How Far in Advance Should I Look for an Apartment?

How Far in Advance Should I Look for an Apartment?

Apartment hunting can be time-consuming. Maybe your lease is up and you are looking for somewhere with new amenities, or it’s your first place and you are ready to have a space all to yourself. Either way, you know an apartment won’t simply fall into your lap, and you need to be actively looking. 

Listings for apartments are available online almost anywhere you look, making searching for a new place a breeze. You should also have a checklist of must-haves, so you can begin to narrow down your search. But how far in advance should you start? Here are some tips to help you decide.

Identify Your Move-in Date

One of the most important components in deciding when to start looking for an apartment is when you want (or need) to move in. For those with an existing lease, you might want to pick a timeline that lines up with when your current lease runs out. For those who have a more flexible move-in date, you should consider setting a goal move-in date sometime in the near future. Ensure you factor in the time it might take to move, and consider booking a day off work if you need it.

When to Start Looking

In general, the best times to start looking for a new place are within one to two months in advance of your move-in date. This is when landlords start to list for upcoming availability, and it ensures that you have enough time to weigh a variety of options available to you. If a property is listed as available now, the landlord is likely ready to rent immediately, which might work better for someone who has 30 days or less to find an apartment. Ensure you schedule a virtual tour or in-person walk-through as soon as possible so you can get a better idea of whether it’s the right fit for you.

Apply to More than One Apartment

After viewing places online and touring them, you have likely come across some strong contenders. Take the opportunity to apply to multiple properties so you can ensure you are keeping your options open while also recognizing that not every place will be available. Although finding the right place might seem easy, the application process can bog you down. Applying earlier rather than later also ensures you don’t cut it too close to your move-out date and have to make a tough decision to find somewhere you don’t want to stay.

Read Through the Lease Agreement

Before you officially decide on a new apartment, you should definitely take the time to read over the lease agreement. This allows you to know the terms and conditions, and what is asked of you. You might come across some vague wording or even an obscure term relating to guests, laundry, parking, or maintenance requests that you want to discuss with your landlord to ensure this is the right place for you. Never sign this agreement if you aren’t okay with its terms or conditions.

Looking for a new apartment is as exciting as it is exhausting. At CLV Group, we constantly keep an up-to-date list of our available units for apartment hunters in Ontario, B.C., and Quebec. To learn more about our listings or to book a tour, please contact us. We’re happy to help!


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