When you move to a new area, the best way to rent a new apartment is to either plan an advance trip to see potential apartments before you move or to plan to rent short-term housing for a month or two while you secure a more permanent abode. However, sometimes neither of these are options and you need to rent an apartment before you are able to view it in person. If you must sign a lease before you move to a new area, there are some ways that you can ensure you are getting the apartment you expect.
Know the Market
While it is helpful to know what kind of real estate market you are in whenever you are looking to rent a new apartment, it is critical to understand the local market if you are not able to conduct viewings in person. If you are renting in a large city where apartments rent quickly and there are more renters than available apartments, you will know that you need to contact estate agents immediately and you might consider skipping a thorough check if an apartment looks decent in its advertisements. However, if the market is slow and properties tend to sit, you know that you have the time to demand more information for properties you are interested in without losing them to other potential renters.
Knowing which estate agents in the area are trustworthy by familiarizing yourself with reviews and listings allows you to know which agents to work with from a distance.
Ask for a Floor Plan
With many real estate advertisements, it is difficult to get a true perspective of the size of an apartment. If you are interested in an apartment, ask for a sketch of the floor plan with measurements, including the height of the ceiling. Then, compare the measurements to your current apartment or draw the apartment with sidewalk chalk in a large parking lot to get a feel for the actual space you will be inhabiting.
Conduct a Video Walk-Through
Even if the estate agent, like Kimball Real Estate, has posted a video walk-through on the apartment's listing, you should ask for a private video walk-through. This will allow you to ask the estate agent to turn the camera at certain angles for you to get a good look at parts of the apartment that are of particular interest to you.
When renting an apartment before you arrive in a city, make sure that you thoroughly understand the property you are renting and the rental agreement that you are signing.