I never thought my apartment hunt would be virtual. My biggest accomplishment of the year is the opportunity to relocate for my first job. However, it’s not always easy to check out apartments 12 hours away from my dorm. Taking this step outside of home is me starting adulthood in full force and establish my own roots.
However, these roots can’t grow without a place to lay my head. Finding the perfect apartment sounds fun and easy. I’d like to think I’d be walking into different complexes and taking hundreds of photos. But, my entire apartment hunt was through videos and phone calls.
Although in-person visits are great, I think the virtual aspect made my search even better – here’s why:
- The Important Questions: Regardless of how you go about your apartment hunt, you must know the answer to these questions. What is my budget? How far away from work do I want to be? Studio or one bedroom? The beautiful thing about the internet is the fact that you can filter. I set multiple filters on Apartments.com to keep me on track and see exactly what I needed. There was no way I’d conveniently go over-budget. Even better, on a phone call, more questions tend to get asked while in-person, you’re probably still star struck. Asking the right questions got me discounts and key information that I might otherwise have missed out on.
- The Comparisons: If you’re anything like me, I have too many bookmarks and multiple tabs open at all times. However, this comes in handy when you want a clear side-by-side of your faves. Don’t just limit this trick to a virtual apartment, or even solely to apartments! Clear differences stick out from amenities to square footage which can make the final case for your impending decisions.
This is not a simple decision, be proactive.
- *Ring, Ring*: Make those calls to leasing offices and apartment locating services to aid in your search. Calling leasing offices helped me secure a discount that was targeted towards those who physically visit the complex. Once I let them know I was out of state, I was waived the same fees and employer discounts. Now, I have to be honest, this tip definitely is from my mother’s teachings. Talk to people, make conversation and ask questions – it’s human nature and just nice. In addition to those calls, find out if your city has apartment locating services. These services are typically free and allow you to take a closer look at your desired locations. And last, but certainly not least, use your network!
- Mind Processing: I’m not an impulsive person, but I am aware that nice things can make you act too quickly. My virtual apartment hunt gave me the chance to truly process my likes and dislikes for each complex. I also gave myself time to reflect on each experience with leasing offices, the reviews, and my must haves. In my time reflecting, I even secured up-close photos and videos of some of my favorite unites. This part of the was the most important in leading me to sign the lease.
If you do have the chance, fly out and visit your soon-to-be home. However, I always do what’s right for YOU! This is a legal contract and breaking leases or being unhappy for months on end is not a move. Understand what you want and need then seek it out. Ask questions, compare and get the apartment that fits your lifestyle.
Before you go, check out the apartment that stole my heart!
Have questions about what to look for during your apartment hunt? Drop them below.