How to Find an Apartment in 4 Easy Steps

With the advancement of technology, some of the best ways to find an apartment are online. However, when searching for a new apartment it is worth taking the time to visit several properties. While online floor plans and pictures can be incredibly helpful, seeing an apartment in person may give you a different view of a potential rental. 

Visiting a property in person will also provide the opportunity to learn more about the community. Yet before beginning your search, it is essential to ask yourself crucial questions regarding your budget and desired amenities. By learning tips like these on how to find an apartment, you can optimize your search, reduce the hassle that you may experience and find the right apartment for you in no time. 

1. Review Your Budget Before Starting an Apartment Search

Before you try to find apartments for rent, it is essential that you review your budget. You may have heard that the rule of thumb is to keep rental costs below 30 percent of your gross monthly income. 

However, for many renters, that may not be possible. To determine your own ideal rental fees, it’s important to review several factors, including:

  • Your income. 
  • Monthly savings goals. 
  • Other monthly expenses that you have, including auto loans, utilities, food and household goods. 
  • Funds have allotted towards “fun” activities, such as going out, cable TV and internet services. 

When committing to an apartment search, it is crucial that you know the budget that you must stay within to avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Otherwise, you may experience futher financial troubles in the future.

2. Determine Your Desired Location and Amenities Before You Find Apartments for Rent

Before starting an apartment search, it is essential that you consider the location that you wish to live in. For most renters, the best apartment is one that is near their place of employment, school or family. Knowing where you wish to live can be a tremendous help in narrowing down your search. 

Additionally, it is vital to consider the various amenities that you want or need. Most apartments offer at least some amenities, but these often vary between locations. The most popular amenity options include:

  • In-unit washer and dryer or washer and dryer connection.  
  • Central or window air conditioning. 
  • Furnishings. 
  • Some or all utilities included. 
  • Covered or garage parking. 
  • Balcony or patio. 
  • Fitness center, swimming pool or other community activities. 

You can find apartments for rent that are right for you far more quickly if you already know your preferred amenities before beginning your search. With preferences in mind, you can narrow down your options, especially if using a website that offers superior search functionality. 

3. Optimize Your Search with the Best Websites to Find Apartments

The best apartment search sites will not only host a high amount of listings, but will also include search filter options. Superior search functionality can assist you in narrowing down your search. Examples of exceptional search filters include the ability to search by: 

  • Location. 
  • Property type. 
  • Rent and deposit fees. 
  • Pet or non-pet units. 
  • Lease terms. 
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms within a unit. 
  • Amenities. 

With this in mind, there are certain websites that offer the most help to renters browsing for homes. Some of the best websites to find an apartment include: 

  • Rent.com. 
  • ForRent.com. 
  • Craigslist.com. 
  • Apartments.com.
  • ApartmentGuide.com. 
  • Hotpads.com.

4. Explore Additional Tips for the Best Ways to Find an Apartment

When learning how to find an apartment, it is essential that you follow specific tips to avoid scams and disastrous rental properties. Generally, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

For example, apartments that are priced well below other flats within the same area should be taken with a grain of salt. Housing-related scams have been on the rise, and it is, therefore, essential that you conduct your search with care. 

Visiting multiple apartments in person before signing a lease will help you avoid common housing scams and help you narrow down your search. As a rule of thumb, try to view several apartments that you are interested to get a feel for each unity and property community. Doing so can help you make an informed decision and avoid a rental disaster. Finally, once you have completed your apartment search, it is crucial that you review your lease contract carefully before you sign. Lease contracts are commonly skimmed over or skipped entirely, but these contracts are legally binding agreements. Always verify that the information that you have been told, including contract length and rental prices, are accurately listed within the lease.