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The Shortened Guide to Out-of-State Apartment Hunting

Here’s the deal. When I accepted my current job in Iowa in December, I accepted it from Florida. You know: the Sunshine State? The state that’s a little more than 1,300 miles away from Iowa.

I had less than a month to move. The job opportunity came at a time (the holidays) when there wasn’t time to fly up and look at apartments. Really, that shouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to see potential apartments.

In which your author’s first adulting experience came when trying to find a place to live from over 1,000 miles away.

Moving is a big deal. An even bigger deal? Finding the right apartment.

It’s kind of hard to do when you’re not in the same city. I managed, though, and you can too.

While there are tons of ways to find the apartment best for you, below is how I used the Internet to find my first “on my own” apartment.

Find Your Go-To Apartment Guide:
There are tons of apartment searching sites on the Internet. And I. Mean. Tons. I tried a few of them back in December, but none of them stuck out to me like

The housing search client helps you narrow down your search to as close as possible to what you want. You can pick how many bedrooms and how many bathrooms, set your rent range, and type in the city of where you plan on living. From there you can narrow it down some more. Need air conditioning? In-unit washer and dryer? Dishwasher? Fridge? Pet friendly?

You can be as picky as you want and the search agent will narrow a place down to the best of its ability, all while giving you the complex’s contact information and information about the surrounding area.

I’m hooked.

Reviews. Reviews. REVIEWS.

I can’t emphasize the word “reviews” enough. It doesn’t really take much active work on your part. All you have to do is type in the name of one of your living options into Google and prepare to read the reviews.

Looking at the most recent reviews to the last two years is the best method to make sure you’re getting a good look at the current picture.

Check for Rent Specials.

Okay, so you’ve narrowed your search down and read some reviews. Now you’re stuck with a few really solid places. Great.

Next is the fun part: making calls. It sounds daunting, but you’ll be happy you did that.

Most times, apartments have specials if you choose to rent from them at a specific time. It can go a long way in saving you money.

I wouldn’t have made it without a mental breakdown the three weeks between moving here without doing the above. But just because it worked for me, I know it doesn’t mean it will do the same for everyone.

I’m curious. What works best for you?