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Jacksonville Property Management Blog

Tips for Long-Distance Apartment Hunting
10-29-2021
Tanya Douglas
Tips for Long-Distance Apartment Hunting
10-29-2021

Tips for long-distance apartment hunting

Alt: A person looking for apartments for rent online

Searching for a new place to live is not an easy endeavor. Add the distance to the equation, and you get a massive source of headaches. However, long-distance apartment hunting is far from impossible with proper preparation and a solid plan. The goal is to make the entire process, from picking the destination of your new home to transporting your belongings into it, as smooth and stress-free as possible. And to achieve that, we have a set of advice that will help you avoid making a mistake and point you in the right direction.

Research potential neighborhoods and narrow down your options

When moving to a new city, it's essential that you employ your trusted friend, Google, and thoroughly research the neighborhoods. The excellent news is that the Internet offers numerous forums and similar resources where you can find valuable information about anything you need and is of particular interest to you. Here are some points to consider when researching different neighborhoods:

  • Crime rates. Regardless of whether you are moving by yourself or with a family, safety should be your primary concern.
  • Family-friendly activities and amenities. If you are moving with kids, it's important to find an area with plenty of parks, playgrounds, and fun activities.
  • the school district - again, if you have children, you must know what education options for them there are
  • Commute time. When researching different areas, it's essential to consider how far your job from your home would be. That will tell you how much time the daily commute will take.
  • Public transportation. Check where the nearest subway station or a bus stop is. See how well-connected the neighborhood is to other parts of the city and the downtown. 
  • Cafes and restaurants. If the ability to dine out without traveling too much is important to you, be sure to research what options there are.
  • Nearest hospitals and grocery stores. It's crucial to know you can quickly pop out to get what you need. And it's vital to know where to go if you need medical help. Health and safety are the most critical concerns when searching for a home.
  • Other important facilities. Every person and family has unique needs and priorities. Thus, make sure you know what they are and factor them in when you begin your search and research.

Why is it important to narrow down your neighborhood options?

Finally, spend some time reading other people's reviews, comments, and stories from the neighborhood. Residents are the best people to tell you about the vibe of the area and its quality of life. Of course, nothing beats going to the place and seeing it for yourself. Still, some research will help you cover the basics and narrow down your search.

Narrowing down your options is essential because it will help you find a perfect apartment much faster. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you look at available apartments all over the city, you will have a much harder time finding a suitable place. Moreover, the neighborhood you pick will influence other financial aspects of your long-distance apartment hunting, such as rent and taxes. 

Know what you want but be flexible

After you know where you want to live, it's necessary to figure out what you need from the apartment. Knowing what you want will help you narrow down your apartment search. You won't waste time on places that don't suit your needs. Therefore, decide how big an apartment you need and how many bedrooms and bathrooms it must have. Do you need an open-plan design? Also, think about the commute time and amenities you need nearby. Finally, or perhaps this should have been the first point, set your budget.

Ultimately, you have to create a list of must-haves. These will be the criteria that you will not compromise on. Everything else will be nice-to-haves. That is the flexibility you must offer regardless of whether you are looking for an apartment long-distance or in your own time.

The budget issue

You must have a budget set because moving to a different city demands other expenses besides the rent. And the most significant ones are relocation costs. Moving is a complex task when you are going to a place just around the corner. And moving long-distance is a whole other ballpark. Thus, it's always best to do it with the help of professional movers. So, if, for instance, you plan to relocate from Miami to Jacksonville, find a moving crew that will ensure everything goes without a hitch. Check how much the relocation will cost and factor it into your budget. 

Consider hiring a real estate agent

Hiring a real estate agent is really helpful when long-distance apartment hunting. They will be your eyes and your ears. Perhaps they will also know about apartments that have not yet made it to the renting adverts. Also, agents know the city where you are moving to well. So, they can help you find the perfect neighborhood for you, too. 

Check out virtual tours

Covid-19 had a substantial negative impact on the real estate industry initially. However, if there is one good thing that came out of it, it's virtual tours. The pandemic has considerably accelerated the growth of this type of showings and has actually made apartment hunting easier. So, if you can't visit the place yourself, virtual tours are an excellent solution.

If you have hired an agent, they can walk you through potential apartments while on a video call. It is a much better option than viewing the photographs and gives you a better feel of the place.

Try to plan an apartment hunting trip

As you can see, it's possible to rent an apartment long-distance. You can check listings online, apply online, and virtual tours will come near actually visiting the place. However, it is still best to see the city yourself. So, if at all possible, plan for a weekend apartment hunting trip to ensure everything is just as advertised.

If you decide to do so, make sure you schedule as many showings as you can possibly fit in your short visit. Take many photos of each apartment and ask as many questions as you want. Also, write notes about each apartment. These steps are necessary because seeing so many places in a short span of time will make them all blend together. 

Be ready to sign a lease while you are there

It may be best to have all the necessary paperwork ready when you schedule your visit so you can sign the lease if you find an apartment you like. So, prepare previous landlord recommendations, paystubs, and everything else you may need. 

Long-distance apartment hunting is not a nightmare

With some research and good preparation, your long-distance apartment hunting experience will be much more pleasant. If you follow the tips we have given you, you will realize that it doesn't differ much from searching for a new home in your city. It all starts with you knowing what you need and want. 

Meta: Long-distance apartment hunting may seem like an impossible task. However, some research and good preparation will make it go smoothly and quickly. 

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