Off Campus Pads has some great tips for you to utilize when trying to location the best apartment that fits everyone’s needs. It is extremely important to remain organized with the process especially if you have roommates so every one is on the same page when it come to selecting an apartments and completing the paperwork. Finding your own place should be fun and exciting and these tips could help you in avoiding any issues with finding a place to live.
Tip 1: Visit Properties in person!
Pictures, videos and virtual tours can be extremely helpful online to find apartments you are interested in. Websites often provide a great idea of what the apartment looks like. This should not be used exclusively in your apartment search, it should provide initial exposure. Digital media of real estate has now been archived for over a decade and often times pictures are old and outdated, so try not to rule places out based on what you see online! Visit the properties in person for the best searching results. If that is not possible, ask the realtor how old the pictures of that property are and if they can provide recent photos. Panoramic pictures also help you get a different feel for the layout. Finally, walk around neighborhoods you are unfamiliar with to get a good idea of where you want to live.
Tip 2: Evaluate Your Feature List
Your list of desired features is incredibly important to you. Sometimes, given the competitive and expensive nature of Boston, you may not be able to get everything you are looking for. Evaluate what you actually cannot live without – whether it is a dishwasher, laundry in building or granite countertops. If you can’t cross anything off, consider increasing your budget! You may also want to consider living with more people, as that will most likely increase the quality or features you are looking for if you can’t go up in price. Always remember that Studio or One Bedroom apartments will always be the most expensive proposition as you can’t share costs on common items or expenses of utilities etc.
Tip 3: Contact a real estate professional
Professional Real estate agents have access to thousands of properties in the area you are looking. Agents utilizing the Offcampuspads.com database place thousands of phone calls each month to landlords and obtain the inside scoop and first mover advantage on what is a good deal and what is coming up for rent.
Tip 4: Get everyone on board
Nearly all students will need a cosigner when applying for an apartment. Make sure your financial caretakers or parents are on board before you go and look at apartments. If you find out last minute that you will not be able to provide a cosigner, you will have wasted an incredible amount of time for everyone! The same goes for roommates; if you look at 30 four bedroom apartments and then someone bails last minute, you will have to start the entire process over again. Make sure everyone is on the same page with co-signers and budgets before you invest too much time.
Tip 5: Go look at apartments with everyone
Winter into early spring is an incredibly busy time of year for apartment rentals in the: Allston, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Fenway, Fort Hill, Mission Hill, Roxbury, Somerville, South End, and Symphony areas. Many apartments rent within 24 hours of being placed on the marketplace near choice locations. If you are going out seeking apartments with broken or splintered groups you will lose the chance to rent the best apartments. Going out multiple times, with disparate groups, will always work against you, as your top choices usually get claimed first. Make it your goal to get your entire group together for the best possible showing experience. Making a decision as an entire group at the moment when everything is fresh in your mind is important. Otherwise you will always be chasing the second best apartment.