Apartment hunting can be a stressful undertaking without a little help from the list I’m about to share. Next time you find yourself looking for the perfect place to live in Sarasota, read through and give some of these tips a shot and you’re assured a much smoother ride.
Tip #1: Know What You Want
The first tip is to break down exactly what you want in your future apartment. Make a list of all the things you want. This might include things like a dishwasher, a laundry room, a full kitchen, onsite parking, natural lighting. Write down everything you can think of that you want your new living quarters to have. Then, separate the list into “need to haves” and “nice to haves”. The former is the absolute essential items that would cause you to pass on the apartment if you it doesn’t have them. The latter is a category for all the things that would make life better, but aren’t deal-breakers.
Knowing exactly what you want in an apartment makes it easier to identify a reasonable price range. With this information handy, you can get some help from other people to find what you’re looking for.
Tip #2: Ask Your Friends
Pop open your phone and call your closest friends. Let them know that you’re looking for a new place and give them the details on the specifics you’re looking for that apartment to have. If you want, email them you’re “need to have” list and your price range so they can keep an eye out.
If you want to expand your reach further, try making a post on Facebook. We live in an age where everything is shared online. When you post on your page asking for help finding an apartment, people store that away in their minds. When they’re driving to work and see a sign that says “apartment for rent”, they’ll probably remember your post and message you about it.
Tip #3: Use Craigslist
Craigslist used to be the shady website where people would post personals, but it’s become a great tool for selling things – apartment rentals in particular. When an apartment owner doesn’t have a ton of money to spend on advertising in the paper, TV, radio, and elsewhere, they post their ads to Craigslist for a total of $5. You can find some great deals for locations all around your area. Just keep in mind when you’re searching that some places have brokers and some do not.
If the apartment has a broker, you’ll likely pay an extra fee to get the rental. If you want to avoid that fee, find the information for the owner of the property and contact them directly. Or, if you want to skip the process all together, select the checkbox that says “no broker”. That button narrows the search down to all the apartments available in the city that don’t have brokerage fees.
Tip #4: Check the Reviews Before You Sign
So you’ve driven over to the new place, checked it out, and everything looks good. Have you thought about checking out what other people have to say about it online? You may notice that some apartment complexes (often smaller ones) have great ratings because they’re managed and run by people who care, much like a mom and pop shop. Larger complexes are managed by firms who get bombarded with phone calls all day long. If they’ve got a low rating online, just be aware that you’re probably on your own if you ever have an issue.