Moving to a new state is an exciting opportunity to meet new people, discover local restaurants and experience a fresh start. It also means you’ll need to find a new place to call “home.”
While visiting your intended state to search for apartments before your move is helpful, it’s not always an option if you’re on a tight schedule or budget. The good news is finding an apartment that ticks all your boxes from your current location is entirely possible. Read on to get the best tips and strategies for finding a place to live in another state.
1. List Your Requirements
You’ll likely have numerous housing options to consider in your quest to find an apartment or house to rent in another state. Take a moment to reflect on what features you think are “must-haves” to make comparing different apartments easier. Some factors you may want to note include:
- Commute: If you’re moving to a new state for work or school, you’ll be commuting to your new office or university almost daily. While long commutes have been linked with decreased job satisfaction and increased risk of mental health issues, some people enjoy a long commute. It provides the opportunity to get your thoughts together as you drive to and from work, and a longer commute gives a nice structure to your days. Determine whether you’re open to driving long distances to and from work or if you’d prefer an apartment close to your new job or school. You could also search for a new home that offers easy access to public transportation.
- Budget: Monthly rental costs, transportation expenses and utilities add up quickly. Calculate how much you can afford to pay each month so you can filter apartment options accordingly.
- Lifestyle preferences: If you’re someone who enjoys hosting people or having family stay over, you’ll want to find a space that can accommodate these lifestyle preferences. Similarly, if your new job follows a hybrid work schedule, you may want to look for an apartment with a suitable workspace. Writing down your personal needs will help narrow down the search.
- Safety: Another thing you’ll want to look into is the crime rate of the state or city you’re moving to. You can then search for an apartment with safety features like security cameras, gated entry, upgraded locks or intercom systems.
- Pet-friendly: Some apartments allow dogs, cats and other pets, so if you have a furry friend, be sure to filter apartment options accordingly.
2. Do Your Research
The internet makes it possible to gain valuable information about potential neighborhoods in seconds — just go online and search for facilities that align with your interests. For example, if you’re a passionate foodie, look for areas with lots of restaurants and cafes. People who enjoy spending time outdoors can search for parks and other scenic spaces. Your online search will also likely reveal who lives in an area, such as young professionals, families with children or older adults.
Review the Local Market
Researching the supply and demand for apartments in your new state will give you an indication of how quickly you need to act. While it might be best practice to weigh up several options before choosing an apartment, popular cities may have a higher rental demand, so you’ll need to be more proactive.
Investigate Property Management Companies and Landlords
A good relationship with a property management company or landlord is vital for a seamless renting experience. Before starting your out-of-state apartment hunt, do your due diligence by checking out tenant reviews on Google and social media.
Look out for comments about staff efficiency, ease of communication and maintenance processes to help you assess a company’s reputation. In addition, reviews that mention loud neighbors or music from nearby establishments are important warning signs.
3. Get Your Finances and Documents in Order
Most rental options require you to pay at least one month’s rent in advance to secure an apartment. As you search for apartments, take note of security deposit prices, application fees and any other relevant costs.
You should also prepare the necessary documents before looking for an apartment or house to rent in another state. Some vital documents you may need include:
- Bank statements.
- A copy of your job offer and previous pay slips.
- Rental reference letters.
Assess Your Credit
Your credit history is another factor impacting your chances of securing the perfect apartment when you’re out of state. If you’re concerned about your credit score, you can access free reports that allow you to prepare solutions to possible obstacles, such as offering a larger deposit to ease your landlord’s mind.
4. Ask Important Questions
Once you’ve found an apartment that meets your needs and budget, you may want to sign the lease immediately. However, before you put pen to paper, clarify the lease terms and conditions by asking the landlord or property management company some essential questions, such as “How do I pay rent?” and “Who do I call in an emergency?” You’ll leave with a better idea of the property.
Another aspect you should discuss with your potential landlord is insurance coverage. While they likely have an insurance policy covering damage to the property, this won’t cover personal items inside your apartment. You may need to consider signing up for renters insurance for greater peace of mind.
Finally, if there is no option to take a virtual tour of the apartment, you should request additional photos or a live video tour of the space. This will help you to envision where your furniture will go, what appliances you may need to buy and which rooms will offer the best natural lighting for your plants. Breaking a lease agreement carries significant financial penalties, so having all the information upfront will help you feel more content in your new apartment.
Enlist the Help of Property Professionals
These tips for finding an apartment when you’re out of state are an excellent starting point, but sometimes you need to call in the professionals. Elevated Management Group, LLC, is a leading property management company in New Mexico that specializes in assisting renters find apartments that match their unique criteria. Whether you’re moving to Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Bernalillo or another lively city in this state, you can find an amazing new home from one of our listings.
We pride ourselves on transparency and tenant satisfaction, and we’re excited about helping you find your new home. Explore our current rental listings today, or reach out to our property experts to discuss your needs in detail!