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Wondering how to find the best apartment for you?

CanalSide Lofts in Columbia, SC
CanalSide Lofts in Columbia, SC

While the idea of the “best” apartment certainly varies from person to person, these tips should help you find the apartment that suits you to a “T.”

Know thyself
Before you can figure out how to find the best apartment, you’ve got to know yourself — your home lifestyle, that is. A good way to start an apartment search is to think about how your lifestyle affects your apartment needs. Ask yourself: what kind of apartment dweller are you?  Do you need a quiet apartment where you can relax or study all day long? Or do you need a place to rest your head at night in between work and an active social life?

When you consider how your lifestyle affects your apartment needs, think about the following factors:

  • Rental price. How much money is in your budget for living expenses?  How much can you put towards rent after you pay other life expenses?
  • Work. Do you work 9 to 5? Are you in school? How far from work do you want to live?
  • Space. Can you fit everything in a small studio apartment? Or do you need several bedrooms to accommodate your family?
  • Children. Where is your child’s school located? Is there a safe place for your kids to play outside?
  • Social life. What do you do for recreation? Do you like to be near restaurants and shops? Do you like the outdoors?
  • Transportation. Do you drive everywhere? Bike? Use public transportation?
  • Pets. Where will you walk your dog? How many times a day do you take your dog outside?

All of these questions will help you pinpoint exactly what you need and want in an apartment, which is important. In any given city, you’ll likely have a number of apartment hunting options, so it’s best to know what you want before you search — that way you stay focused and don’t get overwhelmed by choices.

See all of our Apartment Hunting articles

Set apartment hunting priorities
The next step in finding the best apartment is to set apartment hunting priorities.  Once you know what you need from your next apartment, it’s good to get all of your needs and wants down on paper. As you start your apartment search, you can refer to this list to ensure you only consider apartments that meet your criteria.

Organize your apartment search
Once you determine the location, amenities and price that make up the best apartment for you, an important way to make sure you get what you want is to stay organized. That means planning your moving schedule, taking detailed notes while you are on apartment visits and keeping all of the related paperwork in one handy place. Creating an apartment search file is a good way to stay on top of all of the brochures, references and applications you’re going to accumulate. You can also check out the Apartment Guide Apartment Search Checklist to make sure you do not forget any important steps during your search.

Give yourself an advantage over other apartment hunters
Keep in mind that while you’re apartment hunting, so are many others. In areas where competition for the best apartments is stiff, you can give yourself a leg up on other renters. First, have all of your references and application items ready to go so that when you do find the apartment of your dreams, you’ll be ready to submit an application on the spot. You’ll likely also need to have your checkbook with you so can write a check for the application and security deposit. (In many apartment communities, your new rental is not a “done deal” until you’ve handed over this money.)

Take this well-prepared approach to apartment hunting, and you’ll likely find a great apartment in no time. With a bit of research and organization, it may be easier than you imagined to find the best apartment just waiting for you.

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About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.

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