Moving is typically a very stressful time. Things often get even more complicated when you are long-distance apartment hunting and plan to move a great distance.
If it’s your first move, avoid some rookie mistakes that could impact the process from going smoothly. But, even if you consider yourself a moving veteran, here are a few things you should know when looking for an apartment across the country that can help you tackle the process head-on.
1. Narrow in on your target neighborhoods
Everyone typically picks a specific state or city they want to move to. You should try and narrow your hunt down to a neighborhood or two you had in mind.
Looking at apartments all over the city will ultimately reduce your chances of finding the perfect place.
In the end, a large factor in your long-distance apartment-hunting journey will revolve around the neighborhood you end up in. This influences additional financial decisions such as rent prices and taxes, all the way to leisurely aspects like restaurants and activities.
Finding a location that you’re comfortable in that has your desired features, where you can enjoy the benefits of a short commute or a good school district, helps greatly narrow down the apartments you should look at.
2. Reduce stress any way you can
As previously mentioned, long-distance apartment hunting is a stressful ordeal but going ahead and accepting that fact is an important step in the process. That being said, it’s important to make sure you are removing stressful factors wherever possible. This ranges from the planning stage to something more hands-on in the packing phase.
Timing is one of the most important aspects of creating a peaceful moving process.
Oftentimes, people get too caught up micro-managing every single step of the process, which wastes precious time. On the other hand, though, others simply don’t start soon enough and it leaves too much for the end.
It’s better to prepare ready weeks ahead of time, so the extra time you gain can help boost productivity.
When long-distance apartment hunting, there are a few simple things to do to help eliminate possible stress down the road. When looking for your perfect apartment, some benefits often come when using a broker, such as having someone help locate a place for you while you still live long distance. This takes some burden off of you — allowing you to focus on other things.
In addition, when looking for an apartment, if you can find one that already offers a home warranty, that’s a huge plus. A home warranty helps protect your appliances should anything need replacing. Plus, this will streamline the process and can help save you money. Having one come with the apartment helps remove smaller-yet-important issues that need addressing when long-distance apartment hunting.
3. Determine what to leave behind
Moving provides a great opportunity for you to start getting rid of some of the items or clothing that you no longer need.
For those who find it harder to part with things, having this chance to go through all of your possessions can make it easier to identify what you can’t live without and what has run its course. Look into some tips for downsizing to make sure you aren’t dragging along any items that you’d rather leave behind.
In addition, another benefit to getting rid of some excess items is potentially saving some money with movers. Knowing what you will and won’t bring with you can aid in your long-distance apartment hunting adventure and help you decide how many boxes or trucks you might need.
It’s also important to think of the items that you will absolutely need when you arrive, ranging from toiletries to a mattress. Making sure that these items are easily accessible when moving can help you feel more comfortable and settled in once you move into your perfect apartment.
4. View the living space virtually
Unfortunately, COVID-19 hurt the real estate industry at the beginning. However, when looking at the admittedly small silver lining, it created a large growth in virtual showings and accelerated the growth of that aspect quite dramatically.
For those that don’t have the time or money to fly out to your desired location when long-distance apartment hunting, a virtual showing is the next best thing.
In a study by the National Association of Realtors, 35 percent of real estate agents are finding that sellers are relying on virtual tours when purchasing a living space with 26 percent relying on virtual showings. A tour is a user-run walkthrough of the location or a recorded video, while a walkthrough is a more interactive experience where an agent is walking through the living area while buyers are video calling in.
Finding an apartment that offers at least one of these benefits can help you get a better feel for the apartment that photographs simply won’t supply. You can get a better understanding of the layout and how it would feel while walking through the apartment, an experience that is very difficult or costly when long-distance apartment hunting.
5. Find out which moving company has the best quote
When looking for an apartment across the country, an important consideration is how you’d physically get all your belongings there. Many people would choose a moving company to help them with the heavy lifting — figuratively and literally.
When doing so, it’s important to shop around and make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Before settling down and choosing one specific moving company, it’s good practice to ask a few what their prices would be and then make your decision.
Although some prices are higher due to additional services that you wouldn’t require, maybe the second or third company you ask has a lower price.
Doing your research before you lock into anything can make sure you are getting the best price — making your apartment search just a little bit more cost-effective.
Prepare yourself for success
Long-distance apartment hunting comes with its fair share of challenges, but being prepared for many of them helps put you in a better and more comfortable position.
Narrowing down your neighborhood can help you save time and energy in your apartment search. Finding all the smaller yet key ways you can reduce stress can help you relax more and spend time enjoying the adventure. Planning to downsize can help you rid yourself of unnecessary burdens, and allow you more space to create new memories. Virtual tours are a life (and wallet) saver when looking at apartments across the country, and scouting moving companies is an easy way to save some money in the short term.
Wherever your long-distance apartment hunting journey takes you, having an idea of what you should look out for can help you stress less and enjoy the experience more.