Although it may seem impossible, learning how to get an apartment out of state doesn’t have to be that if you do your homework. It takes a lot of planning and a good agent to get what you wish for. But with proper research and some tips, you can easily rent a place of your own, with or without rental history.
A Few Tips on How to Get an Apartment Out of State
It would be best if you could find someone to do a search on the location you want, whether it is a local or even a leasing agent. However, getting an agent might be a better choice. He can make a selection based on your criteria and walk you through the apartments by video calls so that you can see for yourself. Don’t forget to ask questions about everything that concerns you. You can do the search yourself as well, as online offers are numerous today and most landlords post photos and video tours for better insight. So, all you need at this stage is a laptop or a smartphone.
What to Expect When You Want to Rent an Apartment
To make sure you will be able to rent an apartment, you need to know what your landlord expects from you as a tenant and what documents you need to present. So if you are hiring an agent, hand the necessary documents to him or have them on you when you visit the landlord. He might want to know if you pay your bills regularly and whether you can afford the rent. Prepare the following documents on time:
- utility bill at your current address
- bank statements
- social security card
- driver’s license
- a letter from your employer
If you can actually travel there, do not forget to bring these documents. You may get lucky and find the right home and sign a lease at once.
And if you are relocating with your pet, make sure to check with your landlord whether or not you can move in with your dog or cat.
Get to Know the Neighborhoods
Even though your agent may offer apartments based on your instructions, it doesn’t hurt to do some research about the neighborhoods yourself. If you can make a trip there – perfect; if not, there are some options online that can help you. You can check the neighborhoods’ safety records, the amenities nearby and even the buildings’ reviews posted by former tenants or people who had experience renting with the same company. There is plenty of information you can check before you decide to hire moving services and get down to packing.
Explore Different Cities and Apartments
Exploring various cities takes time. But, it can give you an insight into the living conditions, such as commute time and the quality of public transportation, the cost of groceries, availability of outdoor activities and cultural events, schools, etc. You can narrow down the selection based on various criteria such as the price, number of bedrooms, amenities nearby, etc.
Once you have narrowed down your potential cities list, proceed with researching the companies, buildings, landlords and you can find reviews about almost everyone and everything. And do not jump to a conclusion based on one review, but rather check multiple sources because the trends are an indication there is something to it. Also, when you are looking for new apartments to rent and preparing a shopping list, take into consideration the seasonal availabilities and adjust your search to the most convenient period, both in the sense of vacancies and pricing.
Get a Short Term Lease
Even with all the tools available to facilitate the search for an apartment, it still might be difficult to find the right one from afar. Therefore, a short-term rental is a reasonable option, even if moving twice is tiresome and those rents tend to be higher. When you are searching for a long-term living solution that you like, moving twice can be worth your while. This way, you will be able to research the neighborhoods thoroughly and see if you will like living there.
Get in Touch with a Local
Getting familiar with the market is best done through local contacts. Try to find people living in the city you are considering moving to and ask them for advice about the best neighborhoods and landlords, respectable leasing agents or companies, standard amenities, best schools, and healthcare institutions. Check the local blogs and websites and inquire about the rentals within your budget.
Don’t Forget to Research the Cost of Living
The cost of living is an important item on your wish list. Don’t forget to check it online, through your agent or people you may know. There are even parts of the city that differ in prices while the difference between each city can be substantial. Compare the prices with your available budget or the prospects of getting a well-paid job and explore other cities with good job opportunities before making the final decision. And make sure you plan your moving-out budget.
You Need to Pick Your New State Carefully
This is where online tools come in handy. Check the forums and blogs about the states of your interest as you’ll be surprised how many details you can find and how much you didn’t realize before. When changing the environment for something completely different, you need to know everything, from climate, culture, food, water supplies, currency, political and legal systems, religion, etc. If you know someone who used to live there, do not hesitate to ask about daily life.
Read a Guide About Living in a Certain State
Reading a guide is an excellent way to find out about the basics of living in a new country. And you can find loads of guides online or even subscribe to local publications, read local newspapers online, and search for Facebook groups or blogs.
Be Cautious About Anything That May Seem Suspicious
When you are moving to a place you are not very familiar with, you become vulnerable and susceptible to fraud. After all, you are not familiar with the mentality, the code of behavior, social values, and traditions. Be very cautious about confiding in anyone and trust your instincts. If they tell you something is not right, there’s a good chance it isn’t. There’s no free lunch, so do not sign anything that looks too good or doesn’t make you comfortable.
Visit the Potential Home in Person
In an ideal situation, you’ll be able to visit your potential home personally before you rent an apartment, so this should be your option if possible. If not, see if you have a friend living there or a good leasing agent, reach out on social networks and find out about your desired state and neighborhood before making a checklist of the items you need to get and tasks you need to complete. But, keep in mind that it’s important to see if you like the place in person or not. If you are moving because of a new job, there’s your employer to give you the necessary support and connect you with the local employees.