However, there are several things you can do to minimize frustration and make your apartment search hassle free. By following the simple steps mentioned below, you can take the guess-work out of apartment hunting and find a great Boston pad to call home.
1. A good real estate agent is worth their weight in gold.
Face it. No one knows the Boston real estate market as well as an experienced real estate agent. No matter how early you read the Sunday paper or scour online ads, realtors stay on top of the complex and ever-changing Boston rental market because their jobs depend on it.
Plan on spending about a month’s rent on the broker’s commission, but it’s money well spent when you find that wicked awesome apartment in your favorite neighborhood.
And on a related note, be loyal to your real estate agent. Employing multiple agents won’t yield you multiple leads, but it will lead to frustration—both yours and theirs. Real estate agents work hard to find you the best rental for your needs and budget. When there are multiple agents involved, they’re less motivated because their best efforts could be for naught.
2. Time is not your friend.
Yes, rents have been on the rise in and around Beantown, but there are many great Boston apartments and rentals out there. Once you know you’re going to move, even if it is months in the future, start a moving game plan. Don’t wait until August to look for a September rental.
Our real estate office starts receiving September apartment listings in January, so plan ahead. The more time you have to look, the more time you have to find the right place that fits your needs, instead of settling for something because you’ve run out of time and options.
3. Act fast.
Be prepared to act quickly. The Boston apartments rental market is very competitive. In many cases, you may need to make a decision on the spot about whether or not to rent a unit. Think of it this way: if you think the apartment is wonderful and affordable, chances are someone else will think so too.
4. Be prepared.
In order to move quickly once you find that perfect Boston pad, you need to be armed with the proper documentation when you go apartment hunting.
Bring paper work that shows current and former landlord information, employment and income verifications including pay-stubs, personal reference contacts, and your checkbook so you can put down at least one month’s rent as a deposit.
Be prepared to show that you have a good rental history. You’ll also need to show a history of stable employment with an income of at least three times the annual rent. Putting all your documents in a folder or binder before you set out on your search will help keep you organized.
5. Do your homework.
Even if an apartment seems perfect, make sure you check it—and the building—out completely before signing on the dotted line. Check out the neighborhood as well. Verify all move in costs, such as deposits, fees, parking, and keys.
Determine who is responsible for utilities and have it written out if necessary. Take the time to read the entire lease. Make sure you understand it all, including rent amount, term of lease, utilities, maintenance, pet policies, garbage, snow removal, etc. If you don’t understand something – ask!
Boston Apartments: their out there, now go get yourself one today.