Moving Out

Whether you’re interested in moving into an apartment located across the country, or even your first apartment just down the block; here are some tips to help keep the process going smoothly. ♡

Step One: Research

The first step to finding an apartment is researching what’s available in the designated area!

Some of my favorite websites to use for apartment searching are:

  1. Apartment List –  This one is my absolute favorite because it takes all the hard work out of the equation and lays everything out for you.
    • First, you fill out a brief survey of your apartment preferences, daily work commute, income status, and requested move-in date.
    • Next, you fill in your contact information. (Option available for Apartment List to send your contact information to your favorite apartments on your behalf. 🙌)
    • Finally, it lists all the apartments within the area that fit your preferences. Then, breaks them down into categories for you to choose from. ♥️
  2. Apartments.com – Another one of my favorites because of their exclusive “3D Virtual Tours” feature. This allows you to virtually see the entire apartment as if you were walking through in person.
  3. Apartment Guide – I really like this one. Mainly due to their extremely helpful apartment blogs on their website. Not to mention, their site is very simple to navigate and sort through.
  4. Trulia, Zillow  – These two are very similar in aesthetics and functionality. I like them particularly because they list apartments that are being rented out by private homeowners, which are typically not advertised elsewhere.

When it comes to apartment searching, I like to use as many sites as I can to give me more insight on a particular place.

Also, when you find a place you like, check out that specific apartment’s designated website. It usually offers the most accurate and up-to-date information, such as availability.

Step Two: Contact Leasing Office

Contacting the apartment’s leasing office is crucial in making sure the place is right for you. Speaking with someone also gives you a great first impression of their customer service.

{Note: If you’re moving from out-of-state, click here for key notes to ask the leasing office, before you pack!}

Here are some questions that are recommended to ask them while shopping around:

  • Availability:
    • Are there any (desired bedrooms) available?
    • If not, when will the next one be available?
    • If so, how many square feet is the (desired bedrooms) apartment?
  • Fees:
    • What are all the fees associated with applying?
      • Application Fee?
      • Admin Fee?
      • Cleaning Fee?
      • Security Deposit?
    • What are your termination fees/policies?
      • This is important to know before signing your lease just in case something unexpected occurs. You don’t want to be unreasonably stuck in your lease agreement.
  • Utilities:
    • What utilities are included in the rent?
    • If none are included:
      • Are they charged equally among tenants?
      • Are they charged based on usage?
  • Pets:
    • Are pets allowed in the complex?
    • If yes:
      • Pet Fee?
      • Pet Deposit?
      • Monthly Pet Rent?
      • Breed Restrictions?
      • Size Restrictions?
  • Apartment Amenities:
    • What’s included in the apartment?
      • Dishwasher?
      • Microwave?
      • Washer/Dryer In-Unit?
      • Carpet/Hardwood Floor?
  • Community Amenities:
    • What’s included in the community?
      • Is the community gated?
      • Are there laundry facilities on site?
        • (If not available in apartment)
      • Is there assigned parking?
  • Office Hours:
    • Are they open outside your usual work hours?

Most of this information can be found online, however, it’s always great to ask anyways just in case that information has changed. Availability and fees are the most important to watch out for.

Step Three: Reviews

Once you’ve gathered all the general information for an apartment, check out the reviews.

In all honesty, I’m notoriously guilty for ignoring reviews. However, when it comes to the place you’re going to live for the next year, reviews might actually save you a lot of stress.

Be aware: There are going to be places that may seem absolutely perfect…until you read the reviews and your heart shatters to pieces 💔. But trust me, this is for the best. You don’t want to end up stuck in a place you’re going to be miserable in; looks can be deceiving.

Disclosure: Not all the time are the reviews accurate. Sometimes, reviews are written by people that got upset over a misunderstanding and dishonestly expressed it over the reviews. To avoid this, try checking reviews through every possible outlet you can find.

Some of my go-to apartment review sites are:

  1. Google Reviews –
    • Consistently updated with new reviews
    • Usually accurate
  2. Apartment Ratings
    • Constructed specifically for the purpose of reviewing apartments
    • Usually accurate
    • Detailed information
  3. Yelp –
    • Also constructed specifically for reviews
    • Usually updated with new reviews
  4. Apartment Search Engines
    • More often than not, the websites you used ☝️ up there also have a review section for each apartment.
    • This is usually my last resort due to the fact that they’re not always accurate.
    • They’re always not always consistent, but there’s a chance they are.

When looking at reviews, you want to watch out for the overall rating of the place. Of course, if there are more negative reviews than there are positive, you probably don’t want to live there.

Also, watch out for multiple reviews stating the same problem. If more than a few people are encountering the same issue, you may want to look elsewhere.

Lastly, check to see if the apartment complex has recently gone under new management, and if the current management is responsive to all reviews. Checking reviews that have been submitted within the last couple of months are usually insightful.

Step Four: Apartment Walk-Through

The last step to finding the place for you is making an appointment to tour the apartment!

You definitely don’t want to skip out on this part because it gives the best indication of the neighborhood, your potential neighbors, the leasing office employees, and of course, the apartment itself.

I’d recommend choosing at least five different places to tour before you settle for “the one”. You don’t want to get your hopes up on only one apartment, get disappointed, and end up having to start the whole process over 😞.

{If you’re moving from out-of-state, consider taking a short vacation from work and touring the apartments in person. If you can’t, definitely check out Apartments.com, to see if your apartment has a 3D Virtual Tour you can view instead.}


Overall, the searching portion of the apartment process is usually the easiest part. So don’t be afraid to take your time here and really break down what you’re looking for in a home.

Moving out is honestly one of the most rewarding experiences you can encounter as an adult; don’t sell yourself short!

Also, stay tuned for my upcoming blog: Apartment Tips: Moving In

For eternity and a day, reach out if you have questions, suggestions, or any topics you may want to see in the future! ♥️

– Kat B.

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