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Finding Apartments for Rent: The Good, the Bad and the Absolutely Fabulous

Aug 17, 2007
The only people who think of finding apartments for rent a breathtaking experience are the ones who have never done it before. Where first-time apartment hunters are able to look at the words 'cozy soundproof studio' and have visions of livable quarters all warm and snuggly, seasoned veterans see those words and instantly envision a 4x4 padded cell. After the first couple times of being stuck in a lease paying for an apartment downstairs from a 24-hour tap-dancing school or a place where the windows are sealed shut and the neighbors constantly cook weird smelling foods, you learn to effectively decipher the hidden language of apartment classifieds.

Newspaper classifieds have the ability to be the most deceiving. The apartment may sound good in the ad; it may sound even better over the phone after talking to the landlord. Yet, forty-five minutes later, after driving through a neighborhood that looks like a demilitarized zone, you pull up in front of the apartment building and instantly get a pretty good idea of what the apartment looks like without ever getting out of your car; and as you squeal your tires leaving the neighborhood, you realize: finding decent apartments for rent is no easy feat.

Apartment handbooks can work well when it comes to finding apartments for rent but the pictures are usually angled to make the apartment community look more inviting than it actually is. A peaceful quiet community is what you see, not the freeway next to it. Not to mention, these types of books are often mass-produced and then left to sit in the entrances of grocery stores, libraries or other venues. More often than not, the information in the handbooks is outdated. In the time the book was completed and put out, changes in management or ownership may have occurred voiding certain policies and guidelines. Where pets were allowed at one point in time, new management may put the kibosh on the policy, or maybe changed the policy as to allow no animals over 25 pounds. Rental prices often go up and senior discounts can be changed or discontinued. Either way, you'll have no way of knowing this for sure until you contact the apartment community. The lack of current information can, once again, take you back to the drawing board.

Then comes the advent of online apartment listings; the true apartment hunter's friend. This method of finding apartments for rent saves time, gas and most importantly, sanity. This expendable tool works in conjunction with the prime rule for finding apartments for rent: know thy options. Apartments that are advertised online have a number of their options listed such as location, price range and number of bedrooms. Because the information is online, it is more likely to be up-to-date. Some online apartment ads go as far as to offer '3D' views of their apartments, which are panoramic shots that give potential tenants a feel for the space instead of viewing just a flat picture. A majority of the time you will be able to find out which utilities are included, facilities that are offered, such as a laundry room or a gym, parking availability, whether or not pets are allowed; and some will even allow you to fill out your application online!

This is also a priceless tool for finding apartments in far-off cities. Many times online users are offered great perks such as no credit checks or no upfront deposit. There may also be offers or referrals for moving services as well as utility hookup services. These things will make your move much, much easier.

Obviously, when it comes to finding apartments for rent, hunting online can be the best way to go. You certainly won't have the problem of wasting rubber on your tires squealing out of neighborhoods.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for CountyLoop. CountyLoop.com makes it easy to use online directories and classifieds including apartments for rent classifieds. For more information, please visit http://directory.countyloop.com/classifieds.php.
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