Apartment Locator Tips

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1. Consider delaying your move.

It's called renter season for a reason. The summer is considered the peak time for renters on the move. Most people relocate during the summer due to school being out, marriage, vacation time from work, the weather and several other seasonal factors like budget restrictions during the winter holidays. Property managers and owners are aware of this cyclical demand, so during the summer expect a decrease in apartment specials, soaring prices and great deals going quickly.

The best advice we try to offer our renters looking to move during the summer is to do your research early. Starting sooner than the masses will help you and your locator prepare to find the best deals before they get leased.

2.  Amenities, Amenities, Amenities.

Don't just research location, research the property amenities too. For instance, if you use the metro to commute, is the building within walking distance to the station? What’s the safest commute to get there? A property could be 4 blocks to the DC metro according to Google, but that may involve crossing a major highway. If there’s a metro shuttle, is it free? What hours does it run? Does it operate on the weekends? Can guests join you? Location may be the key to the perfect place, but property knowledge is equally important to understanding if the amenities being offered best accommodate your individual lifestyle. Keep in mind, we only discussed access to public transportation. However, there are so many more questions and so many unique answers per property. Imagine compiling all your rental criteria for ten places to rent! This is why locators are a very useful resource in helping to provide these answers quickly.  

3. Realism.

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of renters make is beginning their search with unrealistic expectations. While researching your preferred area, check the median rental rates. Certain desirable locations may limit the amount of space and features you can afford. To start, ask yourself what is more important, location or the interior features? 

You should also ask yourself these three questions: 1) What do you expect to pay on average? 2) What is the max rent you're willing to pay for the perfect place? 3) What can you honestly afford to be comfortable? All of these answers will better help you and your personal locator start the process in finding your new ideal home. Locators can often find apartment deals that are not advertised on the web, however, within realistic expectation. Deals that seem to be too good to be true generally are for a specific reason.

4. Negotiate!

Most of the time, there is a little wiggle room when it comes to negotiating leases. Property owners want their units leased and also want to accommodate their future tenants. With that said, negotiate within reason. Sometimes properties have corporate policies that prevent staff from negotiating rent or fees. Also, don't be afraid to ask your locator or friend, if you're getting a good deal. A second opinion doesn't hurt, especially when it comes to a big decision like finding your ideal place to call home!


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