How to Find an Apartment on a Budget


There are a number of websites and phone apps that will help you find an apartment. However, it’s important to know your own financial situation and budget before starting your search.

Know whether you want to use a broker or agent who will charge a fee once you’ve secured an apartment. And remember to have money on hand for broker fees and the security deposit.

1. Know Your Budget

First and foremost, know how much you can afford to spend on rent. This can seem complicated, especially if you’re new to budgeting, but it can be a very simple process: calculate your monthly income and factor in expenses like utilities, renter’s insurance, food and more.

It’s also important to consider any extra costs associated with moving (deposit, utility set up costs, move-in fees, etc.) and save up accordingly. If you can, try to find a roommate and split costs with someone else to make the move less expensive. This will help you stay within your budget while still getting a great apartment. This can be a great option for people looking to move into their first apartment. Especially in competitive rental markets, it can be difficult to find an affordable apartment.

2. Know Your Needs

As you begin your search, take the time to think about what you’re looking for in an apartment. This can help narrow down the choices and make your decision easier.

For example, you might want to consider the neighborhood’s safety ratings, proximity to nearby hotspots, and overall vibe before you decide. Or maybe you’re interested in a certain floor plan or amenities like an in-unit washer and dryer or an outdoor space to host friends.

If you’re a first-time renter, it’s also wise to ask about credit requirements and whether or not your landlord requires a background check and credit score. Additionally, it can be helpful to have all your paperwork together before you begin, including a photo ID, pay stubs, and information for references or a guarantor (if necessary). It can speed up the application process, click over here.

3. Know Your Neighbors

Know Your Neighbors

A big part of what makes a neighborhood is the people who live in it. Knowing your neighbors goes a long way when something important – or tragic – happens, and it’s always nice to have someone close by you can call on in an emergency.

To meet your new neighbors, consider going to community events like farmers’ markets and other gatherings. Also, don’t be afraid to go door-to-door and introduce yourself to your potential neighbors. This is a great opportunity to ask them questions about the area and learn about their experiences. If they’re friendly, they might even offer to help you move in! The key is to be genuine and authentic. That way, you’ll start forming relationships naturally. Then, you’ll know your neighbors — and they’ll know you.

4. Start Early

The best time to start looking for an apartment is 1-2 months before your current lease expires. This will give you enough time to tour multiple apartments, find a landlord with whom you’re comfortable and make a decision. It also helps you avoid getting swayed by competitiveness or the temptation to spend more than your budget allows.

If possible, try to get your financial documents in order ahead of time to speed up the process. That means preparing a credit agency report, asking your former landlords for letters of reference and, if applicable, getting co-workers and supervisors to write references as well. You should also understand the terms of your current lease and how much it will cost to break your contract early. This will allow you to budget accordingly.

5. Use Localize

As you apartment search, make a list of your “must-haves.” These might include things like a doorman building, an eat-in kitchen or enough natural light. You can use this list as a guide when you visit apartments. You may find that an apartment doesn’t have all your must-haves but it has other qualities that might make up for it.

Localize is a new service that takes apartment searching to the next level. It reveals hidden information about listings that other sites don’t tell you. These insights could be as simple as a rat infestation or as detailed as noise complaints and the price that similar apartments in the area have sold for.


The apartment rental market has changed, and complexes need to adapt their marketing strategies to stay competitive. One way to do this is by creating informative and helpful content that reaches potential tenants at every stage of their apartment search.