As home prices keep going up, more and more Americans are choosing to rent. However, finding a good apartment can also be tough, especially if you want to live in a competitive city. In most areas, available units are in short supply and renters have to scramble to land an apartment.
If you are searching for your dream apartment, here are some tips that will help you to land one in a competitive city:
The days of finding apartments in classifieds are behind us. Now, you can use online tools such as phone apps to speed up your apartment search. Not only is it possible to customize your apartment searches, but you can also receive a notification as soon as a new apartment is available for rent.
In a hot rental market, an apartment can be available for as few as two hours before somebody snatches it up. You should take advantage of technology to remain ahead of other renters.
Have the Cash Ready
In a competitive rental market, you need to be ready to pay for an apartment at a moment’s notice. The money should be ready and waiting if you do not want to miss an opportunity. When you find an apartment unit of your dreams, having a check with you is important.
Moreover, most landlords would now prefer that you pay the first and last month of rent as well as a security deposit. If you are moving into an apartment that costs $2,500 per month, you should have a check for up to $9,000 ready.
You need to be honest about why you want to move; if you have come out of a short sale or foreclosure, you should let your potential landlord know. Your prospective landlord will find out anyway – so it is better to be upfront. When you neglect to mention something like this, you will appear deceitful and untrustworthy. To go together with your lease application, you need to have an explanation letter.
Have References Ready
You need to have references with you. Your reference list should include phone numbers, full names, and addresses. Ensure that all the information that you have on the references is current. A landlord who has a number of applicants will not call your references more than once before moving to the next person on the list.
Be Ready for Paperwork
Because of the sheer number of applicants that you will be competing against, you need to be ready. Landlords receive many applications per rental, so you need to be prepared to fill out an application when you find what you like. You should carry your credit report and ID and be ready to fill out the application on the spot.
Check Your Credit
Before you embark on your apartment search, you should check your credit. If you find any mistakes in your credit report, you need to fix them first. Have a letter of explanation with you if you cannot fix the blemishes on your credit report in time.
No matter how desperate you are to find an apartment, you should not settle for the first one you get. You need to ask the landlord questions about the neighborhood, other tenants, and building. Who takes care of the property? How are the amenities and is there ample parking for all tenants?
You need to know what you will be paying for and what the owner will handle. Do you have to pay all the utility bills or will the property manager pay the water bill? Is there a gardener and if so who pays for his or her services?
Knowing the answers to these questions could mean that you will have some left over cash. In this case, you can offer to pay more in order to beat the competition.
First Impressions Matter
During your first meeting with the landlord, you should look presentable to make a good impression. With all the competition, a good first impression does not hurt.
To land your dream apartment, you should make a good first impression, be upfront, have a check ready, have references ready, be prepared for paperwork, use technology, ask questions, and check your credit.