You’ve already decided that with or without roommates you’re moving out — sweet. And, you’ve figured out how much to spend on rent. You’ve told everyone you know what you are looking for in an apartment and what neighborhood you’re targeting. But, if you’re like most of us your search now continues with. . .
Step 3. Craigslist
Like it or not, Craigslist is pretty much the best way to find an apartment sans broker. So, why not master your primary source?
Here are some tips that should help you navigate.
If it’s too good to be true — it probably is. There are certainly deals to be had on Craigslist. But there are no KILLINGS to be made on Craigslist. If a place should be $1000/month and it’s $900 — cool you may have found something awesome. Be smart, but don’t worry too much. Once prices start getting lower than $900, start getting skeptical. If a place is listed for $750 or less, you probably have some dishonest folks on your hands. WATCH OUT!
Use PadMapper to sort by location. The same listings will come up as normally but they’ll be gloriously sorted. The Brooklyn listings that say East Williamsburg but are really in Bushwick? OR Chicago listings that say Logan Square instead of Humbolt Park. Can’t lie to you no more.
Be sincere when responding to ads. Lying now doesn’t do you any good later. If you lie to a roommate, you can end up living with a neat freak when you’re a mess(no fun!). If you claim to make X amount of money — they’ll run a credit check and find you out pronto. It’s much better to just be honest.
Friendliness goes a long way! Sure, you can be a great Craigslist searcher – but ultimately, you’re going to need people to be impressed enough by your note to respond. It’s not so hard to be considerate, just imagine that the person who’s reading it is as busy and discerning as you.
Personalize everything. Just like applying for a job, you’re essentially applying for an apartment. Along with everyone and their mother. So, look at the listing and specifically address why you fit it like a glove.