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Peter Higgins replied to febreze's topic in Officially GradsHonestly, I see no reason to hire a realtor in the 21st century for multiple reasons: There are multiple rental sites, that have significantly improved over the last 5 years. Most of them, provide now so called apartments map, which allows you to choose needed location. Also, you can filter price there, utilities (for example you want rent cat-friendly studio with a doorman, but unfurnished). You can choose among all of these parameters, saving your time and money. Using online rental services also give you an opportunity not to go across the whole country in order to sigh you lease or to attend an open house. New trends - online lease agreement and open house online. The same situation with tenant screening: you can ask for face to face conversation in Skype and your background/credit reports will be checked online. Commonly, realtor will ask you to pay 50% of the regular month payment and it's getting really expensive to pay for rent, for security deposit and realtor fee. Rental websites ask only for 20$ payment once and only after lease agreement being signed.
That was my own strategy when I've decided to go to the SFMS, which is ±700 miles away from my hometown. Yeah it was very hard, I had multiple troubles, but anyway: 1) Make a decision when do you want to start looking. On my own experience, it's better to start looking for an apartment in Spring because prices are much lower. It will not be catastrophic if you will move in in June because anyway, 2-3 odd months will cost you less, that renting for 1-2 year for 450-500$ higher. 2) Don't ask realtors or other agents. Use only online rental services. Zillow for example or Trulia. 3) Identify the most suitable location because you can spend up to 200$ odd money for your transport needs. In this case better to rent something higher, but closer. to your university/college. For simplifying this step use apartment maps. You can filter all of your requests, to compare locations, amenities etc. It's obviously the most time-saving method. 4) After finding a couple of possible apartments - make some calculation, try to understand which one is better according to your needs and possibilities. 5) Contact landlords and choose an adequate one. Yes, it's maybe one of the most important part. 6) Don't make your lease agreement duration longer than 10 months. Wish you a good luck!
In my situation, I've started looking in August '16 for an apartment to rent in San Francisco and in September I've moved in. My rental price was 2300$ for 1 bedroom condo with all utilities included and security features. For the first time my thoughts were like: "hmm, it looks like the best deal I could ever imagine", but now I have occasionally looked up for some new apartments and found that is ±400$ cheaper. You can make it sure by your own. Now I'm very upset because my lease terminates in September, so the prices will rise again because of the educational season and other circumstances. Now I'm trying to terminate my lease earlier, but landlord don't want in anyway for obvious reasons
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