How to Find an Apartment Quickly

Living in the city can be hectic, and so too can finding a city apartment in the first place. Someone else’s hustle could be your economic struggle if they snag that beautiful yet miraculously on-budget apartment before you. If your living situation is up in the air and you want to keep your costs low, here are some tips for finding an apartment fast.

Stay organized

As you search for an apartment, you should have professional, high-quality copies of your legal documents at the ready. Be sure that your scans or pictures are legible and provide all the information necessary when applying for an apartment.

Key documents when applying for an apartment include photo identification and three years of tax return information and electronic bank statements. You should also prepare either pay stubs, 1099 forms, or a letter of employment on company letterhead that states your salary and title. 

Find an agent

Enlist the help of a real estate agent or apartment broker who has access to pre-vacancy lists and can take you into an apartment while someone is still living there. Doing so can be tough,  as finding these unadvertised apartments can be near impossible on your own. 

Additionally, you’ll have to pay broker fees if you go this route, adding expenses you could otherwise avoid. However, if you have an extra few hundred to spend on your search, agents may provide the best alternative route.

Know what you want

A time crunch doesn’t mean you should forgo the necessary preparation work to determine the kind of apartment you want. First, do your research online or in-person to decide the neighborhoods in your city that you most prefer. Then, make a list of what you can — and can’t — live without. If you know you need a pet-friendly building with on-site laundry, you can use online search filters to eliminate apartments lacking these features.

Ask a friend

Use social media to post about your housing situation in hopes friends will come through with help. Similarly, try joining regional online apartment-hunting groups. You could even spread the word at work that you’re looking for a new place to live. Word of mouth methods like these remain effective. 

Word of mouth is also easy to overlook. When you get stressed out, you might feel like you have to reinvent the wheel and do everything yourself. Take a second to breathe and look around. You may soon realize that you can leverage your network or the people in your community, who are often open to helping you find solutions.

Good timing

If you need to lock down a place ASAP, you should apartment-hunt on a weekday. During the week, you’ll have better access to landlords and their apartment inventories. If you’re looking at buildings without a doorman or on-site property manager, there might not be anyone to let you in over the weekend. And if you only have a short while to find a new place, you can’t afford to waste much time!

What are your tips for finding an apartment fast? Sound off in the comments!

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