The rental market is increasingly competitive in many metropolitan areas. Fortunately, there are many resources to help you find the right place. Various rental market forums now allow apartment hunters to compare rental properties, filter their search by location, price and other criteria, and connect with landlords and property managers directly.
It's helpful to create a list of which apartment features matter to you most before you begin apartment hunting. Organize your list by priority to determine what you really want in an apartment. The timing of when you want to move in is an important factor of your search. Most move-in dates are on the first of the month.
Typically, you should start searching for your apartment at least one month in advance of your desired move-in date to allow enough time for unexpected delays. Talk to your potential landlord to confirm the exact move-in date.
A real estate agent or broker can find you places that are unlisted and negotiate on your behalf, but you'll pay a fee or commission for that, often up to a full month's rent or 15 percent of an entire year's rent. Many people prefer to rent directly from a landlord, so independent online searches have become an increasingly common way to find an apartment. Be mindful that rentals you find on the Internet may not be all that they appear. Here are some red flags to look out for.