Author Topic: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city  (Read 1855 times)

Ian

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Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« on: May 24, 2016, 01:27:46 PM »
What things should be taken into account when moving across the country to a new city? There may also be some "first time renter" questions here, since I've never rented an apartment in the US before and Tanzania is a very different rental environment.

I figure there must be conventional wisdom on this, since people have to move for work all the time, but I've found less information than I expected. This is a hypothetical question for now, but I expect to be in this situation eventually and I'd like to be better prepared. Basically, I'm looking for information on how best to do apartment research and on keeping down costs of the move itself. Assume I don't have any friends or family living in the city, as I likely won't.

Research starts online, obviously, and I've found plenty of information about the relative worth of different sites. I'm less certain about how to do the footwork to verify properties in person. Do people just operate out of a hotel until they can sign a lease and move in? I'm more concerned about budgeting time than money and not sure how long I should plan for in this regard.

So in conclusion, this is a pretty open-ended question. Answers to my questions or suggestions for things I'm overlooking are all welcome.

neophyte

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 05:35:21 PM »
A few friends of mine have had good luck getting an airbnb for a couple of weeks or a month while they apartment hunt.  There are places with special rates for longish stays. You might have trouble getting approved by some landlords due to lack of rental and credit history if you have been living overseas for a long time. Others won't care.

I've always had the best luck with craigslist but ymmv. I don't bother spending time looking for particular apartments too far in advance because, at least wherever I've been looking, good apartments priced right tend to go fast. (couple of days to a couple weeks) If you want to do research in advance, I think time is better spend researching neighborhoods, bike friendliness, crime rates, commutes, etc. Definitely worth googling the landlord or management company before you sign a lease though.

Best tip for keeping the cost down? Don't have much stuff. Seriously. 

Ian

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 07:15:03 PM »
Those are some good things to keep in mind, thank you.

I live a fairly minimalist lifestyle, so I'm not so concerned about the costs of transporting my stuff. It's the idea of typical nightly rates over a longer period that makes me nervous. Not that I wouldn't have enough money to cover it, it's just a type of expense that I never enjoy. I will have to look into airbnb and other alternatives to see if their rates are better than I'm expecting.

neophyte

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 08:29:28 PM »
I see, yeah, that will probably be the biggest expense other than rent and deposit. If you won't need somewhere to keep stuff you could try couchsurfing or airMnM

pbkmaine

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 08:52:15 PM »
Where are you moving? Do you know anyone there?

Ian

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 07:51:08 AM »
I see, yeah, that will probably be the biggest expense other than rent and deposit. If you won't need somewhere to keep stuff you could try couchsurfing or airMnM
Ah, didn't know about that. While I don't see anyone in the area, it's a good resource to be aware of, thanks.

Where are you moving? Do you know anyone there?
I'm not moving anywhere yet, but I'm considering Albuquerque (or New Mexico in general) for a future move. Assume I don't have any friends or family living in the city, as I likely won't.

DeanW5

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Re: Finding an apartment in an unfamiliar city
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 05:27:55 AM »
It's very difficult to investigate the city through Internet. So if I were you I would rent a short term (for example, one or two months) apartment. You can search on Facebook groups. Sometimes people are looking for roommates there.
So you can get a short term place and explore the city. You will probably get to know people. Maybe they will advise you some good properties or at least tell more about areas where they live.