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How to Rent a Place When You Aren’t Already a Local

Are you moving to a new location? Are you struggling to find a home? Read on to find out how to rent a place when you don’t live in the area.

Let’s face it, finding a new place to live is stressful. For those looking to rent a place in a location you do not currently reside in, that stress can triple.

When it comes to long-distance apartment hunting, you will typically not have the privilege of touring the apartments in person. This means that you will have to do most of the apartment hunting remotely, which can leave people apprehensive about their decision.

That being said, you’ll want to learn how to go about renting an apartment when you aren’t a local the smart way.

Keep reading this guide to learn more.

Research Your New Location

If you’re moving to a new location, the #1 thing you will want to do is make sure that you do your research on the place you are moving to. Sure, you’ve probably visited where you’re planning to relocate at some point, but it’s important to make sure it’s the place for you.

Consider factors such as weather, schools, job market, cost of living, political affiliations of the location if that is important to you, and overall quality of living.

When you determine this ahead of time, you’ll avoid regretting your moving decision down the line.

Research Apartment Neighborhoods

Now that you’ve researched your location, you’ll want to start researching the neighborhoods in your soon-to-be location. If you’re relocating for a job, you’ll most likely want to research apartments in neighborhoods closest to your workplace to save on commuting time.

Be sure that the neighborhoods you’re looking at are overall safe with low crime rates. On AreaVibes you can research the safety of specific areas in all 50 states.

Likewise, you’ll want to research the nearby stores, entertainment, schools, and activities in the neighborhood that you will be living in.

Determine the Costs of Your Move

Relocating to another state or city requires budgeting. Be sure to have an estimate on how much your total move will cost and if it is financially doable in your situation.

Remember, you won’t only be paying for the apartment. You will also be paying for the transportation method to get you to your new location and the moving costs of your furniture and other belongings.

Once you determine that you are within your moving budget, you will then set a budget for your apartment.

If you are becoming a renter after being a long-time homeowner, the process of renting an apartment, especially in another location, might be unfamiliar to you.

Be prepared to not only pay the cost of the first month’s rent and possibly last month’s rent, but also an application fee, security deposit, pet fee, monthly utility fees, pest control fees, etc.

If you are moving without proof of income, make sure you have a co-signer on your lease, or else you likely will not be able to rent.

Find a Real-Estate Agent/Property Manager

A real estate agent/property manager is perfect for those who are relocating to their rental from another state or city. They will be able to save you a lot of time researching because it is their job to find you the best place to rent based on your needs.

If you cannot find a referral to a good real estate agent or property manager, try researching reputable real-estate agents online in the location and neighborhood you’re interested in. Make sure they are willing to work with you remotely.

View Rentals Remotely

You may be wondering, “How could I move somewhere if I’ve never seen the place in person?”. In this case, you will really need to take advantage of videos and photos of your prospective apartment.

The best way to rent an apartment or home is through a property management company because the process is much more organized and apartments are better maintained.

Start by browsing through available rentals on property management company websites or websites like Zillow or Apartments.com. You will have the option to filter apartments based on factors like cost, specific amenities, number of rooms, etc.

Remember, photos cannot always be trusted when it comes to rentals. Good lighting, nice furniture, and high-quality photos can go a long way in making your apartment look better than it is.

The best way to get an accurate feel of what your apartment will look like is to request a virtual tour. This will give you a 3D view of the apartment and make you feel as if you are physically inside.

Read Reviews

Finally, you will want to read online reviews of the apartment complex or property management company that you are renting from. Google Reviews or Yelp are two of the best places to start.

Be sure that there are a decent amount of up-to-date reviews for the place you are looking at. Also, keep in mind that every apartment is bound to have at least a few poor reviews. Everyone’s experience is different so this should not make you immediately write off the apartment.

If the overall rating of the apartment is good with a few bad reviews sprinkled in that you don’t see as major issues, you are probably fine.

However, if there are several dealbreaker reviews such as maintenance issues, pest issues, cleanliness issues, etc, then you should probably stay clear of the apartment.

Rent a Place Today

This guide taught you how to rent a place when you aren’t already a local. While long-distance apartment hunting may seem overwhelming, taking this advice will ensure things go smoothly.

If you’re looking for a great property management company to help with your rental needs, Verraterra is here to help.

Contact us today for questions and inquiries.

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