Choosing the right apartment
"For me, the hardest part of moving into my first place was finding something that was the most efficient, money-wise. I really paid attention to that when I was looking. I only went to see apartments that I thought I could realistically afford."
Regardless of where you move, you'll likely spend a fair amount of time in your apartment. So, it's important to choose a place that has qualities you value.
The Apartment Features Worksheet contains a checklist of features to use during your search. You may wish to print the table and take it with you on your apartment hunt.
If you’re living in the same city as your college, start with your campus housing office. Ask for listings of off-campus apartments that can be rented to graduates. Sometimes local landlords lower rates for recent graduates, so you may find a great deal this way.
If you're in a new city, try these search alternatives:
- Newspapers and Internet listings: Most cities provide extensive housing search tools in print and online. View classified listings in popular publications to find affordable housing.
- Rental agencies: If you'd like help with finding a rental, you can work with a rental agency. Look for an agency that charges fees to landlords, not to tenants. Ask friends to recommend a service they found helpful.
- Informal networks: Another way to find a great apartment is to ask for leads from your network of contacts. Friends, family, or business associates may know of someone who is looking for a trustworthy renter.
Avoid paying fees
Some services charge a fee to find you an apartment. Whether these services are legitimate or scams, it's best to steer clear of them. With so many free options available, in most cities, it's unnecessary to pay a finder's fee.