Moving   Renting  

How to Land Your Dream Apartment in a Competitive City

Hunting for an apartment in a large, competitive city is difficult. However, you can find the best apartment for your needs with the right tips. Here are some that will help you to land your dream apartment in a competitive city like New York or San Francisco:

Asses Open Houses Properly

To stay ahead of the other potential renters, you need to do the following:

Watch out for scams – avoid listings with words such as ‘charming’ and ‘cozy’ because they usually describe old and small apartments that have out-of-date features. The word ‘converted’ is also used to refer to an additional room that is created after a wall is knocked down – which means that you will be getting more rooms but less space.

Ask questions – you need to ask the pertinent questions to get what you want. Ask the landlord about the neighborhood and former tenants. The last thing that you want is to end up in a bad apartment after you have paid the rent. Make sure that you have a list that you can use to compare different features.

Have a Pitch – have a speech ready for your potential landlord. If he or she asks why you want to move out of your current residence, you should have a good answer ready. This way, the landlord will see your confidence and feel comfortable enough to rent the apartment to you.

Know your rights – to know what a landlord can ask of you, familiarize yourself with your state and county renter’s rights. Using this information, you will be able to avoid rogue property managers who usually make unrealistic demands.

Automate everything – to discover the best listings, you should set up accounts on several sites then use a tracking system. This way, you will be in a position to record information for every apartment that catches your eye. This allows you to centralize the information of apartments such as those located just north of Downtown Dallas.

Prioritize Moving

In a competitive market, you need to jump on listings very quickly. Wait too long and you will miss out on the best apartments. To ensure that you can jump on listings, you need to clear your weekend and evening schedules while house hunting.

Moreover, you should respond to landlords in a timely manner because if you do not, others will. Enable email notifications to see emails from agents as soon as they get to your inbox. In a competitive renter’s market, negotiating on rent prices is almost impossible. You should be ready to sign the lease at a moment’s notice. Of course, do still read the lease and do not be afraid to turn your back on an apartment because the lease is unrealistic.

Be Prepared

In competitive markets, you need to work harder to find an apartment. You need to convince a property manager to rent to you even with a good credit score and do a mountain of paperwork. Here are some tips to consider:

Keep Your Paperwork Handy

You have to carry all the necessary paperwork to apply for apartments on the spot. In a competitive market, you need to be ready to apply at any time. Your paperwork should include:

  • Renter resume, which includes household income, pet information, occupation, and credit score.
  • Proof of income
  • If you have pets, you also need letters of recommendation from your previous landlords, proof of vaccination, as well as training certificates.
  • ID copy
  • A filled out application form
  • Credit report copy
  • Checkbook

Have a Contingency Plan

If you cannot get into your preferred neighborhood, you should consider nearby areas that are more accessible. You can make things a bit easier for yourself if you are willing to be flexible about the kind of apartment that you want. For instance, if you want to live with roommates but finding a larger  apartment has been an uphill struggle, you should consider living on your own.


You should speak to your friends to find out how they found apartments in competitive markets. Having the renter’s perspective is imperative when apartment hunting in competitive markets.


To find the perfect apartment when facing stiff competition, you should assess open houses properly, make moving your first priority, and be prepared to act fast.