Tips for Finding an Apartment in the City

Did you know that 80% of Americans make their residences in 350 metro areas in this country? That makes it that much more difficult to find a place to live in these packed cities. To find the perfect place, you’ll have to be strategic. And if you’re trying to catch the attention of the ideal tenant, it’s definitely possible. Here are some tips for finding an apartment in the city.

Packing Up

The worst part of moving is the first part — the preparation process. In the olden days, this was usually accomplished by persuading your closest friends with the largest vehicles to help you by offering them free food. But that approach can get particularly challenging if you’re transitioning from a house to an apartment. Going through your possessions to determine what stays and what goes can be arduous and time-consuming. If you’ve got a lot of stuff, it might be a good idea to hire a company that can help with your apartment moving needs.

Moving services can help you whether you need to purchase or rent equipment only, such as boxes and trucks to hiring a firm to have employees take care of the heavier lifting and transfer of your stuff. Be sure to do your comparison shopping, though, to make sure you get the best deals.

Even if you do have a lot of things to pack up, remember that not everything needs to go with you. Storage companies can help you keep your possessions safe if they can’t fit into your new apartment rental.

How to Find Your Place

More than 90% of renters are looking strictly online for their new dwelling, according to Tech Crunch. And about 60% percent of renters are searching on mobile devices. Many of those mobile shoppers are combining this more modern approach with the old-school approach of driving around areas in which they want to live, then texting or calling real estate agents seeking access. The reality is that finding a place to live is moving online and there are many websites that can connect them to their next abode.

While there are various places online to search for apartments for rent, you also have to consider the veracity of those posts. Sometimes, what you read is not what you get. What if you’re moving across the country in a hurry and don’t have the time to look and research online? One of the classic tips for finding an apartment is hiring a Realtor. That’s right — they don’t just help with matching homeowners with houses. If you let them know what your price range is and the other specifics, they can save you a lot of time. If you find a Realtor with a reputation in the area, he or she can likely find what you’re looking for quickly.

Features to Consider

One of the best tips for finding an apartment is simply: “Location, location, location.” Renting in the city often means that you are near shopping and entertainment facilities, but there are other things to consider. Access to health care is important, especially if you have children. Being close to hospitals is good, especially if you’re someone with pre-existing conditions, as well as urgent care clinics and pharmacies.

Remember also to do your research about the area you’re interested in. Although a rental doesn’t carry the same stakes as a home purchase, it’s still worth studying the trends in the place you’d like to live. Are businesses attracted to it? Is there growth? One of the most important details is transportation. Not everyone has a vehicle, especially in a city setting. If you can find a location that has an active and reliable transit system, it’s not only convenient — it’s also helpful to the environment.

Another point to consider is easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables. A recent study by Food Trust shows that cities with easier access to fresh fruits and veggies have up to 20% lower obesity rates. So having that access is important, along with access to restaurants.

In this fast-paced internet world, wi-fi access is also extremely important, especially as so many workers transition to working from home. In cities, it’s easy to connect to a fiber optic network because more cable companies offer that option. If you’re working from home, one of the best tips for finding an apartment is knowing that you have reliable online access. If you’re moving into a larger development, your choices here might be limited if the property owner already has a long-term contract with an internet provider.

For those who would prefer an apartment complex, perhaps for the sake of security, some other factors might come into play. For instance, having a secure place to store your vehicle can be important. It can save you money as you’re shopping around for car insurance.

Check with potential rentals to find out if they provide residential garage door openers so you can drive directly into the garage and close it behind you. That way, you can access the dwelling from the garage. Even if there’s no garage, if your potential rental apartment can offer guaranteed parking, that’s an advantage. Having to park in the city without a space dedicated to you is a non-starter to potential tenants.

As a renter, this is a great opportunity to have easy access to a pool without having to maintain one yourself. Just be sure that it is professionally maintained by employees of your complex.

Another factor to consider is access for those who are disabled or are senior citizens. Not only does that mean handicapped parking zones for the facility. One of the tips for finding an apartment that are optimal for physical limitations is ensuring that you or your roommate can access everything that’s needed. That means being able to reach all the amenities outside the building — and inside. Is there wheelchair accessibility in the actual apartment? Be sure to consider the apartment’s compliance to the Americans with Disabilities Act in this case.

If you’re moving with your family, you’ll want to consider an area that has areas for play or perhaps even daycare services nearby, if not on the premises. Your apartment doesn’t need to have a playground built in — location factors in again here. When searching for your ideal apartment, one of the most family-friendly tips for finding an apartment that there is is to look for nearby parks and recreation, especially if it involves a nature setting.

You’ll also want to keep the quality of the school districts in mind if you have school-age children. Several real-estate listing sites also provide information about nearby districts and you can also do your own research.

Here’s one of those fiscal tips for finding an apartment — think about your short- and long-term plan. Are you moving to take a job that’s on a contract basis? Are you trying to move closer to family? If you’re not planning to stay at the location for a long time, avoid a multi-year lease. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself paying a steep fee to get out of the plan. Your plans can always change of course, but if you start out intending to move to a city for a year and stay for a longer time, it’s much more friendly to your wallet to swing that.

Four-Legged Friendly?

One of the best tips for finding an apartment that can save you a lot of trouble is to make sure you’re aware of its pet policy. Some renters are very strict about pet access, or will only consider animals that don’t have fur because it can be difficult to clean out pet dander. Any trace of pet hair is a turn-off for those who are allergic to pets. That’s why some renters won’t allow certain sizes and breeds of dogs (if they shed too much).

If you have an aquarium or terrarium, that still counts and some landlords have concerns about those enclosed animals as well, especially if damage to enclosures might cause permanent issues within the apartment.

Be upfront with the person renting the apartment. It might be a little more difficult to find an ideal place if you’re bringing a four-legged friend with you, but the last thing you want to do is neglect to mention your pet. If you sign a lease and then it’s revealed that you’ve broken one of the rules, it could cost you big. There are plenty of websites and real estate agents that can help you find a place that will fit your pet’s needs.

If the landlord or property owner would be willing to accept pet insurance, that’s a great way to cover you and your pet. Not only does it help cover damage to the apartment, it also helps you pay for any potential animal bites. Overall, it allows you to cover health care costs associated with your dog or cat, which is worth the expense whether you’re renting an apartment or not.

Building owner? Tips for Attracting the Right Tenant

Maybe you’re trying to ensure that the right tenant finds you as an apartment building owner. There are some tools to employ from this perspective as well.

Knowing that so many people search online for rentals, the owner might consider an advertising company that provides SEO services. That stands for search engine optimization and the proper use of it can push your listing higher up on an internet search. This is important because studies have shown that landing on the first page of internet searches can be enough to grab customers’ attention because they rarely go beyond that. So investing in this strategy can attract renters. This isn’t so much one of the tips for finding an apartment as it is a tip for making it more likely that you are found!

When potential renters find you online, it’s a great idea to have an intuitive website that users can easily navigate and use to contact you. Website design is hard work, though — it might be worth it to hire a professional if you’re not comfortable with building a website.

As a building owner, it’s also important to maintain your property so it’s attractive to renters. It’s important to keep your building up-to-date and to have all the necessary paperwork up to date. It’s also a good idea to do a safety sweep to make sure your structure is sound, from the basement to the roofing.

As mentioned, access to a pool is a positive for some renters. Be prepared to demonstrate that the pool is regularly maintained. It’s a good idea to hire a company that specializes in professionally handling a pool opening and closing for each season.

One of the most common tips for finding an apartment among tenants is to find a place where utilities are considered in the rent. That’s an attractive feature, especially for potential renters who are on a budget. It’s easier to provide this benefit in a larger complex.

When potential tenants are considering a new apartment, it’s vital that they have confidence in the property manager or landlord. It’s important to monitor social media reviews of your properties because so much of online searching happens online. Another great idea is to try to be present when a tenant visits for a tour so that you can answer questions and assuage any potential concerns.


In closing, one of the best tips for finding an apartment that will help you through the entire process is ensuring your finances are in shape, and that you are renting something you can afford.

Also consider researching renters insurance, which can cover you from fire, vandalism, and damage done from a neighboring structure. Renters insurance can even help you cover damage done by visitors and medical costs incurred from someone who is injured during a visit to your apartment. Then, once you find the best location that works for your price range and features the accommodations that are important to you, you’ll land in the most comfortable place for you that’s within city limits.

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