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U.S. Living & Working

How to find an apartment

First you have to decide whether you need something for long-term or short term. For temporary, short-term housing there exist several hotel-like accommodations that offer mostly furnished apartment where you may stay a couple of months. Those are called "Extended Stay hotels" or "Corporate Housing". As the name suggests, this type of housing is mostly used by people who are transferred by their company and who will stay there until they have found their own place. Those furnished apartments are usually much higher priced than annual rentals of the same quality.

Annual Rentals
That's how apartments or houses are called that are available as long-term rentals. Usually one has to sign a lease that runs 6 months to 1 year.

Where to look

  • "Classifieds" section of the local newspaper. Check the section 'Rentals' or 'Apartments'
  • Most neighborhoods (there are some exceptions) allow landlords to put up "For Rent" signs. Some put also signs at street corners. It's a very good idea to drive through the neighborhoods of the city / town and look for such signs because you automatically get a feel the neighborhood.
  • Look up apartment communities on the Internet by typing the city name and the word 'apartment' into a search engine, e.g. Google.com. Tons of websites will show up that predominantly list apartment communities from larger property managements. You may check all listings sorted by state, city, area for free because they are paid by the property management companies. If you then contact the respective property manager they will tell you what they currently have.
  • The Internet will bring up also websites that take money for giving you a list of available rentals. Be careful and be very sure that they will have listings for your area after you paid. Prices vary but may exceed 70 Dollars. Usually the newspaper classifieds are the better way.
  • Pin notes on bulletin boards in grocery stores telling that you are looking for a rental and what type etc.
  • If possible, spread the word that you are looking for a rental; tell friends, co-workers, etc.
  • Check the phone book and look for 'Property Management' Companies or Realtors. Don't be shy to ask if there are any fees involved when a realtor or property manager is looking for an apartment for you.

Location, Neighborhood
Before starting your apartment search find out in which neighborhood you would like to live.
Criteria are: do you need schools for children? do you want to live close to your work place to avoid long commuting? do you look for upscale neighborhoods? how safe are different neighborhoods?
You can do research on the Internet (search for relocation tips in the respective city, try to look up saftey reports issued by the local police, etc.), ask realtors, co-workers, etc.
Drive through neighborhoods.
www.city-data.com is a website providing tons of information including a forum where hundreds of locations are discussed.



Document Information
Source: magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20091012
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