How to Search and Find an Apartment

The endless search for rental ads, the queue at each apartment visit… Finding the accommodation of our dreams as quickly as possible is not often a smooth ride! But with the tips provided in this article, this puzzle will soon be just a bad memory. 

1. Establish your rental budget

The first step in your search for the ideal apartment will be to establish your budget, considering all the costs associated with the rental. Your budget will tell you whether you will be targeting comfy and luxuriously furnished or affordable coliving NYC.

The rental includes monthly rent, the amount of which is fixed. You should also remember to assess the amount of the costs associated with it. Then take into account water and electricity when these costs are not included in the amount of the rent. 

Know how to adjust your budget or your criteria if you find that you cannot find any available accommodation. Stay realistic and turn to a real estate agent who will help you see things more clearly.

2. Learn to decode ads

Anyone who has never embellished their real estate ad should cast the first stone… And yes, to rent out their accommodation as quickly as possible, apartment renters often add value to their offers.

So, as an apartment hunter, to find accommodation suited to your needs, it is first necessary to learn how to decode real estate advertisements. 

To become a classified ad ace, read each offer very carefully and learn to read between the lines for terms such as:

“Charming”: The expression “charming apartment,” very common in real estate advertisements, often refers to pretty moldings or old-fashioned aesthetic windows. But it also happens (and often) that the “charming” apartment hides a dilapidated apartment, poorly maintained and requiring a lot of work. So beware of this expression and don’t hesitate to ask the owner for more details before you go for a visit.

“Intimate, coquettish”: As with “charming apartment,” the expressions “intimate” or “stylish” can reveal the best as well as the worst. These often hide very small spaces or badly arranged housing where it is impossible to put much. To be sure, and if the information is not specified, ask the owner or the agency for the living space in the apartment.

“High floor”: If the mention of “elevator” is not specified, expect to climb 5 or 6 floors daily to reach your home!

“Small bathroom/shower room”: In students, studios, or apartments of less than 300 square feet, you generally don’t expect to find a very large bathroom. However, when the mention “small bathroom” is specified, it often means that the space will be very small. So expect to find a hip bath, a mini sink, and usually a toilet next to it. Ditto for the “bathroom,” with a small shower instead of the bathtub. If nothing is specified, it is also possible that the toilets are on the landing or that the shower is placed in the middle of the studio.

“Serious references requested”: The concept of serious references varies greatly from one owner to another. However, if the advertisement specifies “serious references requested,” the owner generally expects your salary to be equal to the rent multiplied by three and that you are, of course, on a permanent contract. In addition to this, he may ask you for a guarantor. So, if you don’t have a guarantor, whether you are on a fixed-term contract, a freelancer, an intermittent worker, or self-employed, consider asking the owner what they mean by “serious references” so that you don’t come around for nothing.

“Quiet area”: You never can tell; by “quiet area,” this may mean the place is rather far from any road or bus stop. Conversely, a “lively district” is rather synonymous with a noisy district.

So now that you are warned, dear rental candidates, learn to read between the lines!

3. Avoid scams on real estate ad sites

Mostly free and multi-platform, mobile applications are real allies in the housing race!

To house-hunt with them, all you have to do is fill out a free online form corresponding to your search. The application will then regularly send you offers of accommodation likely to please you. The ads are obviously very varied to satisfy users, and the history of your searches is kept.

But watch out for scams. Read reviews. Do your own research and never pay in advance until you see the place and have your keys. 

4. Hire a property hunter

This is THE solution for those who don’t have a minute to spend looking for accommodation!

After having informed the property hunter or agent of your needs, this intermediary will make every effort to find you the accommodation that suits you best.

You are sure to get a chance to see the place before pay after he leaves. You get regular updates on his search and he is available to help you thanks to the notary.

Fees are often calculated as percentages of the transaction price (the higher the acquisition amount, the lower the percentage).

5. Take advantage of social networks

Admittedly, word of mouth can sometimes work very quickly, but that does not prevent you from widening your circle.

Indeed, social networks are now essential to find good deals, whatever the field. So, do not hesitate to publish your request by placing an ad on Facebook or sending a message on Twitter, for example.

In practice, several Facebook groups advertise apartments for rent. All the information is generally given with no agency fees to pay!

6. Opt for reverse real estate ads

In perpetual change, the real estate market regularly sees the appearance of new tools. Reverse real estate marketing is aptly named because, for the first time, it is up to the owner to find their future tenant. 

The person looking for accommodation submits an advertisement describing the characteristics of the property sought (purchase or rental, apartment or house, location, price, etc.). They are then contacted by owners whose properties correspond to the criteria.

The time saved for future tenants is significant! A little less for the owners… who, however, spare themselves the calls of candidates whose file does not suit them at all.


Ubaid Soomro
Ubaid Soomro
Ubaid is a freelance writer, with 3 years of experience under his Belt. He writes and publishes articles on lots of high-quality Tech, General, and Health sites. When not writing, he enjoys traveling and adventure. Say hi on Skype ID