In San Diego, the phrase “affordable rent” is usually accompanied by laughter or coughing. Too many people are competing for rentals so they can take advantage of the sun, the coast, the views, and the lifestyle. It’s been ranked the 13th most expensive U.S. city to live in, so it’s not easy learning how to find your dream apartment. Once you do, don’t let it slip through your fingers.
All the other rental candidates have the same resources as you, so gain an edge by telling everyone you know that you’re looking for an apartment. Shout it from social media, share it with co-workers, or call relatives. Someone will know of a place, or know someone who knows someone who might. You never know when you might get a tip before a realtor can. You can also learn a lot from other renters’ horror stories, or people who are proud of their neighborhoods.
Start by setting alerts for apartment openings on rental sites and apps. Check neighborhood message boards, church bulletins, and flyers at the coffee shop. Once you’ve been looking for a while, you’ll know when you come across something special—but you could find it anywhere.
Be the Perfect Choice
Remember that while you want a dream apartment, property owners want a dream tenant. Be familiar with what a landlord is looking for, and assess yourself through their eyes. Go into impress-the-parents mode, and get written recommendations from your current landlord and your boss. Get your credit report in order, and have money for an application and deposit at the ready.
Wait for the Right Timing
Even if you know how to find your dream apartment, someone might still be living there right now. Don’t settle for something that makes you sigh; you may not find everything on your checklist, but there should be something that gives you a good feeling about it. November, December, and January are months when you may not have as much competition, but the pandemic is prompting people everywhere to make life changes. Bide your time and pounce when the opportunity arises.