5 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Californian Apartment Search Online

shutterstock_257094796A few years ago, finding the perfect property for rent in a city or neighborhood that you knew nothing about was a complicated, time-consuming and potentially risky business. Basically, you had to spend a few hours daily touring different parts of the city, looking for “for rent” signs, meeting property managers and talking to existing tenants behind their landlord’ back.

People looking for a new roof over their heads in California can still embrace this old-school approach to conducting an apartment hunt, or they can choose to take an alternative route and surf the Internet to spot the most attractive options in terms of price, features, amenities and location.

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Using an Online Apartment Finding Service

If you can’t figure out which search method would work best for you, keep reading to uncover the 5 main reasons why you should start using a world-class apartment finding service right away.

  1. Everybody Else Is Doing It. At work, you are a leader, not a part of the herd. You make decisions based on your knowledge and expertise; when in doubt, you trust your instincts. This is why you don’t like to do things in a certain way, just because everybody else is following the same course of action. However, when it comes to looking for a new home in California, you have to make an exception and explore every path and every single tactic that all the rest of the apartment seekers are relying on to achieve their goals.

Here’s why: first of all, in today’s market, it is almost impossible to stumble across properties for rent that you could describe as a total steal. Secondly, the demand is high and the housing inventory is low. Think of what motivates you to put down roots in Cali, including its awesome year-round weather, great jobs, cool beaches and even cooler people, and you’ll soon realize why so many other individuals are striving to get the best deals on the local real estate market. Not convinced? If so, take a look at the hard numbers unveiled by Realtor.com. These recent stats indicate that 9 in 10 house hunters see the internet as their primary research source, while 56% of all respondents turn to the Internet during the first step of their apartment search. Hopefully, these numbers will ensure a better understanding of the digitalization of apartment searches and convince you to start looking for rentals in California online.

  1. An Online Search Implied Less Effort. Here’s the problem with traditional house hunting techniques: they are time-consuming and boring. They require your presence in different parts of the city and force you to leave your home and office just when you’re starting to feel productive and don’t have time or energy for any type of distractions. On the other hand, online searches return the best results in your own environment, making it easier for you to separate the awe-inspiring listings from the yawn-inspiring ones without having to tour them in person.
  2. An Online Apartment Search Helps You Save Time and Money. Each hour spent outside your office building can make you lose time and money associated with new or ongoing projects. Fortunately, now you can eliminate this disadvantage by looking for properties online, from the comfort of your home or office. For instance, Apartment Hunterz delivers a generous collection of listings and also offers a great variety of search tools that make it easier for you to retrieve attractive rentals with a few clicks. Moreover, you can save your searches and revisit your favorite options whenever, wherever.
  3. Apartment Locators Offer You State-of-the-Art Tools Ensuring a Simpler House Hunt. From tools designed to facilitate an instant, uninterrupted communication between landlords and tenants to support centers for both parties, modern apartment finding services provide all the assistance one could ever require to find, filter and save listings, schedule convenient in-person meetings with property managers and upload or download the necessary forms.
  4. A Great Apartment Finding Service Will Help You Keep Your Options Open. When it comes to renting a place in a city that you know nothing about, the real challenge is to target the areas providing the highest number of for rent properties matching your specific criteria, including monthly rates, layout, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and available amenities. Luckily, advanced apartment finding services help you broaden your horizons, by offering you detailed listings available in different Californian cities and neighborhoods where you could actually afford to rent a house or an apartment. You would just have to do your homework to research various ZIP codes and let the search engine guide you towards the available rentals in your area of choice.

How to Profit from a Flawless Online Apartment Finding Experience

Now that you have uncovered some of the secrets of the leasing industry, you are probably thinking about using an apartment finding service to spot the best rentals in a certain Californian city of neighborhood. Before going any further, evaluate your needs, demand and possibilities in an objective manner. Create a budget for your big move and stick to it.

If you think that you could get the keys to a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Los Angeles with in-unit washer and dryer, floor-to-ceiling windows and hardwood floors for less than $1,000 per month you are probably wasting your time and energy. Always identify and compare median rent prices before setting your heart on a particular ZIP code and use the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz to refine your search using various filters, communicate with landlords and schedule in-person property tours that could lead to a faultless apartment renting experience.

 

06
Oct 2015
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Apartment Hunting With Your Sweetie? Tips for a Stress-Free Search

Smiling couple sitting on the floor with laptop in the new apartYou’re moving in with your significant other, which is a big step. Unfortunately, apartment hunting with a second person can be highly stressful, especially if you both have different needs or ideas of what you want in an apartment. It is all about compromise and pre-planning. If you do, you can find an apartment that satisfies you both.

Pick a Location First

You both have jobs, family and maybe even school. So, you need to decide what city you will live in and how far each of you will have to drive. Do you want to live downtown? Or do you want a quiet neighborhood? These are all questions you need hashed out before you even look at apartment listings.

Decide How Much You Can Afford

Just because you’re combining incomes for rent doesn’t mean you need to rent something extravagant. Sit down and see how much you can comfortably split and who is paying what. Will you split the rent 50/50 or will one person pay more than the other? A budget should also include the utilities you’ll have to pay for. Also, decide your preferred rent and the maximum rent you’ll pay for — just in case you find an apartment you agree on, but it is out of your budget.

Think About Size

Most couples get a one bedroom only to realize they should have upgraded to a two bedroom. If you have friends or family from out of town that like to visit, adding that second bedroom could be beneficial. Also, if your main living space is small, a second bedroom could serve for an office or study room.

What Amenities Matter to You Both?

You both will have different ideas of the amenities you want, but create a list of amenities you both label as priorities — such as parking spaces, pool, laundry, etc. Also, if you are only assigned one parking space per unit, how will you share that space?

Hash Out the Differences in Private

Don’t start negotiations or arguments about your apartments during the hunt. Instead, sit down at home and discuss everything before you ever start searching. By having your budget established, amenities edited and needs listed you can find an apartment that works for both of you. Moving in is a big decision for most couples, and moving in general is stressful. Therefore, you can save a lot of headaches and prevent your moving-in experience from having a rocky start by refining the details ahead of time.

12
May 2014
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Tips for Touring Your First Apartment

Happy smiling couple moving into first new homeAs a first time renter, you’re going to have a lot of walkthroughs. But, do you know how to properly tour an apartment? While you might think everything looks good, how much time did you actually spend during your tour? It takes a little extra time to properly inspect a potential apartment, but by taking that time out of your day, you can ensure you get an apartment that suits your needs.

Check Out the Appliances

Your apartment is most likely going to come with a range, dishwasher and refrigerator. Check them all out, turn them on and make sure they’re working. There’s nothing worse than getting an apartment with a broken appliance.

Open the Closets, Cabinets and Drawers

You can tell a lot about an apartment just by looking in the storage spaces. First, you want to make sure you’re getting an apartment that can hold all of your stuff. See how deep the closest are, how many drawers you have to work with in the kitchen and the storage for food. What seems like a lot of cabinet space can fill up quick when you have dishes and pantry items to store. So make sure you’re not going to have to store a lot of your stuff on the counters.

Check Out the Layout

An apartment’s layout is important. You want something that will fit your furniture, but also make sense. See where the cable outlets are and whether or not you can move them —some apartments won’t let you relocate them and they won’t work with your furniture. Also, see how many outlets there are and the amount of space for your bedroom set.

Check for Signs of Poor Maintenance

Some apartments look great but don’t have the proper maintenance done. Look for signs of mold in the bathroom, especially on the ceilings and in the bathroom. Water stains on the ceiling are an indicator there is a leak somewhere in the roof. Also, if the apartment has a funny smell — cigarette smoke, pet urine or mildew — you will want to look somewhere else. Check out the carpets for extensive stains too — if the managers are OK renting a unit with filthy carpet, what else are they OK renting out?

Check Out the Community Areas Too

You like the apartment, but what about the rest of the complex? Visit the rental office, any community areas and even check out the pool and parking lot. How much space is there for visitors? Is there street parking or do you have a private parking lot?

07
May 2014
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How Long Does It Take to Find an Apartment Really?

Smiling couple sitting on the floor with laptop in the new apartYou already have the money saved up to move out, and you’re ready to start hunting for your first apartment. But, how long will the process take? If you’re not sure how long to expect, here is a general timeline to consider.

See What the Lead Time Is

A lead-time tells you how long from the time you find the apartment to the time you can move in. It’s unlikely you’ll find one today and move in tomorrow, but what is a reasonable move-in date? It depends on the area. In downtown Los Angeles, you might find apartments with leases about to end or a few vacant units. But, don’t just pick an apartment because you’re in a hurry — you might be stuck in a lease in an apartment you hate.

How Long Does It Take to Search?

You should try to spend at least two or three days searching for apartments and look through at least eight different units before picking one. If you can, devote a week to apartment hunting. That way you aren’t rushing through your walkthroughs or rushing to make a decision. Plus, you never know if a great new apartment will list mid-week.

Consider the Approval Time

Once you have picked out the apartment you like, you’ll go through an application process. This could take a few hours or a few days — depending on how the property manager sets up their application process. Most places do a background and credit check, they may also call your employer. So expect one to two business days for the approval process to finalize.

Scheduling Your Move-In Date

Even if the apartment is ready to move into tomorrow, do you really want to move that fast? Be realistic and think about how quickly you can move. You have work, school and other obligations, so where will moving fit in. Plus, if you need help, you need to give friends and family a few days’ notice. Set aside at least a week (or two) to pack and plan the move itself. The less rushed your move is, the less stressed you’ll be come moving day.

Conclusion

So how long does the process take? Depending on how fast you move, you could be in a new apartment in as little as two weeks or as long as a few months. But, ideally you should have your new place all said and done within four weeks.

There’s no rush to finding your new apartment — except the rush you create. Take your time, be savvy with your money, and make sure you’re signing for an apartment you really want to live in.

25
Apr 2014
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How Much Money Do You Need to Rent Your First Apartment?

House In Hands Of BusinessmanMoving into your own place is a new adventure. You are in charge of your day, what furniture you have, and you’re finally on your own. But, before you start hunting for your own place, you need to consider the finances. The rental market is pretty tight, and vacancies aren’t as high as they used to be. That means you’ll need to start saving, especially if you want a prime spot downtown.

Get Your Income Straight

You need a steady income if you want to get your own apartment. This isn’t just for your benefit, but most apartment managers require proof of a steady income before they will even give you the apartment. You not only need to have a constant flow of cash, but you need to make sure you have enough left over after rent to pay for other things. The best way to tell how much rent you can afford each month is to take your monthly income and divide it by three. The result is how much, maximum, you can pay each month in rent. So, if you make $1,000 per month, you don’t want a rental payment over $333 per month.

Remember the Security Deposit

Most apartments require a security deposit to hold the apartment and prove you’re capable of paying the rent. Some have a fixed fee, such as $500, while others charge first and last month’s rent. Contact some of the apartment complexes you’re considering and see how much they want for a security deposit. In some cases you might need your first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit. And, all of that is due the day you want to sign the lease.

Moving Costs

Most people forget about the moving costs. But, it is likely you will need a moving truck or you need to hire a full-service mover. Start pricing these services. If you are going to rent a moving truck, expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $200 for a local rental. If you are thinking of hiring a full-service mover, you could pay a few thousand dollars.

Furniture

Unless you have lived on your own before, you are going to need to purchase some furniture for the new space. This might include dining room chairs and table, couches or even a new bed. Price out the items you need and start saving. While you don’t have to buy them before you move, it wouldn’t be fun to have your own space without a couch.

Utilities

Some utilities require you to pay a month ahead – such as internet and cable. So you will want to save for these expenses before you move. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 per month depending on everything you add.

So How Much Should You Save?

  • Your First and Last Month’s Rent
  • Your Security Deposit
  • Furniture
  • Moving Costs
  • Utility Deposits
15
Apr 2014
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