Top Tips for International Apartment-Seekers
Finding the right apartment in the U.S. in the current rental market can be quite a challenge, especially when you are relocating from abroad. The national apartment occupancy rate is over 95 percent and rents have increased an average of five percent across the country in recent months. In certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York, that makes finding and securing the perfect apartment for you and your family tougher than ever. Several different applicants can be competing for the same apartment, as soon as it becomes available.
Fortunately, CORT’s Destination Services team works with domestic and international apartment seekers relocating for work, helping them quickly find the right apartment for them. Its team of destination consultants, who have long-established relationships with apartment communities in many U.S. cities, are extremely knowledgeable on apartments that are available in a variety of price ranges, neighborhoods and amenities. In addition, they help those who are relocating to have a smooth transition, from assisting in registering children in school to obtaining driver’s licenses and social security cards.
Research before arrival saves time
Long before international relocating employees arrive in the U.S. or move across the country, the CORT Destination Services team determines the specific needs of each employee and their family and develops a customized list of potential apartments for them. “We conduct a needs analysis and help them narrow down the neighborhood, their budget, the amenities they can get, schools in the area and other factors,” said Angela Sweet, Director of Destination Services for CORT. “That way, when they land and we take them out to look at apartments, they are not wasting any time. In some markets, spending just one extra day trying to hone in on what type of apartment you are looking for could cause you to lose out on two or three properties that might have been your best choices.”
Those relocating to the U.S. from overseas or those moving from one part of the country to another can also conduct their own research to find the best apartment home for them. ApartmentSearch.com’s “self-guided tour” saves apartment seekers signficiant time by allowing them to quickly build a customized list of potential apartments based on neighborhood; rental rate; proximity to schools, shopping and transportation; amenities of each community; and several other factors. While there are many online resources available for finding an apartment, domestic and international renters should be wary of “unreliable” web sites, in which you cannot verify whether the person posting the apartment or home is really the landlord or management company, or is a scammer. “Criminals tell the apartment seeker that they need the security deposit and the first month’s rent to hold the apartment, and then they will be back in a few days to show them the apartment,” Sweet said. “They never show up, and the deposit is gone.”
Be prepared when visiting apartments
When touring potential apartments, people relocating from overseas should bring their photo ID – whether it is a passport or driver’s license – cash for money orders and “all the information you are going to need to secure an apartment”, according to Sweet. “If you are moving for a new job, bring an offer letter on company letterhead. This shows what your salary will be and will help speed the process up, since the apartment community will need to verify your income,” Sweet said. It is helpful to have your checkbook or cash for money order, because you may want to reserve the apartment before another renter gets it, especially in the current competitive market.
Get familiar with your area
In addition to helping you find the right apartment for you, the team at CORT Destination Services helps you to become familiar with your new area. They drive you to the nearest bank, grocery store, your children’s schools, and other places you need to go. They go with you to get a social security number, a driver’s license, a checking account and other services. “Anything they need help with getting them settled into their new market, we do,” Sweet said.
The online search tools at ApartmentSearch.com make finding your new home easy. From location, to affordability, to the things you find important, whatever your particular needs are, ApartmentSearch can help you find the home that is right for you. Visit www.ApartmentSearch.com to find your next apartment today.