5 Key Steps to Take Before Viewing a Property in California

shutterstock_89766298When it comes to making important, life-changing decisions, we are often advised to trust our gut feeling and listen to what our heart tells us to do. Is this the smartest tactic that you could employ when it comes to viewing properties for rent in California? In all honesty, on the local real estate market, an unexpected case of love at first sight can cause massive headaches and heartaches, leaving you in a dark pit of despair, anger and frustration.

In other words, when you feel ready to start a house hunt, don’t be fooled by appearances. Don’t fall for the first property that you see online, simply because it has ample floor-to-ceiling windows providing plenty of natural light, glossy hardwood floors, perfectly manicured gardens or modern amenities that you have always contemplated in glossy magazines.

  1. Get the Bigger Picture by Doing Research Online. Let’s face it: in most cases, controlling your emotions during a house hunt can be quite difficult, especially when your eyes meet amazing details that your heart has envisioned a long time ago.

Things can get even more complicated when you don’t actually have a plan. When you aren’t familiar with the realities of the local real estate market, you show up unprepared and give landlords the opportunity to sweep you off your feet and put their expertise to good use to make you overspend on rent. On the other hand, when you use the data brought to you by one of the most reliable apartment finders in California, you keep the ball in your court and make the most of expert insight to get a better deal. The lesson is simple: go online and compare properties in your favorite ZIP codes, in terms of features, square footage and price. This will prepare you for a more productive round of negotiations.

  1. Always Establish a First Direct Contact with Landlords before Touring the Property. Unfortunately, the online rental scam problem is as real as it gets. As a story published by FBI points out, more than a few rental ads are phony, and expose potential tenants to considerable security risks and financial losses. This type of scam has ensnared many victims in several states, including Colorado, Illinois and California. The good news is that you can prevent rental scams in several ways. First of all, you could do a background check on your landlord and start looking for reviews published by other users who have occupied or tried to rent the property that you’re planning on renting at some point.

Secondly, you should dismiss candidates who tell you stories that sound odd and raise red flags. Properties with a ridiculously low rental rate are always a warning sign that you should take into consideration; the same goes for landlords who are letting you know that they have to travel to Nigeria, and ask you to wire them two or three months’ worth of rent.

Thirdly, you should get the best support while doing research online. By teaming up with California’s favorite apartment hunter, you could analyze thousands of fresh, attractive, verified listings, and lower the odds of wasting any time and money dealing with potential scammers. You can keep risks in check by starting to build a solider relationship with landlords and property managers before actually meeting them in person. Using the iConnect feature brought to you by Apartment Hunterz, you can reach the people who have chosen to rent out their properties with just a few clicks.

  1. Ask All the Right Questions. Assuming that you have already had a nice conversation with a few landlords and have gathered all the info allowing you to pick favorites, what’s next? After completing this step, you can prepare a list of questions allowing you to discover the particularities of the property that you’re planning on renting. Make sure you ask concise questions related to the:
  • age and overall condition of the building
  • onsite maintenance service
  • storage space
  • rental rates and payment methods
  • existing tenant policies and procedures
  1. Go Beyond Eye-Catchy Additions Used as Bait. Here’s another aspect that you should consider: many landlords use every single trick in the book to make you fall in love with their properties at a first glace. They won’t hesitate to “plant” a series of wow factors, including huge mirrors designed to create the illusion of extra space, delicious smells, expensive decorative items, fresh coats of paint and strategic lighting, to make their homes more appealing. Don’t let these additions fool you and don’t make a final call based solely on appearances. If the aesthetic value of a home outweighs its practical value, you may want to start looking for other options in your price range; after all, beautiful extras only feed your delight and please your eyes; it’s the practical additions that ensure your comfort and boost your wellbeing inside a house.
  2. Keep Your Options Open by Counting on the Insight Offered by California’s #1 Apartment Finder. Whatever you do, don’t say yes to the first property that you get to tour, even if it manages to respond to most of your needs and demands. Learn to be selective and do your research before investing in a property, even if you’re only interested in a short-term lease. Keep in mind that a house hunt doesn’t necessarily have to be time-consuming and costly. If you’re looking forward to cutting down costs associated with your upcoming apartment search and want to discover a simpler way to analyze rentals and pick favorites, use the listings delivered by Apartment Hunterz to accomplish your mission. Find and save listings with a few clicks, talk to multiple landlords online, in real time, and spend less on a rental property that could offer you the highest number of benefits.


Spot a Great Rental in San Diego in 5 Easy Steps

shutterstock_109329452Home to a little over 1.3 million people, San Diego is the second largest city in California by population. Due to its marvelous hilly geography, friendly climate and endless list of tourist attractions, including San Diego Zoo, Belmont amusement park, SeaWorld San Diego and Balboa Park, San Diego is constantly visited by thousands of tourists on an annual basis and manages to attract investors and newcomers who have their eyes and their hearts set on the unique gems of the local real estate market.

Assuming that you couldn’t possibly afford to buy a place in San Diego (this is perfectly understandable, considering that the median home sale price has recently hit the $520,000 milestone), perhaps you may be interested in renting an apartment in one of the coolest neighborhoods comprised by this wonderful city of opportunities. In case you’re getting ready to start fresh in Cali as a tenant, here are five basic steps that you should take to get closer to the for rent property that you have always wanted to occupy.

  1. Figure Out What You Really Want (and Can Realistically Afford). First and foremost, keep in mind that you should always set the correct parameters for your apartment search, to avoid wasting time and energy. In other words, only target the areas that provide the highest number of rentals that you could afford, and avoid upscale properties and expensive ZIP codes that are not a good fit for your non-celebrity status. For instance, if you can barely put food on the table, don’t even try to go near luxury homes located in/near, La Jolla, one of the most affluent seaside communities in San Diego, where high-end houses are currently being sold for more than 12 million dollars. The lesson is simple: know and understand your desires and limitations and stick to the neighborhoods and rentals that are the best match for your current financial possibilities.
  2. Research the Best Neighborhoods That Provide Rentals in Your Price Range. Now that you’ve managed to set a budget for your first house hunt, do your research and find out a thing or two about some of the most popular neighborhoods that you should focus on. For instance:

Mission Hills is a great pick for those who appreciate beautiful tree-lined streets, perfectly manicured grounds and elegant homes situated in a historic, grand neighborhood that is far from being ostentatious. This is the place where you could find extremely desirable, large, estate-like pieces of real estate, as well as a number of classy boutiques, coffee shops and salons.

Hillcrest is an extremely diverse environment teeming with social hipsters, singles and young families. Its inconsistent landscape varies a great deal from quaint and cozy to incredibly upscale. In this area, you could find and test a large selection of entertainment options and cool places where you could socialize and spend your spare time in a delightful manner (including bars, clubs, gyms and tattoo parlors). This area stands out from the crowd due to its open-minded dwellers, cleanliness, amazing diversity and eclectic character.

La Jolla. Known as the gem of the West Coast, La Jolla is no paradise for the poor. On the contrary, this part of the city is a haven for deep-pocketed elite interested in upscale Californian real estate jewels, fine wining and dining experiences and extravagant shopping destinations. La Jolla counts all these attractions and many others, including gorgeous hotels offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, architecturally magnificent, opulent mansions worth millions of dollars and luxury boutiques.

If you’re looking for a cool vacation rental in this area, remember that you would have to spend a significant amount of money to fulfill your dream of catching the sunrise every day in this area. Finding a vacant single-family house for rent under $5,000 per month in this part of the city can be quite a challenge; however, remember that you could simplify your search by keeping tabs on the listings promoted by Apartment Hunterz. A targeted search performed with help from California’s best-loved apartment finding service could return the best results in only a few days.

  1. Find Cheap Rentals in Your Area of Choice with Apartment Hunterz. Regardless of the area that you decide to opt for, analyze and compare your options using the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz. One quick glance at local listings could help you separate the insanely expensive properties from the decently-priced ones, offering you the opportunity to keep the ball in your court during a potential negotiation with landlords who are eager to fill their vacancies.
  2. Reach Property Managers and Landlords with a Few Clicks. Next, use the iConnect feature to communicate with landlords and property managers online, in real time. Forget about long, boring and costly phone calls and have a nice chat with the people who are ready and willing to give you the keys to their San Diego homes. Give the iConnect feature and try and you will no longer have to spend a lot of time writing endless emails; Apartment Hunterz makes it easier for you to get and stay in touch with landlords and also offers you a simplified method to upload and download forms.
  3. Tour the Property in Person and Close the Deal. Apartment Hunterz delivers an ample collection of verified listings featuring up to 12 photos allowing you to discover the particularities of the rentals that may interest you without having to tour them in person. Some listings are also accompanied by video tours that make it easier for you to assess the look and feel of each candidate before scheduling an appointment with property managers or landlords. After analyzing these extras, feel free to contact the people who are renting out their San Diego properties and don’t forget to create your home viewing checklist before going any further. A good checklist will help you inspect each key area of a house and identify potential problems with ease.

At the end of the day, remember that you can always count on Apartment Hunterz when it comes to spotting amazing rentals in San Diego, and in any other Californian city that may appeal to you. Check out the fresh listings, use the interactive tools and count on expert support to make an informed decision today.

Oct 2015

The Basic Apartment Hunting Rules That You Can’t Afford to Ignore in Today’s Market

shutterstock_159864659More and more people appreciate the convenience and overall efficiency of online platforms allowing them to socialize, share or buy things they need and want, and get prompt solutions to their daily problems.

This being said, should you turn to a website that you may consider an online wonderland to spot the perfect apartment for rent in California? Generally speaking, a reputable apartment finding service will offer you the assistance, tools and insight that you may require to avoid scammers, check out the best listings in your area and establish a good connection with property managers and landlords. While online environments make it easier for you to save time, money and energy while looking for a new roof over your head, you still have to set the coordinates for a successful apartment search. Here are a few easy tips that you should apply to turn your first Californian apartment hunt into one of the greatest experiences of your life.

  1. Know Your Limits, and Your Price. First of all, know and accept your limitations. Exclude the properties that you can’t realistically afford to rent, no matter how tempting they may be. Avoid long commutes by identifying the budget-friendly neighborhoods that are closer to your office. Did you know that you could save up to $1,500 on rent simply by doing your homework and discovering the ZIP codes with the lowest rental rates? For instance, a modest apartment in Dogpatch, San Francisco could cost you around $4,300 per month, while a similar property available for rent in Central Sunset would only take approximately $2,800 out of your pockets each month? Do your research online, compare neighborhoods and perform a targeted search with Apartment Hunterz to spot the most attractive eligible candidates during your apartment hunt.
  2. Research the Rental Apartment, and the Its Management Company. It’s always a good idea to read online reviews and gather essential information on landlords and the properties that they’re renting. However, during this phase, many potential tenants ignore the fact that they should also try to dig a little deeper to uncover details related to the overall performance of the management company. Does your rental of choice have its own security team? Does the maintenance team include a crew of dependable, veteran handyman who are trained, ready and willing to address any kind of problem, day and night? Your comfort and peace of mind depend on these answers, so make sure you gather all the info on a rental’s management company before actually signing on the dotted line.
  3. Get Acquainted with the Area. To begin with, you can use a great variety of online tools, such as Google Maps, to discover the particularities of the area where you have found the coolest apartments for rent online. Next, look for neighborhood reports allowing you to determine whether the rental apartment or house is a good match for you. While the ad may imply that the neighborhood is perfectly safe day and night, this new environment may not match your lifestyle, expectations and personality. For instance, a ZIP code teeming with young professionals may not be the best pick for seniors; this is why it would be best to evaluate your options before touring the property and its surroundings in person, at different times of the day, to capture its real vibe.
  4. Keep in Mind That Smaller Is Usually Better. Smaller properties are usually a more attractive option for two different reasons: first of all, they help you save money and experience the joy of renting an apartment without having to share your space with a roommate. One extra room could cost you a small fortune in one of the most expensive Californian cities, so opt for a property offering you as much space as you realistically need. For instance, a 1-bedroom apartment in San Diego could cost you under $1,800 per month, while a 3-bedrooom one is currently in the $2,800 range.

Secondly, in general, smaller apartment complexes ensure better service and a higher level of comfort. Any tenant who is already occupying an apartment that is a part of a large complex will tell you just how difficult it can be to get help when you need it. When you’re sharing your space with 200 other people, you’re probably not the only one who has a complaint or a repair/improvement request. In such cases, you will have to wait in line, especially when non-emergency grievances represent the core of the problem that you’re reporting.

Here’s another key piece of advice that we would like to share with you: don’t sacrifice your overall wellbeing to protect your finances. We know what you may be inclined to think: you’re young, so you can spend a couple of years or so in a shoebox apartment with paper-thin walls. You can put up with noisy neighbors, bossy landlords, unreliable property managers, messy surroundings and less comfortable, ancient furniture. But the truth is that the space that you choose to occupy influences your mood, productivity and daily choices more than you could ever imagine.

For instance, did you know that clutter affects your ability to process information and focus? This means that a small, unorganized apartment could lower your performance at work and stand in the way of your career-related ambitions. Also, mess causes stress, triggering a feeling of guilt and making it increasingly difficult for people to relax in their own environments.

Why deal with all these negative aspects when you could actually find a great apartment in your price range with Apartment Hunterz? Check the listings delivered by California’s premier apartment finder, use your filters of choice to find the best options in certain areas of interest, and explore advanced features to communicate with landlords and handle paperwork with ease. Discover a new, simplified way to conduct an effective house hunt and turn your first apartment search into a fun adventure with Apartment Hunterz.

7 Tips on How to Find a Cheap Apartment for Rent in California

shutterstock_294233039Conducting a house hunt in California is usually a complicated, time-consuming process that can drain all your energy and resources. The good news is that now you can count on the insight provided by California’s number one apartment finding service to find great rentals on a budget.

Finding a Cheap Rental Apartment in Cali Is Not a Mission Impossible

Using the tools and listings provided by Apartment Hunterz, you could spot the rental apartment of your dreams and rent it in less than a week. Here are 7 easy tips that you could apply to get closer to the perfect inexpensive Californian property for rent that you’ve been hunting for so long.

  1. Look for Bigger Apartment Complexes with an Ugly View . As a rule of thumb, in order to find an affordable apartment for rent in California, you must turn your attention to buildings comprising anywhere from 15 to 30 apartments. If you don’t want to make any compromises in terms of square footage, amenities and location, then maybe you should consider settling for an apartment that doesn’t exactly ensure breathtaking views of the city. Nobody dreams of seeing toll booths while looking out their windows, but let’s face it: an apartment with an ugly view is less desirable than the rest; and thus, less expensive. Generally speaking, if you want to spend less on a rental, it would be a good idea to target areas located in the proximity of highways, train lines and tunnel entrances, which tend to offer for rent properties that are considerably less expensive than the ones located two or three blocks away.
  2. Invest in a Few Sets of Quality Earplugs. If you have never been bothered by noisy neighbors, then maybe you should explore your enhanced sound tolerance to get a great deal on the local real estate market. Did you know that apartments facing construction sites or other areas that are known for their annoying noise-generating daily operations can be a real bargain if you are willing (and able) to put up with them? Factor in this option if you’re conducting a house hunt on a tight budget; after all, in this particular situation, a pair of headphones could cost you less than $20 and help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
  3. Move into a New Apartment During Winter. During the cold season, people are less likely to start looking for a new home and move. During winter, relocating and moving all your stuff from can be quite stressful; this is why many tenants wait until spring to find a new apartment for rent. Use this trend to your best advantage, and consider moving into a rented apartment in December or January. During this time of the year, landlords are more inclined to offer a series of incentives to new tenants to fill their vacancies. On the other hand, during summer, both the inventory and the demand increase dramatically, making it more difficult for budget-conscious people to find a good rental matching their criteria.
  4. Target Low-Key Neighborhoods. If you’re not intimidated by long commutes and above average crime rates, consider researching less desirable neighborhoods that could offer you access to less costly rentals that you could actually afford. Perform a targeted search with Apartment Hunterz to discover the most inexpensive rentals in your ZIP codes of choice.
  5. Don’t Overspend on a Unit with Lots of Extras That You Don’t Actually Need. If you’re planning on spending less on rent, choose an apartment that is as basic as it gets. Avoid properties with luxurious amenities and features, such as granite countertops, Jacuzzi baths and floor-to-ceiling windows; such extras have a fairly low practical value and will inevitably raise the costs of any rental property. Therefore, choose a for rent apartment in California based on the key factors that you value the most, such as location and square footage, and don’t be fooled into thinking that a house with a wide range of high-end amenities will always offer you a superior level of comfort and convenience; in most cases, tenants who fall into this trap end up spending a lot of money on upscale add-ons that they never get to use.
  6. Establish Direct Contact with Landlords and Property Managers. Looking for the best strategy that you could apply to save some cash during your apartment hunt? Here’s an idea worth considering: put your social skills to good use to find a great apartment for rent without the help of a realtor. For instance, by talking to doormen you could get a list of the homeowners who rent out their properties. In this case, you would just have to leave your business card. This way, the landlords who are interested in filling their vacancies will be able to reach you and hopefully make you an offer that you won’t be able to decline.
  7. Check Out Verified Listings Delivered by California’s #1 Apartment Finding Service. At this point, your number one priority is to move out of your parents’ house, regain your independence and find a place that you could actually call home.

Even if you don’t count on a big budget for this ambitious plan, you don’t want to make many compromises when it comes to renting an apartment in California. You want to find the perfect house or apartment that speaks to you and manages to reflect your personality and sense of style.

Oftentimes, this is easier said than done. However, when you count on the support of a great apartment finding service, the whole process gets so much easier. You just have to start looking for properties for rent in your preferred ZIP code, save your searches, get in touch with landlords, download and upload forms and schedule private viewings online. If you’d like to identify the best Californian rentals with just a few clicks, start using the amazing apartment finding service brought to you by Apartment Hunterz and uncover the best deals on the local real estate market in online a few days.

Oct 2015

5 Things That You Should Know before Renting an Apartment in San Francisco

shutterstock_66967594Are you contemplating the idea of selling all your stuff and relocating to a city that would always give you something to do and see and help you prevent boredom? If your answer is yes, then maybe you should start looking for a rental in San Francisco, the vibrant Californian city who has inspired many prominent personalities, including Anthony Bourdain, who made shocking statement, declaring the following: “Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me.”

Why Should You Consider Moving to San Francisco?

Jokes and exaggerations aside, we could probably give you one million different reasons that would justify your intention to pack your bags and start a new life as a tenant in San Francisco. The friendly people, countless attractive job opportunities in different sectors, wonderful golden sunsets, beautiful rolling hills and majestic surrounding forests are only a few of the elements that define this pretty picture.

Believe it or not, San Francisco is the only city in the world that has actually found a name for its fog: Karl the Fog is incredibly active on Twitter and shares the funniest messages that could put a smile on your face even after the most stressful day at work. “Goodnight San Francisco. May you dream of finding someone special who responds to your texts with more than one word answers” is the kind of statement that makes you love Karl the Fog and realize that even the least pleasant factors can gain positive connotations in San Francisco.

The ever-changing weather stops you from investing in seasonal clothing storage and lets you wear your best-loved wardrobe highlights year-round.  Moreover, San Francisco is a dreamy environment with redwood forests, cool beaches and mountains. If you’re into spicy Mexican food, you’ll want to spend the rest of your days in this city, which is also famous for its healthy bike epidemic, great famers’ markets, huge parks and a nurturing sense of community. In a nutshell, San Francisco is filled with temptations that may convince you to pour all your savings into a for rent or for sale property.

5 Things That You Should Know before Renting a Place in San Francisco

Now that we have shown you the main advantages that your big move could help you unlock, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at different aspects that you should consider before starting your first apartment search in San Francisco.

  1. Renting an Apartment in San Francisco Isn’t Exactly Cheap. How much money do you have in your bank account and how much do you expect to make on a monthly basis? Based on these answers, you can figure out whether or not a San Francisco rental would be the perfect match for you. As a recent article published by Huffington Post points out, you would have to earn at least $137,129 per year to be able to afford a new roof over your head in San Francisco. According to the same source, the most expensive city in America is constantly getting more expensive, and can become the core of a tenant’s worst nightmare. With rental rates exceeding the $4,000 milestone, it’s safe to say that you would require significant financial support to get the keys to a 2-bedroom apartment located in San Francisco’s most desirable neighborhoods, such as Dogpatch and South Beach, where rentals are in the $4,300 range.
  2. You Can Always Target a Few Budget-Friendly Neighborhoods in San Francisco. Truth be told, some parts of the city let you discover attractive rentals carrying less prohibitive price tags. For instance, the foggy Richmond District comprises more than a few appealing for rent properties that you could occupy for approximately $2,750 per month. Not many people could afford to list these options as bargains, but still, a house under $2,800 per month available in this area, or in other cheaper neighborhoods such as Oceanview, Outer Sunset or Excelsior, is the most convenient alternative to that $4,170 Panhandle –based rental apartment that you like to daydream about, but can’t afford.
  3. The Local Real Estate Market Is Extremely Diverse. From single-family homes in the $2,000 range to small studios that cost twice as much, San Francisco will always overwhelm you with a great variety of properties for rent, matching different budget, lifestyles and expectations. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to count on a great apartment finding service to spot and compare properties with just a few clicks before investing a dime in a new home.
  4. Buying May Not Be the Best Call. Yes, you could choose to bring stability to your life and take on new responsibilities by exploring the advantages of home ownership. At the end of the day, if you can afford to buy a piece of real estate, you could always turn your new house or apartment into a high-end rental to supplement your income and strike gold as a landlord. However, you should know that this option is feasible only if you’re already sitting on a pile of money, given that the median home sales price is estimated at $1,080,000 and reflects a 13% increase compared to the numbers reported one year ago, while the average listing price is $1,337,951 and indicates a 1.6% growth, according to the stats published by Trulia.
  5. You Can Always Find the Most Attractive Rentals in Your Price Range with Apartment Hunterz. Even when you’re intimidated by sky-high costs and your lack of information related to local real estate markets, you can still find convenient rentals in San Francisco and in any other Californian city, using the data provided by Apartment Hunterz. Take a look at thousands of recent listings, pick and save your favorites and benefit from an ample collection of tools especially designed to turn your apartment search into a lovely experience.