Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a new apartment lined up in your next city before you even get there? Sure it would, but it can be difficult to pull off. This article addresses some of the critical questions you should ask when you are looking for apartments for rent in a city where you don't yet live.
Should You or Shouldn't You?
It is important to address one question upfront. Should you even look for an apartment before you arrive? There are mixed opinions. On one hand, having your placed line up will help you cut down on a lot of stress when you get there. Your first months are a time to explore the city and get adjusted, and the sooner you can settle the logistics, the sooner you can get to fully enjoying your new city.
On the other hand, it is hard to know what living situation would be best for you before you even get there. You haven't explored the neighborhoods enough yet to choose a favorite. You don't know where your friends and activities are going to be centered. You don't know what the reasonable going rate is for rent in the new city. When you look at these considerations, you'll see why some people advocate for temporary housing until you can make a solid decision about your new living situation.
Getting Help with Apartments for Rent
Whether you want temporary housing or a yearlong lease, it's useful to get some help on the ground in your new city. Some real estate agencies cater to apartments for rent rather than homes for sale. With their help, you can make a more shrewd assessment of an apartment's value, location, and amenities. If you look through their catalog, you are sure to find quality housing. The pitfall of looking at housing on the internet is that you have no guarantees of quality, and no third party to hold accountable once you sign the lease.
Visit If You Can
One possible solution, if you are eager to get your housing settled right away, is to have someone vet housing options for you. Plan a weekend to visit your new city and look at housing in person. If your real estate agent already has some places lined up for you, you're more likely to make a quick decision that you're happy with in the long term.