Time to find an apartment?
If you have the flexibility to make a strategic decision about the time of year to search, choosing the right month could save you a few headaches and even a few dollars.
Though the ideal time to rent an apartment varies according to a number of factors, here are a few details to consider.
The best moving season
The busiest season for moves happens between May and September. This makes sense when you consider that summer time is when kids get out of school, college students graduate, and the weather turns nice for outdoor activities like moving.
All of these factors make summer an ideal time to move. The end result of that fact is higher rental turnover, which means you may have an easier time finding a new apartment during the busy summer moving season. The downside to moving in the summer is that you may also face higher rental rates, as demand is at its peak. You may also have to act fast: you’ll be in competition with other renters when it comes to landing the perfect pad.
If you’ve got the flexibility, winter could be the best time of year for a move. Following the busy holiday season when most people are tuckered out (and their bank accounts are running low), fewer renters make a move. Because demand for apartments is lower, you may find a hot deal on rent during the cooler months.
Best time of the month for apartment hunting
So let’s say you’ve targeted a certain season for moving. When should you actually start looking for apartments? Decide which month you want to move, and then wait until the end of the previous month. For example, if you want to move in December, start looking for rentals in the last week or two of November.
Most renters have leases that expire at the end of a month. If you start your search during the last few days of a month, you’ll be starting your search exactly when renters who are about to leave vacancies are giving their 30-day notices. You may increase your chances of getting first pick of the next month’s available inventory when you begin your search at that time.
Another strategy says you should wait until the middle of the month you target to move, hoping to find a great unit as property managers scramble to fill those which have been sitting vacant. You may have good luck if you’re willing to move in immediately.
The best time of day
If you really want to get specific about the ideal time for apartment hunting, there’s some research to suggest that cruising online listings between nine and ten AM is best. Why? That’s when property managers are most likely to post new listings for recently-vacated rentals. You can strike while the iron is hot!
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