Looking around for a new rental apartment in Philly is fun but can be overwhelming if you are not sure what you are looking for. Here are some tips to help you locate the right rental apartment in Philly:
1. Do the research – Most Philly apartment rental listings can be seen online (Rental.com, Rentals.com and other sites list properties nationwide) and you can definitely get a sense of the place before you even go to inspect the apartment in person. But once you know which neighborhoods you want to live in, you can then ascertain rental costs so you know what to expect. Also, most online listings will give you a map and a Google Earth view so you know where the apartment is located (on a busy street or in a quiet neighborhood), etc.
2. Figure Out Your Budget – Don’t go looking for rental apartments in Philly that are above your budget level. The apartment of your dreams may be out of range and coupled with other expenses such as utilities and food – your monthly budget could well disappear if not get you into trouble. You may need to manage your expectations a bit and not go for supreme luxury (e.g.: doorman, swimming pool, tennis courts) but for a nice, quiet and safe place sans some “nice to have” but not “need to have” amenities.
3. Decide how long of a lease you are willing to sign – If you know you want a rental apartment in Philly for a year or more, signing a 12 or 18 month lease won’t be a problem. But if you are not sure, you might want to look for an apartment with a six month lease or a month to month policy to give you more freedom.
4. Always inspect the property – Experts warn never to move into a property unless you see it in person – even if you are moving thousands of miles away. One rental site suggests you “bring a tape measure to get an idea of the place’s dimensions for moving day… Check the faucets, flush the toilets, turn the lights on and off and on and visually inspect all of the appliances. Check out the laundry facility.
5. Check the Neighborhood and Common Facilities – Even if the Philly rental apartment is gorgeous on the inside and has exactly what you need, make sure the neighborhood is a safe one and in an area that is convenient to work, bus or train stations, markets, etc. Look at the neighborhood carefully and ask yourself, are there bars on every window? Does the street look downtrodden and littered with trash and the lawns are abandoned and have turned to weeds? If so, that may not be the place for you. In addition, check the common areas of the apartment building or complex – how is the building kept up? Is a quiet building or can you hear loud music? If you can, check out the place at different times of the day and week to make sure it’s the kind of apartment you would want to live day and night.