Give Yourself Time with a Realistic Apartment Hunting Timeline
It doesn’t matter if this is your first time moving out or you are just looking for a new apartment in California, you need ample time to find the right apartment. Rushing could mean missing out on that gem located a few blocks from work or paying more in rent instead of waiting for a cheaper downtown unit to open up. This timeline shows you how much time you should carve out for locating your perfect apartment.
A Few Months Before
Establish your apartment budget. Rent in California, especially southern California, ranges. So, research the area you plan to move to and see how much rent is in that area. Use a median price for your budget. There is no point in hunting for an apartment if you don’t know how much you can actually afford.
After you have established the budget, it is time to look for apartments in that area that are at or below your price point. Make a list of the apartments you want to check out. Consider using an Excel spreadsheet so that everything is organized.
At Least One Month Before You Move
Now is the time to start scheduling visits to your list of prospective apartments. This will give you enough time to visit the area, hopefully at two different times of the day, and take your time walking through the available units. You should bring along your checkbook or cashier’s check for the deposit and any references needed. That way if you find the perfect apartment while hunting, you can put down the security deposit and get the unit secured before it is gone.
A month before you move in is the time to finalize apartment paperwork too. Make sure you have copies of the lease and any other documents for the unit — such as parking or insurance paperwork.
At Least Two Weeks Before Moving In
Make sure all paperwork is in order and everything is ready to go with the new apartment. Now it is also time to pack. Use this time to get rid of anything you don’t plan on bringing or needing at the new apartment. The less you have to move, the easier the process will be. Also, start scheduling out the moving day — finding people to help, the logistics, etc. You will want a spare day or two to clean your old apartment after everything is moved out. If you’re hiring a cleaning service, make sure to schedule ahead with them so that the apartment is cleaned before you are required to turn in the keys.
By just giving yourself enough time you can get the perfect apartment you need and without all of the headaches associated with rushing the process.