Getting an Apartment Resources • Great site put out by the US Postal Service: www.MoversGuide.com – Comprehensive and efficient. It will also give you an idea of what you should think about prior to your move (packing, change of address, etc.) • Two of the biggest national apartment websites are: www.Apartments.com & www.Homestore.com Spread the Word • Tell people you’re looking for an apartment. – You’ll be amazed at how many apartment never make it onto the rental market. – Tell everyone. – You never know. Up front payments • Depending on the city that you’ll be moving to, you may need a lot of money up front to get a place. • At a minimum, most new apartments require at least one month’s rent up front. Other can require the first month, last month, security deposit , and a broker’s fee. This works out to: four months rent up front! Apartment Lingo and Abbreviations • “Walk up” – no elevator • “Duplex” – two level unit • “Alcove” – partly enclosed area connected to a room • “Studio” – one room or one room connected to a kitchen • “Junior one-bedroom” – tiny room off the living room which may only fit a bed. • “h/w” – hardwood floors DW” – dishwasher • “EIK” – Eat-in-kitchen “WIC” – Walk-in-closet • “W/D” – Washer and dryer Brokers • In some cities, you’ll have to use a broker. In other places, they don’t even exist. Brokers can serve as a great source. • Always low ball your price. If you can only pay $800, tell the broker you can only pay $600. You’re going to hear: “Wow I don’t have a lot of listings in that price range, but I do have apartments for $200 more.” Brokers • Do not put your full faith in one broker. Use many. You’re going to pay one a lot of money. Make them work a little bit for your cash. • Don’t feel bad saying no 100 times. They’re used to it. Things to Check • Make a list of things to check. Remember: –Elevator – Light switches –Heat – Air conditioner –Leaks under the sink – Appliances –Windows – Noise level –Damages – Hot water –Parking – Proximity to subway Things to Check • Return to the apartment later and ask the current tenant or a neighbor a few questions. You’ll get your first unbiased, honest answers all day. Is the apartment loud? Does the super (superintendent) own a wrench? • Make sure you feel safe in the neighborhood. Visit in the day and night. Signing the Lease – Things to Look For • Make sure the length of the lease is expressly written in the contract. Do not accept a month-to- month contract, or you’ll get booted. • Determine who is responsible for fixing appliances. • Confirm that your apartment will be cleaned (and damage assessed) prior to your arrival. • Confirm that your security deposit is going into an interest-bearing deposit. • Make sure your privacy rights are spelled out. • Make sure everything is in writing.