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Tips for Searching for an Apartment Online

Oct 30, 2007
The Internet has quickly become a valuable resource in a variety of ways, and apartment searching is no exception. In fact, using the Internet can be the ideal method for apartment hunting, particularly if you are interested in moving to a new area that is quite a distance away from where you are currently located.

Of course, searching for an apartment online is not without its risks. Therefore, there are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for an apartment through the Internet that will help guarantee a pleasant experience resulting in an apartment you love.

Use Many Sources

One of the biggest mistakes that apartment hunters make is using just one resource when searching for an apartment online. Keep in mind that different web sites will have different listings. Therefore, in order to achieve the most comprehensive look at the available apartments, you will need to check with many different sites.

When looking for sites with apartment listings, you should also utilize different search engines. Since each search engine has its on method of bring back search results, using more than one search engine may help bring back some different results. At a minimum, you should use the major search engines, including Yahoo, Google, MSN, and Ask.

Perform Searches

In many cases, you can get feedback from current and former residents of apartments by conducting a search of the apartment name. When doing a search of the name, it might bring up review sites or simply websites that that current or former residents may have set up. Read this feedback in order to give you a better idea of whether or not the apartment complex is a good fit for you. A nice perk to reading this type of feedback is the fact that it can give you an idea of the type of people that live in the apartment as well. On the same note, do some research into the area where the apartment is located in order to determine its level of crime and how close it is to the conveniences you desire, such as the proximity of the apartment to public transportation.

Look Before You Lease

No matter how perfect the apartment might look on the Internet, it is essential that you take a look at it before you enter into any type of leasing agreement. In order to make things easier on you, you should thoroughly research all of the available apartments and then narrow your choices down to less than ten apartments. Then, contact those landlords and arrange to see all of the apartments on the same day or within a couple day time period. This way, you can arrange for a trip to see all of the apartments in order to make your final decision.

If it is impossible for you to arrange a trip to see the apartments, ask someone you trust that lives in the area to look at the apartments for you. If this is not possible, make arrangements with the landlord to sign a lease that allows you to break the lease within a certain number of days without repercussions if the apartment fails to meet your expectations.
About the Author
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin, Texas. Eric currently manages his Austin apartment Guide, his Austin leasing agent website, & his Austin apartment Guide.
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