Finding an Apartment

Ready to find an apartment to rent? Sifting through search listings can quickly become overwhelming. Weighing convenience versus cost, deciphering consumer reviews, and maintaining a short-list of possible favorites is likely not your favorite way to spend your time. But we’re here to help you get started and on your way to finding you a great place to live!

Location, location, location

The quickest way to narrow down your search is usually by starting with where you’d like to live. Look up the distance from the apartment to the places you go most often: school, work, the library, a gym, or even your favorite grocery store. If you want to be able to walk to any of your regular destinations, that will create a narrow radius to search within. If you don’t mind a longer commute, consider areas that are attractive to you for other reasons, including price, appearance, or amenities. Think about your ideal living situation and any daily life requirements you might have. Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Stay away from complexes located right next to the highway. Do you have a dog that likes to go for walks in the park? Make sure there’s proper green space nearby.


Along with the where, you’ll want to think about how you’ll get to and from your new home. If you will be using public transportation, make sure you have convenient access to scheduled stops or transportation hubs. Regardless of how you get around, think about your potential commute—especially with traffic, if you’ll be going to school or work during peak travel times—and make sure it’s manageable with your schedule.

If you own a car, make sure you understand the apartment complex’s parking arrangements. Some may allow limited spaces per unit, assign spots, or offer covered parking for an additional fee. (Also be sure you have a clear understanding of any parking policies for guests. You don’t want any of your visitors getting their cars towed for leaving them in a private space!)

Reading reviews

Consumer reviews in the internet age can be both a blessing and a curse. Search potential complexes in a few different search engines and housing resources to get a sense of how they’ve been received by previous and current tenants. Keep in mind that people are more likely to post a review when they’ve had a bad experience; don’t let a few awful reviews ruin your own impression of a place. But also look for patterns: if many reviewers notice a drastic change in operation after a switch in management, for instance, or a lot of people mention the same type of issue, keep that in mind if you proceed with a tour or an application.

Go take a look!

No matter how good the photos look on their website, the best way to decide how you feel about a potential apartment complex is to go see it! Request a tour of available apartments—or model units with the same floorplan—as well as any common areas you anticipate taking advantage of, including any available fitness centers, pools and spas, laundry rooms, and media centers. When you plan a visit, keep in mind how you feel getting there: pay attention to the travel experience getting there, navigating the parking lot, and walking around the complex. It can also help to swing by a potential neighborhood at different hours of the day: does traffic get really congested during rush hour? Is there a lot of foot traffic in the area at night? Try to really imagine living there and see how it feels! Don’t forget to come prepared with questions, photo identification, and the application fee if you’re ready to secure a unit!

Finding an apartment isn’t always easy, but the extra work to find the right space can make all the difference in your quality of life—especially while you’re going to school and preparing yourself for a new career! Use these suggestions and the other resources on our site to help you navigate the transition of moving.


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