11 Apartment Hunting Tips for Renters

Looking to rent a new apartment in West Los Angeles? At SaraVita Properties we know what a stressful task this can be. This is why we have your best interest in mind. Check out 11 apartment hunting tips that could make your apartment search easier!

1. Narrow your search.

With a city as big and populated as Los Angeles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. The first (and possibly most important) rule to remember before beginning any search is to narrow your search down. Focusing on an area or two that are of particular interest to you can help you find a apartment that you are pleased with and can make your search easier. Although this is not always an easy task, services like SaraVita Properties can help you find what you’re looking for without the stress or hassle!

2. Prioritize

What is most important to you when searching for your next apartment? Location? closet space? budget? Prioritizing a few things that are essential to you is a good way to find an apartment that’s right for you.

3. Keep track of multiple listings.

At SaraVita Properties, we have mastered management of multiple apartments and buildings. When you are searching for your new apartment, a good tip to keep track of all of the listings is by taking a photo of each apartment and jotting quick notes or details you liked about each listing. This can easily be done through your phone or writing it down!

4. Be prepared.

Before contacting the landlord to sign a lease, make sure you have your paperwork ready and proof of funds in hand. This will ensure that you claim your apartment quickly before anyone else has a chance to grab it before you. It is also a bonus if you already have a copy of your credit report. Most landlords will run a credit report at a cost to you. Having your credit report ready is a way to save you time and money.

5. Uncover Hidden Costs.

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to ask about any hidden costs that are not included in the monthly rent. This may include utilities, parking, cable, etc. It’s important to know of any added costs so you can budget it accordingly.

6.Rely on your senses.

Odd smells and noises you notice during a showing could end up being a major problem when you move in. Natural light, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in the world, so try to attend a daytime open house rather than looking at the apartment after work.

7. Don’t be afraid to be a little nosy.

Open the closets to get a realistic picture of the available storage space. Turn on the shower, run the water in the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and flush the toilet. Check under the sinks for signs of mold and critters — it’s a lot better to know now if there is a problem.

8. Combine methods for the most effective search. 

To maximize your results, and to help you find the perfect apartment in a short period of time, utilize all the methods available to you. This includes effective websites like Craigslist and real estate services like SaraVita Properties so that you are tapped into the best apartments in your area!

9. Planning to stay a while? Negotiate!

If you have excellent credit and a solid rental and work history, and you want a place to call home for many years to come, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal. Finding excellent long-term tenants is the hardest part of being a landlord, so remember, you are a catch!

While it’s not likely any landlord would lower the rent, you could try negotiating for a longer lease to lock in your current rent, ask for improvements to be made (and paid for) before moving in or get permission to paint and make improvements on your own.

10. Measure key pieces of furniture … and check if they fit through the door.

If you have not accumulated much furniture yet, or you don’t mind swapping a few things out, this may not be an issue. But if you do have a special piece, like a canopy bed, large sofa or piano, it would be heartbreaking to find out it won’t make it through the door after you’ve signed the lease. Bring a tape measure with you to each open house, and check doorway and stairwell measurements to be sure your beloved pieces will make it in.

11. Get everything in writing. 

So your landlord promised that the leaky sink would be fixed, you can paint the walls any color you want and your cat is allowed without a deposit? Get it in writing. Should you and your landlord ever get into a disagreement down the road, having documentation will be a lifesaver.

Author: Houzz – Laura Gaskill

Source: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/10180155/list/11-Apartment-Hunting-Tips-for-Renters


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