Apartment Hunting: Tips to Find Out-of-State Apartments

Apartment Hunting: Tips to Find Out-of-State Apartments

It can be tough to find suitable jobs in your city

If it’s still early in your career, it can be tough to find suitable jobs in your city or town of choice. In fact, you may have to move out of your state for a new position to help boost your resume.

Apart from leaving behind friends and family, the toughest part of this process can be finding a place to live in a new state. Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when looking for an out-of-state apartment.

1. Know Your Priorities

This holds true when looking for an apartment in any city or state, but a good first step is to come up with a list of priorities or must-haves for your new apartment. This could include the price, the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms and whether or not the apartment offers secure indoor parking.

One of your most important priorities should be the terms of the lease — especially the length. If possible, try to negotiate for a shorter lease so your options open back up quickly when you move to your new state.

2. Get an Early Start

When looking for an out-of-state apartment, the earlier you can begin your search, the better. There’s no such thing as starting an apartment search too early, but starting too late is definitely a thing.

It's ideal to start your search one to three months before you plan to make the move. Make a list of five or six apartments that look promising and, if possible, take a scouting trip to tour each one before you make a final decision.

3. Scour Property Management Sites

One often-overlooked strategy in searching for apartments is looking at sites run by property management companies. These companies often own more than one property, so it's a good way to help you find more options.

Also, when looking for apartments in a new state, you may come across a property that's just out of your price range. A visit to the property management company's website may offer some similar locations at friendlier prices.

Also, if you like the vibe of a property manager through emails or phone calls, it's worth looking at other properties they maintain.

4. Research Local Neighborhoods

One of the biggest challenges in moving to a new state is knowing the best neighborhoods to live in. If you've never visited your new city or state, it's tough to tell if a neighborhood is safe or offers the type of scene you're looking for.

Luckily, there are many ways to research individual cities and even specific neighborhoods in those cities. Websites such as Yelp or Foursquare can give you a good idea of neighborhoods from locals, and others such as StreetAdvisor offer detailed breakdowns of neighborhoods across the country.

5. Don't Expect Perfection

When moving out-of-state — especially if you don't have a chance to visit your new apartment before you move — it's best to have an open mind about it going in. Setting your expectations too high can lead to disappointment, while going in with a more realistic attitude can lead to a pleasant surprise.

This is where negotiating for a shorter lease can be key. If you don't end up liking your apartment or neighborhood, but only signed a three- or six-month lease, you can start searching for a new apartment almost immediately.

Conversely, if you sign a short lease but do happen to like your new place and neighborhood, it's very easy to extend your lease for a year or even longer. Property owners love tenants who are able to make long-term commitments.

Searching for an out-of-state apartment is a challenge, but these five tips are good places to start. It may be somewhat nerve-wracking, but it can also be very exciting — so don't be afraid to brace yourself and dive into your search.

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Competition Isn’t Real, So Stop Worrying About What You Think Is Your 'Competition'

When you stop worrying about being better than "your competition," you will succeed.


"What are your plans for after College?" is the one question every college student wishes they could never hear again. After hearing those seven short words, the body of the college student is flooded with waves of irritation, paranoia, and worry.

When you set all your triggered thoughts and anxieties aside and manage to hurl out an answer, you're probably told "That's nice, but how are you going to get a job? That field is so competitive." At this point, you are probably ready to excuse yourself from the conversation for a timely breakdown.

Throughout high school, conversations at family gatherings and holiday parties typically went through this vicious cycle.

A naive junior in high school who was quick to say his major was going to be Musical Theater in college was always infuriated by the response "You'll never find work. That field is so competitive."

After a while, I started to believe it and decided to look elsewhere for a career path. I considered nursing, to where I was told how competitive college nursing programs are, and how little students they accept. I figured I wouldn't stand a chance, so I kept looking.

I circled back to the theater and was reminded by everybody how rigorous the Musical Theater college audition process was, and how they only accept a handful of kids. Surely there were other students more capable than me, and I wasn't going to let the ridiculously annoying boastful comments of theater kids ruin my search for my path in life.

My Dad always reminds me how much money I could make pursuing business, but working a 9-5 desk job dealing with hot-headed businessmen being choked by the tightness of their neckties never appealed me.

I felt fatigued like I was being told that I need to pursue what other people want me to, instead of following my dreams.

At this time I was a senior in High School, and my CommonApp was filled with prospective schools that I might attend, but the "intended major" section part of each application wasn't filled.

The loud "you can't" and "you'll NEVER get work" boomed in my ear until I was convinced I couldn't follow my dreams of becoming an actor, so I caved and intended to pursue journalism. I was told by all my teachers I was a gifted writer, so I figured it would be worth a shot.

"You can always do theater on the side," is what I heard. Now in college pursuing journalism, a field I was told: "will be one I can actually get a job in," some professors tell me after graduation, I will be doing journalism "on the side" because of how "competitive" the field is.

All occupational fields are competitive, whether that be communications, business, nursing, etc. Here is one thing that I learned through this experience and many others…

You have no competition.

In the eyes of someone who is hiring for a job, they are going to pick whoever's work they feel best fits the position. This isn't the product of a cutthroat field, it's solely the product of your work fitting the part.

You can't mash two puzzle pieces together because you THINK it's what fits, whatever is meant for you will come to you. Your puzzle pieces will fit together naturally.

In the end, it will come together to form a beautiful picture.

As for me, I decided to tune out the comments about competitive fields. What used to consume me cannot phase me anymore.

I still intend to pursue my dreams of becoming a performer, and at every audition I will remind myself that it is not the field that is competitive, there is no competition. The performer sitting next to me at an open call is not my competition, but my inspiration to work hard to find the job that will best fit me.

In the words of Cinderella, "there is one thing, they can't order me to stop dreaming."

The reporter who grabs every single story shouldn't turn me into someone who viciously grabs every story they can to build their portfolio, it should make me look for stories I WANT to tell that will progress me as a writer. After all, I am still learning.

I learned that I shouldn't belittle other people that are deemed "my competition" to disorient them, giving me a better chance at getting a job. Kindness will be more rewarding than contributing to the vicious dog-eat-dog world.

"I'm not in competition with anyone except who I used to be, and everything I do now is just an evolved version of something I've done before" -Kali Uchis

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