If you are nearing the end of your lease, you will have two options to choose from, extend it or find another apartment.
Let’s say you choose to move on and the need to find another apartment kicks in, how do you navigate from this point? Well, you’ll have to be a good hunter. Plain and simple!
Our advice, start your search for an apartment early to find what’s best for you and your family.
When to Start Looking for Apartments
Don’t feel overwhelmed or pressured when searching for a new apartment, instead start looking for apartments with the help of the tips below.
Start Your Apartment Search Months in Advance
When is the right time to look for an apartment, you ask?
Generally, the time to start looking for an apartment should be between 30 days to 60 days before moving out.
Consider these two scenarios:
- If you begin the apartment search too early, you might end up missing the apartment by the time you move out.
- If you delay the search for apartments for rent, you are likely to be a little too late in hitting the jackpot for some of the best units available.
Having said this, if you know the best tips for locating the ideal apartment, you don’t have to worry about waiting at the last moment searching for apartments for rent.
When’s the Best Time to Start Looking for an Apartment in a Calendar Year?
There’s no perfect time to move out, because anytime could be the right time. However, based on seasonal data, we can establish which months experience rent increases and decreases.
For instance, during the summer, tenants with children may influence rental prices, as they seek to move out when school isn’t in season. Also, you hardly see people moving during winter, as that time of year has already consumed a lot of discretionary spending.
It is also important to know that rental prices vary with location. Some places may experience higher rental prices than others.
Top Hunting Tip for Apartments
Moving can be as easy as it may sound, until you realize it is not. You need to adequately plan ahead of time and get everything right to avoid the last moment rush, which could be costly. Check out these top hunting tips for apartments.
Establish the Budget for Moving In and Out
This needs to be addressed before rushing to make any decisions. Furthermore, establishing the cost of living of the neighborhood you are looking to settle in is crucial in finding the right apartment. If you are having a hard time establishing that, use the rent calculator.
A rent calculator will give you an idea of the rent you can afford and show you apartments within your budget that are in your desired city.
The 50/30/20 rule of thumb is a set of easy guidelines for how to plan your budget. By using them, you allocate your after-tax income to the following categories:
50% to Needs
Needs are what you can’t live without, or at least very easily. This includes things like:
- Utilities, such as electricity, water, and sewer
30% to Wants
Wants are what you desire, but don’t need to survive. This includes things like:
- Dining out
20% to Financial Goals
This part covers things like:
- Debt payments
- All savings, such as retirement contributions and saving for a house
Determine Your Move-In Date
Unless you have very few household items that you can fit in your truck and move out, you will need logistical solutions. That said, it is important to contact a reliable moving company and book your move-in date.
In fact, some companies have made moving a lot easier. All you need to do is book a portable container, load up your stuff, and inform them you’re ready.
The move-in date will have a ripple effect on other things. For instance, will you be leaving your current job? What plans do you have in case you leave the job?
It is wise to secure another job before rushing to move out. You never know, it might take a while before you secure another job in your new location.
Consider the Amenities You Want
You’d want better amenities for your next apartment than you did in your last, right? Come up with a list of priorities of must-haves. Needless to say, the amenities can make or break your apartment experience.
Here are some tips on amenities to keep an eye on:
- Functional appliances
- Free parking
- Outdoor space
- Walk-in closet
Start Touring Apartments
Begin touring apartments one to two months before your lease ends.
Tour as many apartments as possible and compare the differences as you seek to find the ideal apartment for you and your family.
You may use the tips below during your apartment hunting:
- Proximity to your job
- Proximity to your kid’s school or college
- Crime history in the neighborhood
If you’re nowhere near the end of your lease, and you need to move, you should check out the terms of breaking a lease. Engage the landlord about your plan.
Inquire about the Lease Terms
While on your apartment search quest, inquiring about the lease term is as important as finding the right apartment. After carefully scrutinizing the apartment, it’s time to ask about the lease.
Take time to review it, regardless of the circumstances. If need be, ask for help to break down the parts you don’t understand.
Failure to review the lease agreement puts you at risk of being legally bound to a contract you don’t approve of. Otherwise, you might find yourself being kicked out of an apartment for reasons you did not know about.
Also, seek to understand the terms for breaking a lease. Moving in isn’t the end, and a need may arise that causes you to need to move out. Know the price to pay for breaking a lease so you can plan early.
This is also the time to ask the property managers/landlord anything and everything about the apartment. You don’t want to begin your stay by stepping on the property manager’s toes, it’s never a good idea.
Ask the property manager about the penalty to pay for late rent payment. What if you get behind on your rent for a month, what will happen? It’s good to prepare such questions in advance and seek answers.
Apply for an Apartment
If you find an apartment that checks out with your list of priorities, and the rent is within your budget, there is no need to wait, submit your application.
While filling out your application, here are some of the details you will need:
- Previous rental information and address
- Employment information
- Proof of income
- Identification, i.e. driver’s license
To recap, if you want to move out, as we mentioned before, the best time to start apartment hunting is between 30 days to 60 days. This amount of time will give you room to pick the best apartment, without being under pressure. You’ll need to plan your move-in date and secure a reliable moving company.
You should always read about the rental market related to your next location. The real estate market keeps changing, and being up to date will be an advantage on your side.
Finally, being asked questions related to your previous rental arrangements is a common industry practice, so don’t be alarmed.