Upon graduating from Dickinson College this past May, I had to move rather quickly to Philadelphia in order to be prepared for a June 1st start date for a new internship. I thought I was on the ball with my apartment hunting, starting the process in April very shortly after I accepted my internship. However, once I actually started going to apartments physically and looking at them, I started to encounter what seemed to be an abnormal amount of hurdles to me. After many unfortunate and stressful apartment-hunting experiences, I put together a few tips to help you out in your search so you can avoid the mistakes I made:
Make sure you have proof of income. If you do not make enough money to pay rent or do not have a job, see if someone like your parents will be willing to cosign on the lease for you. Often times the landlord just wants to make sure someone can pay the rent, even if it’s not you.
Start early! It may seem like apartments aren’t listed until closer to the lease date, but this is definitely wrong. Ask around to see if anyone knows of an apartment opening up and call some realtors to see what they have. Sometimes they have apartments that are not listed on the usual websites like Hotpads and Craigslist.
Try finding a place you can see yourself living in for a while. Everyone knows it’s such a pain to have to move from place to place, so try to find somewhere you could potentially see yourself living in for more than a year. This is also easier financially, too, because you would avoid having to save enough for first and last months rent plus security at a new place.
Pick people you know you will get along with. There is nothing worse than having roommate troubles, so make sure you and your future roommates will mesh well together. Make sure you do not just think about how good of friends you are with someone, but what their living habits are like as well.
Read the lease carefully. Understand what you are responsible for and what your landlord is responsible for, i.e. repairs, paying for damages, etc. This will help prevent any potential issues with your landlord down the road and will help develop a good relationship with them.
Follow these tips and you should find a great apartment in no time! What are some of your favorite apartment hunting tips?