There are times when you may find yourself in a situation where you are forced to rent an apartment sight unseen. Maybe you are moving across the country to a new city and can’t afford to go out and visit apartments first.
Or perhaps you are moving across the globe. Life throws us curve balls all the time and sometimes we just don’t have any other choice.
For those of you whose circumstances require you to rent an apartment sight unseen, there are a few ways of ensuring that your apartment search is as thorough a possible. Here we will break down what you should do if you need to sign a lease without first making a visit.
Research, Research, Research, and then Research Some More
If you can’t physically be in the apartment, then you need to find as much information as you can to make you feel as though you are there. This means beyond just requiring pictures—ask the landlord to give you a Skype walkthrough.
Next, get on Google maps and explore the area. Street View is going to be your new best friend. Drag that little yellow man all through those streets until you are confident you could find your way around your new neighborhood in the dark, with a blindfold on.
This is going to be important for those Saturday nights you stay out late, but also for figuring out where the nearest grocery store is, where the pharmacy is and where the nearest Chinese take-out is.
While you are on Google Street View, be sure to check out any nearby businesses that may give off a strong smell. You might think you like pizza now, but live above a pizzeria for 12 months and it is likely the mere mention of tomato sauce will make you break out in hives.
Phone a Friend
If you have any friends in the area, enlist them to be the eyes on the ground. Ask them to check out any potential apartments for you and take copious notes.
If you are moving in with roommates who you have never met to an apartment you have never been to, well, good luck. But more importantly, be sure to talk to these new living partners on the phone at least once.