How to Find an Apartment in DC: Finding Your Dream Apartment, Fast

Are you planning on making a move to DC? Perhaps you already live there and are looking for a new apartment? Either way, finding the perfect apartment isn’t always easy. 

You need to make sure it falls within your budget, hits everything on your list, and is located in a convenient area based on your day-to-day life. This is not a decision you should make lightly. However, if you take too long or are too picky, you could also miss out on a great deal. 

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The question is, how do you find an apartment in DC that’s perfect for you, your family (if you have one), and your budget? Not sure where to begin? Keep reading for our apt guide DC edition. 

Assess Your Budget

The first thing you need to do before shopping for an apartment is to figure out your financial situation. How much money do you make each month? What are your expenses?

Dig through your bank statements to determine how much you can comfortably afford to pay on monthly rent payments. You don’t want to max out your budget on rent, in case you have any other financial emergencies pop up. Nearly 80% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck – avoid becoming one of them.

Save Up for the Security Deposit and First Month’s Rent

When learning how to find an apartment in DC, you need to think about the initial costs and prepare in advance. Most apartment complexes and landlords require a security deposit and first month’s rent. In some cases, they’ll even ask for the last month’s rent as well. 

Typically, the security deposit is equivalent to one month’s rent. Additionally, the first month’s rent may be prorated based on when the landlord collects the rent.

Figure Out Your Priorities

Once you have your finances in order, start identifying your top priorities in terms of what you want out of an apartment. This is a fundamental part of apartment hunting in DC. What’s most important to you?

Consider things like:

  • Proximity to work
  • School districts (if you have kids)
  • Parks
  • Amenities (laundry, pool, fitness center, etc.)
  • Neighborhood safety
  • Costs 
  • Utilities (paid by landlord or renter)
  • And more 

Finding an apartment in DC that’s right for you and your family may mean paying close attention to the details.

Shop Around

Figuring out how to find an apartment in DC means taking your time and shopping around for the most appropriate options. Start by narrowing your search based on your budget. Then look through your options and weigh the pros and cons of the top contenders based on the priorities listed above. 

Look at property for rent websites specific to DC to find as many options as possible.

Take Apartment Tours

Lastly, don’t settle on a place without touring it in person. Pictures can inaccurately represent an apartment, making it look bigger, brighter, cleaner, etc. If possible, schedule an appointment with the landlord to walk through any apartments you’re seriously considering. 

However, if you can’t tour an apartment, perhaps because you’re not yet in DC, ask the landlord if they can provide a virtual video tour or more pictures. 

Looking for More Tips on How to Find an Apartment in DC?

If you’re planning on moving to Washington, you need to learn how to find an apartment in DC. We hope our apartment hunting guide helped provide a little insight. 

But if you’re looking for more tips about homeownership, renting DIY projects, or more, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog was created for people like you looking to perfect their homes and improve their lives.

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