Tools for Finding an Apartment Out of State

December 28th, 2009 by

Moving out of state makes it more challenging to find an apartment. You won’t be able to do an on-the-ground search to locate a place to live, and the problem is compounded by the fact that you don’t live there yet. Here are some tools you can use to help you find an apartment out of state.

Newspapers

The local newspapers for the city you’re relocating to are your first source for finding an apartment. Figure out what time of day apartment listings are posted to the online classifieds, so you can call at the earliest opportunity. The locals may have access to the paper before you do, so you’ll want to call early to increase your chances of getting an apartment. This can be a frustrating way to search, because you’ll find that apartments have been snatched up before you even call.

Craigslist

The popular website Craigslist is a good source to look for an apartment. Landlords will often list properties for rent on Craigslist, because it’s free and easy to use. You have to be diligent in checking the site throughout the day, because you never know when a new apartment will be listed. Because many of the apartments are rented through individual owners, rather than through a company that rents out apartments in a building, you can increase your chances of finding a place to rent through Craigslist.

Groups and Clubs

If you are a part of any nationwide groups with chapters in states you may like to live, the head of your chapter may be able to help by communicating with the other chapters. This can apply to Fraternity or Sorority alumni, churches, hobby groups, etc.

Google Street View

Since you’re moving to a new city, you might not be familiar with all of the potential neighborhoods that have apartments. You could end up finding something to rent, only to find that it’s in a terrible location. Google Street View is a tool you can use to prevent this scenario. Using the map feature in Google, type in the address of an apartment you’re considering. Click the “Street View” link, and it will show you a full-color picture of the front door of the apartment building or duplex, taken from the street.

You can rotate the camera view to see what’s across the street from your potential apartment, and examine the neighborhood using this feature. In most cases, the pictures were taken several months ago. However, you’ll be able to tell if there’s a bar, an abandoned property or some other problem in the immediate vicinity.

It’s challenging to find an apartment out of state, but people do it all the time. With some Internet savvy, the process becomes easier. You just have to act fast when opportunities come up.

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