It may sound tricky, but long-distance apartment hunting is completely possible! You may have to invest a little extra time and effort into your hunt, but you can still find the perfect place within your budget. Having to find a place long distance is actually pretty common as people move between cities, following jobs or dreams. Whether you’re graduating from school and starting your first big job or ready to make a big change, long-distance apartment hunting may become necessary. Don’t worry! Here are some tips to make it a great success:
Choose your city
If you have a job in a new city, this work is done for you (and congrats!). You’ll need to pay more specific attention to where in the city you’d like to live… and we’ll get to that. If you don’t yet have a job, choose your new city! Check travel guides, pricing indexes, and rent levels for different areas. Consider your major factors; maybe it’s having family nearby, being closer to friends, moving near the water, or moving to a big city. Then, narrow down your focus to choose the place!
Ask friends & family in the area (or friends of friends)
Remember, your network knows you best. If you have friends or family in the area you’re planning to move to, ask them where they’d recommend you live! If you don’t know anyone off the bat, consider asking friends and family if they know anyone there. Oftentimes, your second layer of your network (people that your friends/family know) will contain some solid individuals and likely one or two in each major city.
Ask questions that align to your biggest factors and goals. These could center on the lifestyle, commute options, distance from major landmarks or airports, or demographics. Even though you’re long-distance, you can get a good idea of the different neighborhoods in your new city once you’ve learned what they are.
Learn about the area
After you’ve secured a recommendation or two, do your research! Don’t make a moving decision based on one person’s experience; instead, scour Google, Yelp reviews, and online maps to understand the neighborhood and its proximity to things you care about, like work, friends, or family. If you’re looking for a bustling social scene, consider the areas that house some local watering holes or communities that appeal to younger people. If you’re looking for an older environment, check out areas with great school systems (hello, families!) and a more suburban feel.
No matter what, your research should support your goals. Get creative on things you’re looking for in a neighborhood and search, search, search until you’re sure you’ve found the right one.
Try to visit!
While this won’t always be possible, try to schedule a visit to your new town before making a final decision on neighborhood or specific apartment. This isn’t necessary (as long as you’ve done your research!), but can give you extra peace of mind despite the long-distance. Seeing a place in real life will help you make your final decision confidently.
For more long-distance apartment hunting tips, check out this post.