Shopping for apartments is no simple task. This is especially true when you are talking about moving to the nation’s capital. If you are trying to find the best dc apartments, you have to read this guide to make sure you get the right one.
1 – Shop Around
The capital city is literally spilling over with properties to rent or purchase. Just keep in mind that purchasing a space in DC could easily go from $150,000 for a 1 bed and 1 bath condo all the way to cool $18 million for a home. Renting prices tend to have a similar variance, and it’s easy to see why from the prices of condos and homes in Washington DC. From 0 bedroom studios for $1900+ to 3 bedroom ramping up the price to $4000+ a month. That’s just part of living in the capital.
Needless to say you need to be ready to move when you do, so you should take the time to shop around. Arming yourself with more options will make less stress in the long run because properties go faster than you think. Don’t be surprised if your first option has already been snatched up before you even had a chance to apply.
2 – Make a List and Compare
Now that you have your options for apartments, it’s time to compare them head-to-head. Take some time to make a top down spreadsheet of your choices. In the first column, leave a blank spot in the first row. Starting in the second row, create categories like price, location, amenities, pros, cons, parking availability, and a contact. Now go back to the first row, and put the names of the options across the top row starting in the second column. Now you can fill in each category for your options at hand.
Take some time to really look at your options for what they are on paper. A simple cost benefit analysis of your options can help you narrow the list even further. Sometimes good options don’t look as good next to options on list.
If you can, take the time to visit the properties you are trying to buy or rent. See if you can take a tour of the property itself, or one that is similar. After you have witnessed your potential home first hand, take some time to look around the area. You will eventually hate even the best property if the surrounding area isn’t what you are looking for.
3 – Make a Renter’s Resume
Seriously, making a renter’s resume is a great way to show a property manager that you are serious about renting your apartment. By including the basics like name, general credit range, yearly income, references, and a bit of rental history with contacts to verify, your rental resume will make the landlords want you to pick them. These applications can help your case when you go into negotiations on price. A solid rental and employment history will be all a landlord needs to get lenient.
Make sure you take the time to make it nice too. Make a cover page that has a customized address to the specific place you are applying to as well. The custom touch of “John’s Rental Resume for 77H” is sure to put the 77H application reviewer in spirits about your resume. Just make sure you keep it clean and easy to read. They might not even look at it in the long run, but it’s presence is enough to want you as a tenant.
4 – Be Aware of Application Fees
Application fees are a real thing. More often than not, a landlord will require that you pay an application processing fee. It’s another layer of protection for the landlord that ensure you are serious about your opportunity to rent. Make sure you ask if your application fee is refundable. Many landlords will kick back your application fee if you pass the application process. If there is a timeframe for the return after application, make sure you keep an eye on it returning to your account. If it doesn’t happen in time, contact your landlord right away.
Final Thoughts on Finding a DC Apartment
Washington DC is a hustle and bustle kind of city. It’s nature is to constantly turn over people. The high prices are a staple point of the type of economic locality you are about to enter. Take the time to really look around. Although anywhere you look will be expensive, you can find great deals with the side-by-side comparisons.
It’s up to you to find the perfect spot in Washington DC. If you are planning to stay for a while, you really need to put these tips to use for you. With a big of searching high and low, you can enjoy the best parts of the capital without breaking the bank. Saving a few hundred a month by researching starts to add up, and your bank account with thank you.