Is the Grass Greener? Consider the 3 “M”s Before Moving Apartments

Woman sitting on floor of her apartment with laptop on stack of cardboard boxes, as she considers moving to a new apartmentLets face it. Right now, some of you despise the apartment you currently live in. In fact, you’re counting down the days until your lease term is up so you make your grand exit. Adding to your frustration, a brand new apartment community just opened up on the other side of town and they’re advertising one month of free rent. Not to mention, you have not had a response to the work order you submitted two days ago asking maintenance to fix the leaky faucet. All of these things add up to your much-celebrated exit from life at your current community. But wait — there might be more to the story than meets the eye. Is the grass going to be greener on the other side of town, or are you off to a new community with the same story as before? Consider these things before you start searching for your next apartment home.

MONEY is not everything but is usually one of the biggest (if not the most important) factors when choosing an apartment. But, just because an advertised rate seems cheaper doesn’t mean that it is. There may be some conditions to that rate. Many apartment communities are offering longer lease terms (15 – 24 months) that earn you price reductions. However, since there are more months involved, you may spend more money over the term of the lease than before. And what happens when the deal runs out? How much will rent be then? Also, some apartments are now also asking for residents to pay added amenity fees for things such a pet services or package receiving. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when looking at the costs for your next apartment.

MOVING is pure joy and something we should all look forward to… said no one ever! Moving is a pain, even in the best of scenarios, and there is a lot to think about before you decide to move to your next apartment. The time it takes to move is one challenge. Also, there are the costs associated with moving. A moving truck, boxes, pads, fuel and even pizza and beer for your friends and family all cost money. And how much money is your time and effort worth on top of the hard costs of moving? Hiring movers might actually be a less expensive option. What about your stuff? Does it all fit in your new place or do you now need an assortment of new furniture and things? If you’re a fan of changing things up every year or even every few months, renting furniture from a company like CORT could be the solution to help you in the long term. All of these costs should be answered before you sign your lease cancelation.

MAINTENANCE issues can move just the same as you can. Further, just because a community is newer does not mean that you will have less maintenance challenges. So how do you know if you are in for better service or more of the same nonsense? Reviews are a great place to start. However, make sure to take the things you read with a grain of salt. Some people will just post a non-specific review out of frustration. Other places seem to have nothing but perfect reviews. Look for specific references to challenges being resolved. In addition, look to see if the community is engaged in a conversation with residents, or if it is just two sides yelling at each other. And, even if a community is too new for a significant indicator through reviews, you still have options. Wherever you consider your next apartment home to possibly be, make sure to meet with the maintenance team in advance. Get a feel for who they are and judge for yourself if they are the ones who will take care of your needs when it matters the most.

When the day comes, all of these things can help you make a better decision about when and where to move. When looking for your new apartment, look no further than Our unmatched apartment database can help you find the best apartment options selected by the things that matter the most to you. Our free service will even put money in your pocket and reward you when you let your next community know that you found them using And that is something that I always believe is a good idea.


Tips for Getting an Apartment When You’re Self-Employed

Girl holding while dog in front of computer while applying for apartmentsMore and more Americans are choosing to work freelance, be self-employed, or join the gig economy. This has caused the typical rental application process to shift dramatically from even five years ago. If you’re one of the more than 15 million self-employed people in the U.S., you may have noticed that it can be particularly difficult to get your apartment application through the approval process. Why is this and what can you do to make sure you get the apartment of your dreams?

We’ve covered finding an apartment when unemployed and now it’s time give our post a facelift in light of the ever-changing renter’s landscape. Here are some NEW top tips to help you rent an apartment when you’re self-employed.

Choose your landlord wisely.

It might be best to shy away from super large complexes run by nationally-owned businesses. These companies usually have corporate leasing policies in place that are difficult to budge. Stick to small and privately-run rental properties where you can meet the landlord face-to-face. Ask friends for referrals so that on top of finding an awesome landlord, you or your friend may get a discount or referral bonus.

Know where your money’s been and where it’s going.

You can expect to be asked to show proof of income through bank statements and tax returns when you’re self-employed. Make sure to bring at least six months’ worth of bank statements along with IRS-approved copies of the past 2-3 years’ annual tax returns. If you have big, recurring clients, you might want to bring copies of their contracts or invoices that can demonstrate some sort of regularity. Show your landlord that you are responsible with your finances. The more information you can provide, the better!

Also, save up a big ol’ chunk of cash. As a bargaining chip, you might be able to pay above and beyond a typical deposit, such as two or three months’ rent, up front.

Know your network.

Make sure you have good references from former landlords, especially those who leased you an apartment while you were self-employed. Written recommendations with contact info are ideal.

BONUS TIP: Take it a step further and create a “renter’s resume” detailing your past rental history: dates you lived there, landlord contact info, the reason why you moved, how much you paid in rent, etc. You can include employment history, references, even an objective!

Have a great “interview” on the day you tour!

Dress appropriately when meeting the landlord. Make sure you are polished and put-together. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a job interview, but don’t come in anything your mother wouldn’t approve of. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, don’t bring any funky smells with you. Act respectfully, ask insightful questions and keep a level head.

Other possible bargaining chips?

  • Try to think of other features that might make you a model tenant. Maybe you don’t have a car so you won’t need a parking space. Or maybe you don’t have any kids or pets. Every point counts here!
  • Consider hiring a real estate/leasing agent to help with the search. There are agents who specialize in finding rental properties. He or she might be able to find properties you don’t know about!
  • Co-signers are another great option if you have someone that trusts you to not mess up their financial future. Co-signers don’t live at the property but are fiscally responsible if you can’t make a rent payment.

With these tips in hand, it’s time to put in an application for your perfect apartment. Search apartments for rent on ApartmentSearch today! Once you’ve signed your lease, let us know and you could get a $200 reward.