*This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Apartamentos.com and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
One of the most challenging and stressful times for many are either finding a new job or searching for a new apartment in the ideal neighborhood. After all, it is not only about finding a budget friendly apartment that matters, but also the safety of the neighborhood and the proximity to main areas or to work. You can fall in love with a floor plan and with the tiles, but if the neighborhood is less than ideal, you won’t be as satisfied with your new home. As a New Yorker, I found this to be a typical and crucial moment. Where should I live? My apartment lease is expiring, rents are skyrocketing and my neighborhood is becoming so expensive. What’s my next move? This is why at Dreams in Heels we decided to create this guide of tips, tools and things you should consider when trying to find the perfect neighborhood and, of course, your dream apartment.
My first recommendation is to start by picking at least three neighborhoods where you would like to live. Next, you’re going to need to research them.
Select the best resource to find your new apartment
One of my go to sites, which I learned about through a friend, is Apartamentos.com. I love how it gives you the flexibility to find your dream place from the comfort of your own computer or mobile phone (free app). In addition, Apartamentos.com has the most properties of any rental site with over 800,000 listings, ranging from apartments and condos to townhomes and single-family rentals. It is supported by the industry’s largest professional research team, who have visited and photographed over 400,000 properties nationwide. In addition, and my family’s favorite benefit, is that it’s a bilingual website (the nation’s only exclusive apartment-listing site in Spanish), built and tailored to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Hispanic renter population. Take note, my Latino readers!
What other features are cool about Apartamentos.com? The website has innovative custom search tools, including the POLYGON™ search tool, that allows users to define their own search areas on a map and also to Plan your Commute with a feature that helps users search for rentals by proximity to their office. How amazing is that! In addition, it lets you search by a specific location, for ex. close to a hospital, airport (excellent for those who travel a lot like myself), schools and more. Also, I love the 3D Interactive Tours. It is a one-stop shop for finding an apartment and that makes this a super helpful website (several resources condensed into one). You can also download the mobile app for a quick, convenient, way to search while on the go!
Other things to consider, after doing the 3D Interactive Tours or drawing your own search radius using apartmentos.com unique tools, is to:
- Visit each neighborhood at different times of the day
The neighborhood you think you would like to move into, might be totally different in the evening and/or on weekends. You should always visit the neighborhood at different times during the day and week to see what it’s really like (Note: Apartamentos.com offers Neighborhood guides which can help you to discover more).
- Ask for feedback
Why not ask friends, co-workers and acquaintances about their experiences in that neighborhood, or about their own. Or use your social media? You can get tons of feedback from friends near and far. Don’t forget, there’s always google.
- Research the best schools for your kids
If you have children, this is a very important factor. Once you decide on a school, you can always use that address as another search point.
- Consider your budget
Make sure that you have budgeted for additional expenses such as electricity/gas/cable, your current debt, and commuting costs like parking and/or public transportation, etc.
- Crime Statistics
Safety matters. This is why research is key. Much information is public. I like to visit the local precincts for additional information. While things can happen anywhere, some neighborhoods are more pet or child friendly than others. Some have many eateries within walking distance and others have no nightlife to speak of…your decision will depend on your priorities and interests.
Overall, finding a place is not the easiest quest, especially when you don’t have the right tools or understand the most important next steps. This is why resources like Apartamentos.com can relieve some of the stress and help you to find your perfect neighborhood, and of course, an ideal home. Make sure to visit their website or download their mobile app (IOS or Android), play with the tools and start your search today!
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