3 Steps to Finding a Short Term Apartment

Sometimes, life happens—you get an internship in another state, a distant relative passes away, or your job asks you to temporarily move to another city.

In cases like these, you’ll need somewhere to live for less than a year (typically the minimum amount of time on an apartment contract). You probably won’t be able to stay with a friend for that long, and with hotel rooms costing an average of $120 per day in 2015 (according to Statista.com), that isn’t a practical option, either.

Fortunately, in many cities across the country, it’s easy to find short term apartments, where you can live for just long enough to get back on your feet and on your way.

The following are three simple steps to finding a short term apartment quickly.

Begin Your Search Immediately

When you need a short term apartment, you probably won’t be able to move in the next day. To make sure an apartment is available to you when you’re ready to move in, begin looking for apartment options right away, as soon as you know you’re going to be moving somewhere.

This step is especially important if you’re not very familiar with the city you’re traveling to. Besides making sure an apartment is available in the first place, this will allow the landlord or rental agency to conduct any necessary background checks or other procedures before you arrive to the area.

Know What You Need

Before you start looking, make a list of everything you need in an apartment, as well as a list of things you would like to have, but which aren’t as important. You can use the following to get started:

  • Cost: what can you afford to pay for rent? Besides finding out what a possible choice charges per month, you should also check other apartments locally to make sure the price is reasonable for the area.

  • Transportation: do you need a parking space on the premises? Or do you need to be close to public transportation?

  • Location: this will most likely depend on why you’re moving into the area, whether for work, school, or family. If you need to commute to work or classes, how close by does your apartment need to be for it to work
    It’s worth noting that getting housing nearer the center of a city is usually more expensive than housing in the suburbs.

  • Size: probably not a major consideration when all you need is a place to live and sleep for a few months. Most short-term rentals are going to be one bedroom apartments.

  • Furnishings: furnished apartments cost more, but will you need one to live comfortably during your stay? You could also buy a few essentials when you arrive, such as a simple table, chairs, and a cot, but you’ll have to know what you will do with them when you’re ready to leave.

  • Roommates: you can get a better deal on living arrangements if you’re okay with sharing the space with a stranger, but this can come with its own drawbacks, especially if you aren’t an extrovert.

  • Living essentials: along with comparing an apartment’s location with that of your school or job, you should see where the nearest laundromat can be found, too (unless the apartment building features a shared laundry facility). You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll need a kitchen or not, or easy access to restaurants or a grocery store.

Keep Your Options Open

Housing may be easy or difficult to find, depending on the time and location you’re looking at. More popular cities are often more expensive to stay in during the summer and may have few options for rentals if you inquire too late in the year.

In college towns, on the other hand, summertime is the best time of year to find low-priced apartments, because landlords are typically eager to find anyone to rent from them while students are away between school years.

Wherever you’re going, be sure to start looking early, and be open to staying in a nearby town or suburb if the city doesn’t have much availability. By getting started early, keeping an open mind, and thinking through all the variables and your preferences beforehand, you’ll be ready to get settled in your short term apartment with minimal fuss.