Moving to a new state can be an exciting new adventure, but it poses a few unique challenges. One of these is finding your next apartment. Thankfully the internet gives us an easy and convenient way to browse available apartments, learn about the surrounding areas, and get answers to all of our questions.
If you're looking for an apartment out of state, use this handy guide to help you find your new home sweet home:
Visit At Least Once
If at all possible, visit your new state at least once before you move there. This may be hard if you're planning a cross-country move, but visiting your new state will give you a better idea of what your new life will look like. If you can, plan for a weekend in your new state so you can schedule apartment tours during that time. You can also use this time to get a better idea about your commute to work or school, the neighborhoods you like versus the ones you want to avoid, and how close you are to local attractions and landmarks. You'll also be able to get a good idea about the public transportation system, whether or not you'll need a car, and get a solid first impression of the community.
Visiting a new state isn't possible for everyone looking for a new apartment. If you don't have the time or money to make an extra trip out of state, the Internet makes it very easy to browse neighborhoods, and apartments, and research your new home online.
Figure Out Finances First
The cost of living varies significantly from state to state, so it's important to have a clear understanding of how much you're going to make and the average cost of rent, utilities, groceries, gas, and entertainment before you make a big decision to move. If you're moving to a new state where the cost of living is significantly higher, you'll have to make changes in the amount of income that you make to live comfortably. As you create a budget you also need to factor things in like travel expenses, storage fees, moving costs, etc.
The week or two before your move is not the time to start researching this information. As soon as you know you're moving to a new state, spend a good amount of time researching what it will cost to live there and how you can comfortably balance your income and expenses.
Talk To Locals
Part of researching a new city is talking to locals. It's important to connect with people who live in your new state and get their thoughts and feelings about what it's like to live there. If you have questions regarding diversity, accessibility, inclusion, quality of life, or cost of living, the best way to find your answers is to ask someone who's currently experiencing it. If you can make a trip to your new state, use this time to meet new people and talk to the locals about what they like and don't like about living in the city. If you can't make a trip out, use online forums, blogs, and social media platforms to reach out to locals and get advice about moving to the city.
Long gone are the days when in order to get an idea of what an apartment looked like you only had five or six blurry pictures to work with. Now, modern websites feature virtual tours, walk-through videos, 3D floor plans, and other innovative features to help you view the apartment. If you can't be there in person, these high-tech features help give you a clear understanding of the layout and size of the apartment and can help you make a more confident and informed decision. These options have become standard in the apartment industry, so if you're looking at an apartment that claims to be innovative and modern but doesn't have these features, it might be a red flag.
Moving out of state is a process and the more prepared you are the easier the process will be. If you're moving out of state, be prepared to put a deposit down on an apartment to hold it until you arrive. This process will also be easier if you have all the necessary paperwork filled out and available so that you're not waiting around for documentation to be processed. Read and reread your lease agreement to ensure you understand all of the terms and conditions.
Imagine moving your entire life to a different state only to find out that your apartment accepts pets, just not your specific breed, or learning that your apartment has a very strict guest policy and you're used to having friends over weekly. It's your responsibility to read the terms and conditions of the lease and know what your responsibilities are before you sign your contract, pack up all your things, and move to a new state.
If you are moving to California from a different state and are still looking for a pet-friendly apartment to rent, take a virtual tour of NMS 1427 Seventh today. Close to downtown Santa Monica and the beach, these apartments are perfect for those experiencing apartment life for the first time. Check out all of the different floor plan options, and then connect with a leasing agent who can tell you all about the city, the apartment community, and how to make Santa Monica your new home.