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Old 12-06-2011, 04:20 PM
3,048 posts, read 6,561,503 times
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I have moved out of state a few times and needed a rental. What I did was did the research on the internet and calling before I left. That way I had a plan to view places both condos with a realtor and to look at apartments. I stayed in a hotel either extended stay or on hotwire/priceline you can get a good deal while I looked.
What you will notice is often the pictures you see on the internet of a place are not accurate of what is in person.
If you are not sure of the area in terms of safety you can call the local police and google the zip code for crime statistics. Then drive around the area in different directions to get a feel for yourself. Locate things like grocery,banks,any noise issues or problems that may be near the place.
Also if you work with a realtor know they are not supposed to tell you if the area is safe or not so it is important to do that on your own. Good luck
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:27 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,183 posts, read 7,033,872 times
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I have done both, and found actually, people on CD are very helpful, in scouting an area...write in the area that you are moving too, and the place you are thinking about renting, most will give you some pretty good information.
I've see a lot of helpful folks on CD also. Many people will post the address or name of the apartments they are looking at and get some local feed back. You could also try VRBO.com and rent a house for a week or two, if it's off season you may strike a good deal.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Moey91 View Post
We will be moving across the country soon and cannot afford the time off and travel expense to fly out there to find/secure an apartment or house beforehand. I don't care if I wind up in the worst part of town for 6 months to a year, that's the least of my worries. Has anyone ever rented an apartment sight unseen? Is that possible? How did you find the place and what was your experience? Thanks so much in advance!
I use apartmentrating.com. This is the best website for reviews about apartments in the area you are looking. The tenants give feedback and comments about the apartment, crime and area. They even rating the apartment percentage of like vs dislike. I moved into a place a year ago. I went to this website, typed in the zip code and picked the highest rated apartment in the area. Then I went to the actual apartment website to find out the details. I applied over the Internet and I am still here. It is the best apartment in the best area. I am extremely pleased. I will be moving to a new city soon and plan to do the same thing. Give it a try!
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:27 PM
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I know one thing, I saw a place on line, thought it looked good, was going to commit to it...but just decided to fly there for a week, to check everything out....interesting, the place that I thought was okay, was in the middle of the most major ghetto I have ever seen!!! It was a dump. They must have taken the pictures when the place was new.

So, if you move to a place, sight unseen...I would not sign a one year lease, that is for sure. See if you can do a month to month.

Last time I moved, I called my new supervisor, and asked him for some information, he told me a good place, and I called them and rented, worked out okay.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:53 AM
Status: "Be yourself. What's the alternative?" (set 1 day ago)
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Another idea is if the city is big enough or near a city on this CD forum is to ask posters from that city/state what the area is like or the street/general vicinity. People who've lived in an area for a long time know what's good/bad.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:31 AM
Location: Augusta, GA
155 posts, read 409,187 times
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Single lady not to be picky but it's Apartment Ratings :: The leading source of apartment reviews by renters for renters.. That is a very good site. I use it a lot. All the other advice on here is great!
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:55 PM
Location: Big Sky
553 posts, read 410,416 times
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I have rented sight unseen with at least 4 rentals. I had a vague idea of what they looked like from the usually single photo that I had either seen online or been sent. One was an apartment, the other three, houses. The photo was generally of the outside only. The apartment turned out to be the best of the four but the houses were really not that bad. A few had to have some elbow grease applied but were quite livable after and I've never been one to shy away from a little hard work. Especially considering that the potential landlords were renting to ME without ever having seen my face or looked me in the eyes to judge my character. I was grateful to them for giving me and my children a much needed chance when they could have been like the other 90% of realtors who refused to even consider renting to us without first meeting us.

I feel as long as you are careful and ask the right questions and know when it feels like a potential scam, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to rent from a distance.

Though I agree if all else fails, an extended stay hotel could be an option.. BUT .. you could find yourself and your belongings sitting in a new city with no where to go if you can't find a suitable rental even then. Just a thought.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:09 PM
Location: Seattle
1,507 posts, read 2,083,243 times
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You might look for short-term, furnished corporate rentals. People in the forum for the state you're moving to can tell you whether the location is good or not. These usually rent montly and are completely stocked with linens, kitchenware, etc...

I second the VRBO advice. We've rented vacation apartments before and it really is the next best thing to being at home. I make sure there's good feedback and that they take credit cards, and I've had some wonderful stays in unique places.

Alternately some of the real estate companies around here have leasing departments and handle rentals. An agent may be willing to do some legwork on your behalf. When we first moved to Seattle my husband's employer made an appointment for us with a rental finder who drove us around for an afternoon and showed us various complexes and neighbhorhoods. He found a gorgeous townhouse for us in exactly our price range in a great location and that's where we moved into 3 days after we got there. During that time we stayed at an extended stay hotel.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:24 PM
Location: Keystone State
1,766 posts, read 1,881,529 times
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If you don't have a choice and have to rent site unseen (not recommended) do as LauraC suggests...

I've rented site unseen and it was the most horrific experience!!

You can also check out apartment review websites or google places for reviews. Of course you'll have to weed through disgruntled past tenants and reviews that are too good too be true (most likely written by apartment staff)

Excellent suggestions!

Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Here's one tip about apartment hunting. If the picture of the place is the sign with the apartment complex name, cross it off your list. The sign area in apartment complexes is usually the most landscaped area. If they aren't showing you what the outside and the inside of the apartments look like, don't even consider it.

Subscribe to the local newspaper before your move and/or read it online. Know the street names around the complex you are considering and see if they show up in local crime stories.
Good luck to you!
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:46 AM
Location: Iowa
22 posts, read 54,610 times
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Like MrRational said, find temporary lodging first. One of the national motel chains here in town had monthly and weekly rates. It took three weeks to find a place that I liked. Granted the motel rates are still a bit more than you may want to pay. But it beats signing a lease that you end up regretting.
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