If someone would have warned me about how tedious apartment hunting is then I wouldn’t be typing this post at 4:01 am. But somehow I woke up with thoughts of business, financial freedom and independence on mind…
Some of you may know that I recently celebrated moving into a new apartment and unfortunately 2 weeks later I am celebrating moving out. * insert dancing lady in red dress emoji * I’m not happy that I had to move out, however I am happy that I have finally moved out! Confusing…I know. Continue reading.
So, here’s the thing…
I was noticing small insects in my kitchen, with zero clues as to what they were, I just smashed them with whatever was in sight. At first they were small, but they began growing in size. My friend visited and said “Oh those are roaches.” He was pretty calm, however I freaked the fuck out.
And so it began…
Each day I got home from work, I tiptoed into my lovely roach infested apartment in a constant state of fear and disappointment. I walked directly into my room and shut the door for the remainder of that evening. I called the property managers immediately to resolve this issue. They sent a guy out to exterminate my apartment, but unfortunately the process was too slow. Eventually I started seeing larger roaches and that was my cue. It was time to get the hell out of dodge! Thankfully, I was able to get my deposit back, along with some of my first month’s rent.
Now I am back in the market and these are some of the things I’ve learned during my apartment hunt:
1. Credit Matters!
Be aware of your credit score, and know what’s on your credit. Most property managers want great or excellent credit. If you don’t have either, have a co-signer in mind ( not all companies allow this) and your co-signer will most likely need to have excellent credit. It is a very good idea to work on boosting your credit score before you start looking for your own place.
Here is a helpful tip from financial blogger, The Budgetnista that will help you improve your credit score.
2. Be prepared. Make sure you call and ask what items you will need ahead of time. But take the following just in case:
– At least two most recent bank statements
– At least two recent pay stubs
– Cash or checks for an application fee
– Cash or check for the deposit fee
– Cash or check for the holding fee.
– Your driver’s license
– A calculator
– Notebook and something to write with
3. Know what utilities and amenities you want.
A property manager may ask you what you are looking for. It’s good to have answer because otherwise they may think you’re dumb and mark you off as an applicant. Trust me, just because you can afford it does not mean that they are obliged to accept you as an applicant.
4. Keep your search specific to your budget and desired geographical location.
Have an idea of specific areas that you want to focus on. Maybe you want to be closer to work, or to public transportation. Use Google to see how far certain areas are from your desired destinations.
5. Be proactive.
Apartments in Los Angeles go really fast! Especially if they are a seemingly decent deal. You will want to be proactive, let the viewing manager know that you are interested, notify them of your plans to apply. If you are looking to move in right away- let them know your exact move in date.
6. Know your move in date.
What date can you realistically move your stuff into this new place?
7. Ask the right questions.
Here are a some example questions:
– When is this apartment available?
– What date can I move in?
– What utilities do you cover?
– Have you ever had any bug issues?
– How’s this area?
– What stores are nearby?
– How much is rent?
– Are pets allowed, if so how much does it cost?
– Is there parking for residents?
– Is there onsite laundry?
8. Visit the location at different times of the day.
This will help you to get a better idea of the area. You can really get a feel for how the area and the apartment building is during the evening and at night, when most residents are home from work.
9. Keep your mouth shut!
Don’t get too personal with the property managers. They are not your friends. A lot of times they will screen you by asking tons of personal questions. So if they ask a lot of questions, be friendly and answer their questions but don’t go into details.
10. Be attentive.
Read your lease, know what you are signing. Also pay attention to the details of the apartment from exterior to interior.
11. Don’t go alone.
For safety purposes, It’s best to take a friend to view apartments with you.
Did I miss something? Leave it in the comments!