Tips for College Grads on Renting in a New City

First moveIt is both a blessing and a curse that today’s job market means that many new graduates find themselves travelling across the country to find work. While the hunt for a job can be stressful, it’s important to approach it with an open mind and see it as a chance for adventure – who knows where you may end up?! Making the decision to move on after graduation to an unfamiliar city, away from your friends, family and everything you call home can be a daunting step, but it can also be a life-changing experience.  One of the more challenging aspects of making the big move is finding your first apartment in a city you do not know yet.  You can up your chances of landing in a good place by following these tips:

Plan ahead
Obviously, it can be difficult to know exactly when you will be moving, and where you are moving to until you have a job. However, as soon as you start the interview process you can definitely start looking for an apartment in that city. Use the internet to gain an idea of what the housing market is like; how expensive apartments are and how easy it will be to find one that has what you need. Once you get the job offer, you may find that things start moving very quickly, so anything you can do beforehand will definitely help out!

Don’t panic
Even if the starting date for the new job is coming fast, don’t panic and rush into the first apartment you find online. You will most likely have to take a minimum six month lease, possibly even a year, so you need to find somewhere that meets your major must-haves. You may even look for a short term summer sublet to have a place while you hunt for a permanent rental or a roommate share. It will take a little longer to get settled, but it  may be worth it in the long run.

Embrace the internet
The web has just about every resource you could ever need. You can look at maps to establish which areas of a new city appeal to you most, and which are convenient for your new job, you can view pictures of apartments and contact real estate agents, and you can also use sites and groups such as Meetup to make new friends in your new city.

But also use human intel
When you are unfamiliar with a city, you don’t know which areas are nice and which are best avoided late at night. To ensure you’re moving to a safe, fun part of town with the facilities and services you require, don’t be afraid to ask people for their advice. Use all your social media contacts, including friends of friends.  If you’ve just been hired by a company, ask your new boss and co-workers before you make a permanent move which areas they would recommend. Living in a cool part of town will make your transition to a new city that much easier.

There’s no way around it, moving to a new city is difficult. It’s normal to feel hesitant or even feel like you’ve made the wrong decision, especially to start with before you get settled in. It’s also normal to miss all of the things you are leaving behind, so don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure you allow plenty of time to adjust.  Just remember, even if you initially end up in a neighborhood that is not ideal, before you know your lease is up and you’ll know exactly where you want to move the next time.

Our contributor, Kurt Jacobson,  is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about rental homes for

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