Apartment Hunting – 3 Steps to Finding an Apartment

There are some people that get baffled and intimidated with the mere thought of apartment hunting. Much like your ordinary shopping, the wide variety of options is often what confuses most renters, for it may become overwhelming and confusing. It may become a challenge to pick one with so many interesting choices. But there are things that you must consider to narrow down your options. In three simple steps, you can be able to choose the perfect apartment for you. First, make sure you set a fixed amount as your budget. Next, research and explore all your options. Lastly, compare and contrast – you will then determine which one is the best.

Set a Budget

A lot of renters think of their budget before anything else. This is good. You must know how much you can and how much you have available to spend on a monthly basis. This is why this is the initial step in apartment hunting. Think of your monthly income, and try to calculate your monthly expenses as well. Subtract your monthly expenses, including all your monthly regular payables (food, entertainment, miscellaneous), to your monthly income. Also include your monthly savings and emergency money to the amount you deduct from your monthly income. The amount left would be the budget you can spend on your apartment rental. Make sure you establish this well, for this will be the biggest chunk of your apartment hunting factors. This will also determine which type of apartment you can afford.

Research Available Options

Knowing your budget will narrow down your options a lot. But it is important that you research and define which available apartments you can afford. There may be some apartments that are a little over your defined budget and there may be some that are below your given amount, include these apartments in your list. It is alright to include them because you can also double check if you have room for budget arrangements and give you an option to fix your monthly budget further. You, as the renter, will also see whether you should negotiate and get the apartment you want at the price you can afford.

When you are at the stage of looking and scouting for apartments, it isn’t important that you get to see each one of them. You can get all the information you need in many different ways. There’s the internet, newspapers, and even rental magazines that show all the information you may need in scouting. But the primary information you need is the price, and these research method will definitely give you the price of available apartments. Therefore, you will be able to eliminate those that are way too expensive (or too cheap) for you.

Compare and Contrast

Once you have narrowed down your options, it’s time for the apartment visits. It is very important that as the renter you know how being in each apartment unit “feels”. Being in each of the apartment options that are in your price range will let you know of the quality of each of them. You will also get to know yourself the amenities and the quality the apartment complex offers. Take note of each information you get, make a list of pros and cons, and this will help you a lot in deciding which ones are better.

The process of comparing the apartments will allow you to bargain and negotiate as well. It will give you the power to ask for a more favorable rent price. As you visit more and more apartments, you will be able to define the average price of a particular sized apartment. This information is also useful for you as a bargaining tool. As the renter, you can convince the leasing agent to at least lower their price a bit. Don’t expect the prices to drop at this point, but giving due effort will help you decrease the monthly rental price for even a little.