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.


Californian Rental Deal Breakers That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Successful business man looking away with cityWhen you’re conducting a first house hunt on a tight budget, you are usually inclined to ignore all warning signs indicating that a certain property may jeopardize your safety, comfort or financial situation. You know what they say: on a highly competitive market with a short housing supply and a high demand for cheap accommodation options, when something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

What Are The Things That You Should Give Up to Spend Less on Rent?

This being said, what kind of compromises should you agree to make to get the keys to a somewhat attractive house or apartment that you could actually afford in the long run? At the end of the day, only you can draw the line between determination and pure desperation while comparing various alternatives in your preferred ZIP codes.

Some may agree to get roommates and split the costs with their cohabitants; others may opt for a small, unfurnished apartment to keep costs in check. Some may choose to avoid for rent properties located in some of the most desirable neighborhoods and settle for decent places situated in an area with a low crime rate. All these strategies can be quite effective, especially if you make a final call based on the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz, California’s favorite apartment finding service. Take a look at recent listings to identify the best cities/ZIP codes where the odds of finding a place within your budget are relatively high.

5 Bad Signs Indicating That a Californian Rental Is Clearly Not “The One”

While making small compromises is the key to a successful apartment hunt, remember that you should never ignore red flags indicating that your property of choice is inhabitable and/or potentially dangerous or simply not the best fit for you. Here are five such drawbacks that you should take into consideration during the apartment search phase.

  1. Safety Threats. To being with, you should know that drawbacks associated with a piece of real estate fall into three categories: those that put your safety/life on the line, those that lower your level of comfort and the ones that annoy you to death. By far, safety threats are the number one concern that should never become your problem as a tenant. To avoid such risk factors, always check reports available online to identify and compare crime rates in different neighborhoods before renting. Also, tour the property during the day and at night to figure out whether or not you feel safe in this new environment. After completing this step, extend your investigation by visiting the places that you would normally go to on a regular basis: the park, a supermarket and so on. Do you feel safe and comfortable walking alone from point A to point B? Choose to filter your search results based on your answer.
  2. Major Issues with the Basic Systems of Your Building. Ideally, any dependable landlord should invest time and money in its rental to make sure that all its basic systems are running like new. However, problems may arise at any given point in time, so you should do your homework and conduct an ample inspection to discover potential hazards before they become an actual issue. An odd or shoddy electrical box or circuit breaker could be seen as a warning sign; the same goes for an old, poorly maintained furnace that may very well cause a carbon monoxide leak. Don’t leave the house without inspecting the plumbing system. Flush the toilers and pressure test the shower. Go inside the kitchen and turn on the oven. If you get a distinctive smell of gas, run for your life and never look back. The same goes for non-lethal threats that may be bothering you during your first house tour (like walls with peeling paint, cracks in the walls/floors or rusty, defective appliances), especially if you may have to spend money out of your pockets to replace them or if you get fishy reassurances (“Yes, this can be easily fixed. I just need to find the time/right kind of help to do it. Maybe one of these days..”) from a potential landlord.
  3. Foul Odors. We know what you may say: foul odors are not the worst problem that you can think of, and they could never stop you from renting a cheap apartment that is much more affordable than similar options located on the same street. While we appreciate your determination, note that some odors can signal a more complicated issue, like a mold contamination, for example. Moreover, heavy smells (of smoke, urine and so on) can be difficult to eliminate, especially if they are already impregnated in carpets, upholstery and carpet pads.
  4. Pest Problems. Pest problems represent a deal breaker because they are very unpleasant and costly. Moreover, while dealing with this issue, you may have to take this matter into your own hands and incur the costs of a potential decontamination (cleaning, sanitizing and restoration of indoor spaces), especially if your landlord fails to respond to your complaint/request in a prompt manner. Because you wouldn’t want to share your slice of cake or pillow with a colony of ants, trust us when we say that you will call a team of decontaminators as soon as you identify the problem.
  5. Disrupting Factors That Make You Feel Uncomfortable in Your Own Apartment. People who are constantly yelling are annoying. Yes, you could always call the police, but would your intervention put an end to this type of unpleasant stories for good? Probably not! While you can’t choose your family, you can definitely choose your landlord and neighbors and this is great privilege that you should never give up.

The truth is that even in this market, you can still afford to be a demanding tenant in the state of California. Use the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz to compare thousands of listings and choose the one that speaks to you. The whole selection process is simple, painless and convenient. Test the effectiveness of this apartment finding service and simplify your future house hunts using the very best tips and tools designed by true Californian real estate experts.