We have already covered this topic earlier in one of our articles. So, what’s the deal? Why would we highlight it again? The thing is that we’re not going to tell you how to save up money and find an affordable apartment. If you chose to study and live in San Francisco, you knew what you were doing. San Francisco is the most expensive American city to rent a place in, and it’s a general truth, not some hidden fact.
But the most unexpected SF pattern is that whichever apartment you want to rent, be it a luxurious house with a pool for $5000 or a small room in the outskirts for $700, you have to spend weeks searching, walking and communicating before you are able to land a deal (unless you have money to hire a broker, of course). Yeah, that’s the story – the demand is very high, and if you want to hit not a jackpot but at least a pot, you’ll need our apartment search San Francisco tips.
1. Prepare the Paperwork
Yes, you actually need to prepare all the docs that will make you look like a legit citizen who is able to pay the rent regularly. This package can include:
Your credit report;
ID and its copy;
Filled in application form;
A proof of being accepted to the university;
Your GPA … just kidding J
If you already have a renter’s insurance on hands, that’s a bonus. If you are a prodigy and already have a job, bring the income verification. Just stuff this package with everything you think can help you strike a deal, and make many copies to apply for as many apartments as you can.
2. Go the Old-School Way
Rave through some neighbourhoods looking for “For Rent” signs. Everybody nowadays do their search on the Internet first, and that’s exactly what you can use to your advantage. People who seek tenants in such a way are likely older citizens, not on friendly terms with computers. By the way, they may have no idea what the average rent is, so be on the lookout for great prospects in reducing the rent price.
Some people say that it’s also possible to spot a bargain in newspaper listings. You can try that as well.
3. Use Craigslist and Don’t Bother with Other Platforms
Craigslist is the biggest portal of renting offers. The ones you find on other websites are 99% duplicated from CL. By surfing through the apartments on dozens of other platforms you’ll just waist precious time.
4. Turn on the IFTTT Craigslist Channel
If you still don’t know what IFTTT (If This, Then That) is, it’s a good occasion to find out. It’s a free web service that lets you set up an alert on something you need. It cooperates with a number of services, and, fortunately, Craigslist is one of them. This feature will help you to react to new listings immediately and be ahead of everyone else.
5. Be Ahead of Everyone Else
If you want to rent an apartment in San Francisco, you have to be literally faster than everyone. If you don’t react on time, there will always be 30+ people to see the open place ahead of you. Be the first to schedule the meeting with a landlord, be the first to bring all the docs at once, be the first to have money on you to pay the first instalment onsite.
Only following these based on real-life stories tips will you manage to rent an apartment in San Francisco. Otherwise, you can rely on luck or on a broker. It’s up to you to choose.
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