fewer people, but the prices will also be slightly lower since it’s not peak season.

Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

A great way to help you narrow your options and ensure you’ll be happy in an apartment is to list what really matters to you. Write down everything you could ever want out of your perfect rental and then split that list into two sections: “Can’t Live Without” and “Won’t Kill Me Not To Have”. Take the list of “Can’t Live Without” and use that as your only criteria to search. After you have found 4 or 5 apartments that have what you need, see what items on your “Won’t Kill Me Not To Have” list are also included in these and go with the one that includes the best ones. This way, you will be able to narrow your search drastically and end up in a place that has what you need and possibly a few perks!

Educate Yourself

The only way to really describe this next step is to educate yourself. You have to know what you’re getting into to be able to make the proper decision. This means you’re going to need to research things like what utilities are included and not, how parking is going to work, if there is pet rent, and even if they offer any kind of discount. This will help you avoid unexpected costs, both upfront and monthly, that may actually prevent you from living there. A great way to ensure you know what you’re getting into, find a list of questions to ask landlords or property managers while you’re getting a tour. While you’re there, talk to the tenants and see how daily life is.

Buddy System

Sometimes, you’ll run into a roadblock or two during your apartment hunt. You stumble upon that shining example of rental living that has everything you need a few things on your “Won’t Kill Me Not To Have” list, but it’s just a little too expensive… Well, go get yourself a roommate! Oddly overlooked, adding a roommate can open up a ton of new possibilities. Your price range shoots up and you can start looking at slightly more expensive places since the cost is going to be split. You can find various websites with people searching for roommates or move in with a friend. You both can end up saving money as two bedroom apartments aren’t twice the price of single bedroom apartments. For example, in this Cleveland apartment community, you can get a 1 bedroom for $810, but a 2 bedroom in the same building for $975. If you get yourself a roommate, you could be paying $487.50 instead. That’s almost half off!

Jump On It!

We’ll wrap up these tips the same way we started: with timing. The last thing you need to know when you’re going to rent is to jump on it quick. Do your research and make a list of 4-5 places you’re sure you’d be happy in. As soon as you know for sure what the winner is GO GET IT! Real estate is a game of timing. Prices can fluctuate a lot depending on where you are and where you’re looking. One week the rent on the apartment you were looking at could jump $50 or even $100. Also, even though you’re wisely hunting during slow season, you are not the only one looking for that perfect apartment! If you wait to pull the trigger on a place, someone else will do it before you.

Apartment hunting is an important event. It’s not necessarily going to be easy, but hopefully, with these helpful tips, you can find the rental of your dreams.