When we relocated to California almost two months ago, we had to find an apartment right away. However, we were in the process of selling our condo in Chicago, and with a new baby, we had no time in the six weeks between my husband accepting his job offer and our actual move date to get out west and apartment hunt. That meant choosing a new place to live, sight unseen.
It was a little stressful, for a Type-A person like me. What if the place we found was horrible and we would be locked into a lease? Yet, we needed a place to live… and fast. So, I did everything I could to be logical and thoughtful about the process, even though I wouldn’t be able to inspect it in person.
1) Determine the length of time we would live in this apartment. We didn’t know how long it would take to sell our home, but we also didn’t want to commit to a long lease in a temporary apartment. Also, psychologically, knowing this was temporary eased my fears a bit.
2) Survey my husband’s future co-workers. We got a lot of recommendations for apartments from the human resources department at his new company, including places other people who had recently relocated had lived. This meant a lot to me, since it acted as a kind of reference for some of the complexes we were considering.
3) Search the Web. I did some serious Internet stalking of the potential apartments we found. I analyzed ads, their websites, maps, neighborhood groups, Yelp, etc. Seeing more positive feedback from renters and viewing photos helped make up my mind.
4) Focus on the positive. The process of renting the apartment from afar was actually pretty easy to do and convenient because it was all done via email or phone. We saved time, because we didn’t have to devote any weekends to house hunting. Finally, we were going to be saving money (once our house sale closed) because the apartment rent was significantly cheaper than our mortgage.
All in all, it ended up being great. Our current, albeit temporary, home is in a nice, convenient part of town. It is clean, freshly painted, and laid-out just as expected when we moved in. Can’t complain!