How do you go about finding that perfect place to live? Well, when we moved from one end of town to the other, we would take a weekend here or there to drive around the neighborhoods we liked. When moving to the same, or a nearby town, it is easy to know where to look, and take time to investigate – maybe even walk through a few places.
When you are looking to move 1200 miles across the country, those things are not so easy to do.
If you are looking to buy a home – there are a large number of realtors waiting to do everything they can to make that sale. You can give them a list of your desired features, location, schools, price range, etc, and they will go and do a good portion of the work for you – after all, they have a vested interest in making that sale.
If you are looking to start out renting, it can be a little more difficult. Since we are looking to start out renting, I figured I would take a moment to tell you the methods we are using to find our perfect place.
There are a number of websites that advertise apartments for rent. I have found a large number of apartments that are 3 and 4 bedroom / 2 bath starting at $900 and going way up from there. (Clearly 1 and 2 bedroom apartments would start out cheaper) Some of the websites are:
Most of these sites will allow you to drill down the list by city, number of rooms, and numerous other criteria. Most of them will allow you to fill out an application for rent right on the website.
If you are looking for a rental home – there are a rather large number of those available as well. Here are some of the links I have found helpful in my search:
- Real Estate Is Here
- Home Hunting Headquarters
- Warner Quinlan Property Management
- Wilson Management Group, Inc
- Leasing Orlando
- Watson Realty Corp
One of the more tricky parts of renting is finding a good location. If you’re looking at apartments, it is rather easy to get a feel for the surroundings, since there are typically a large number of photos advertising their grounds, layout, rooms, etc. When looking for a rental home, it is more difficult to get a good feel for the neighborhood. Since I can’t simply hop in the car and take a drive around, I have come to rely on a few tools, such as Google Earth and Google Street View.
With Google Earth, you can at least get a satellite point of view (straight down..) at the neighborhood. But, in quite a few cases, you can use the Street View function, where they have taken pictures going up and down many streets. This can allow you to see what it is like driving or walking around, and has been very useful.