Toronto Spotlight: Online Apartment Search Tips
Know what you want. It is important to have a clear outline of exactly what you want (and what you don’t want) when it comes to searching for an apartment. Make a list of things that are deal breakers for you, as well as things you might be willing to compromise. For example, do you need a parking spot? Can you live without en-suite laundry? Identifying your wants and needs will narrow down your search and save you time!
Make a budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend monthly. When looking at apartments, take note of the fact that some rent totals include utilities, and others do not. Setting your price point early on will narrow down your options and avoid disappointment if you find something great that you cannot afford.
Location, location, location. Location is an important factor that is often overlooked. Think about what you are looking for in a neighbourhood in which you want to live. What’s more important to you, nightlife or parks? Do you prefer to be close to public transportation? Anything from restaurants to playgrounds shapes a neighbourhood and finding the perfect fit for you is most important!
Find a place that suits YOU. Everyone has a different personality, different habits, and different lifestyles. A homebody may be very picky about the inside of the apartment, but someone who is out all the time might care more about the neighbourhood. Are you a student, and if so, will you be studying at your apartment? Figuring out what kind of lifestyle you have (or want) and finding an apartment to suit it can be difficult, but if you set out with that in mind you will find the best fit for you!
Get virtual. It’s not always possible for you to be in the city in which you are apartment hunting. Use Google Maps and the street view option to look at and around your potential building and neighbourhood! Many apartments now have virtual tours, which are very helpful.
Be smart and secure. The internet is a wonderful place, but beware of scams. If you find an amazing apartment at a very low price point, it may be too good to be true. Just be cautious before giving out personal information and bring someone with you to view the apartment if you can.