OMG, I need an apartment in SF! What do I do?!
Save up your psychic energy and make friends with couches. While the process is tough, there are preparations you can take to get into a place in San Francisco without spending months looking for your new home.
- Tell everyone you know you are looking for a place. In order to get the drop on a rental before it hits the market you need to have friends in high places, or at least someone who knows someone who is moving.
- Recon. If you are new to the area, see as many places as you can in a bunch of different neighborhoods early in your search. Even if you think it isn’t right for you, understanding what you can get for certain amenities and neighborhoods will help you ultimately know when you have found the right place.
- Must-have amenities. Make a list of what you want in an apartment and then cut that down to your top three. If being near public transportation is your top amenity choice because you don’t have a car, don’t sacrifice that. If you have to spend a couple of minutes more washing your dishes because your place doesn’t have a dishwasher, then you may just have to suck it up.
- Come ready to rent. That means having a renter’s portfolio with your credit report, renter’s history, pay stubs, references, and a check.
- Act fast. Once you are familiar enough what you can get for your money, do not hesitate if you find a place you like. If you balk for a moment, someone else’s application will be submitted before yours and the apartment gone before you know what happened.
Best of luck in your apartment search! With some perseverance and dedication you will find a place right for you in the Bay Area. If you have recently moved or in the process of apartment hunting, tell us your tale in the comments section.