The time to hunt for a new apartment has come. You browse through hundreds of pages online in hopes that you will find something decent and affordable. Apartment-hunting in NJ is a huge hassle. While looking through all those pages you keep wondering if it’s the real deal. If it has good cell reception. You keep checking all the little details and photos. But, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use when apartment-hunting in NJ. And here are some of them.
What to do before you start apartment-hunting in NJ
Before you start your search you need to decide on a few key things. Things that you can decide later. But if you think about them before you start your search, apartment-hunting in NJ will be much easier. If you set your budget properly you can make sure you don’t spend too much. And deciding on a neighborhood can cut your search time significantly. So make sure you know what you want and how much you want it even before you have found it.
Pick the neighborhood
The first decision that you have to make is in the neighborhood. Ask around, read a little bit online and find out all that you can about a few different neighborhoods. They might be part of the same city or metro area, but they can be very different from each other. Some might be more friendly towards cultural diversity. Some might have more bars and coffee shops than others. Think about what you want and need in your vicinity and tailor your search accordingly.
Find a place that fits your budget
Seconds important thing to decide is your budget. Your real budget. The amount of money that you can spend comfortably and the amount that you can come up with if necessary can vary greatly. You should start by deciding on what the maximum amount of money you can spend is. Don’t hope that you will find a better job along the way. Or that you will be able to come up with the money somehow. Just because the apartment is great it doesn’t mean that you should spend everything you earn on it. There is more to home than square footage and amenities.
When planning your budget take into account the cost of moving. Think about how you are going to move. Packing materials are not cheap. And the time you take off work for packing and moving can also reflect your budget. So decide if you are going to do it alone or by hiring packing services NJ. It might not cost much money, but it should definitely be reflected in your budget.
Focus your search on what you really need
Decide which amenities are must-have, which are desirable and which amenities you can live without. Having a machine washing room in the building is great. But if that raises the price of the apartment significantly, it might not be worth it. So, before you start apartment-hunting in NJ make a list of what you can and can’t live without and stick to it. The more amenities the better, just make sure they don’t break the bank.
Measure your furniture, so when you look for the apartment you can filter the search so all of your things can fit. You can always rent a storage unit if it comes to it. But knowing exactly how much space you need can help you a lot.
The internet is the best tool you have
When looking for a good apartment, the internet is your best friend. Not just because almost every single listing is on it. It’s so much more than that. You have access to hundreds of websites and each one is telling you that they have the best offer. That they are the most reliable source of information. And even if they are, there are still a few things you should do before you even look at the listings.
Find info on the neighborhood
You might have visited the neighborhood in the past. You maybe know the streets and even a few people that live there. But when it comes to choosing your new home you need to dig a little bit deeper and find out more about that part of NJ. Start with Google Maps. Take a good look at not only the map but what’s on it. Where are the businesses located? Where is the bus stops? If you like going to a bakery in the morning, search for them in that neighborhood. Check the opening and closing hours. Read some reviews. Apartment-hunting is not just about finding the apartment itself. Make sure that the surroundings, the shops, and even neighbors fit your preference. Because you are not just looking for four walls. You are looking for a place where you will be living, presumably, for a long time.
Another important thing about a neighborhood is how easy it would be to move there. Ask around about how much would local movers NJ charge for relocation. Prices are not always the same, and can sometimes differ from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Visit the forums and see other people’s opinions
Online forums are a great way to find up-to-date information on a neighborhood. Especially when apartment-hunting in NJ or anywhere else for that matter. And while you can get all the info you need on information focused websites, nothing beats first-hand experience. People that had lived in that neighborhood for a long time know all the quirks about it. You can find a bus timetable on the local info page, but only real people can tell you whether the buses are clean or not. Looking at the local park on the map, or even visiting it can tell you a lot about it. But only the people who actually visit it regularly can tell you if it’s well maintained. There is a lot of the information you can find about a neighborhood by visiting online forums. And it’s just a quick search away.
Check which services are available
There are many services that we almost can’t live without. Things like internet connection and cell service. So, when apartment-hunting, visit the website of your ISP. Find out if they offer the same service in the neighborhood you are looking at. Ask how much it would cost to transfer your current plan to the new apartment. If you are under contract with your ISP, moving into the apartment that is not covered can be very costly. Go back to online forums and see what people say about the cell signal. Is the reception good or spotty?
Start your search
Now you know what you want. You know how much money you can spend on it. You know what you need and what you can live without. By setting your goals in advance you cut your search time in half. All that is left to do is to find that perfect spot for you. Happy hassle-free apartment-hunting in NJ.