How to Apartment Hunt
Apartment hunting can always be daunting, but hopefully with a few tips you can move into your new place in no time! We live in an era where we do not just jump in the car to house or apartment shop by simply driving around. The internet can either be your most useful or your most confusing tool depending on how you decide to utilize it. The internet especially comes in handy if you do not have the extra cash to hire a real estate agent or you do not live in the area that you are scoping out. I know from first hand experience that searching for an apartment in a different state in unfamiliar territory can be a little difficult.
Many people turn to a simple Google search for apartments, unfortunately with this tactic many places can get overlooked or there will be too much information that can cloud your judgment. Many collaborative apartment sites are helpful with basic information, but nothing beats going straight to a complex's individual website. There is a couple of ways of beating around the information overload!
First, switch to Google Maps rather than using the basic Google search engine. This way you can zoom in to a specific area that you are interested in and narrow your search! Many people think that Google Maps is for looking up specific addresses but on the contrary! Simply type apartments or condos whichever you are in need of. This will pull up a list to the left full of options! Many of these links will take you directly to these complex's websites directly and you will beat around the collaborative websites. Sometimes the list on the left will have a few names without a link, but do not let that stop you! Simply use the apartment name as a new Google search and this way your information will have narrowed!
Second, you probably will be wondering if the part of town that you are viewing is a decent place to live. How do you fix that? The wonderful thing known as "Street View," can give you a decent idea of what you might be getting yourself into! You can even cruise up and down the road a little and see what attractions or businesses are around.
For those of you that are not feeling bold enough to set out on a Google Maps adventure, there is still an option for you; www.trulia.com is the bomb.com! It is a collaborative site without the mess it is simple and straight forward. There is a buying or renting option on this site and it tailors your every need! In the upper left hand corner after you have chosen a location is a button labeled "Add nearby locations." This option is AWESOME! When you click on it, for example, I chose the city of Philadelphia and when I click on that button it brings up different neighborhoods that I can make the search narrow to! Say you want to be the new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? You can simply tailor your search to West Philadelphia and neighborhoods there in.
One last thing that I love about Trulia is the Rent vs. Buy Calculator. Make sure that what you are looking into is worth it in the long run. Trulia "truly" has options for everything! You can even search only Pet friendly places!
As you can see there are a lot of ways to find EXACTLY what you want in your new home without that much hassle!
Good luck and happy home hunting!