The owner-occupation rate in Long Beach is 25.4 percent lower than the national average. Renters occupy most of the properties in Long Beach.
This is great news for you; with such a thriving rental market, Long Beach has tons of housing options.
But, with all those options, how do you narrow down your choices? You have to know what you want, where you want to live, and how to get the lease. Finding the perfect apartment is no cake walk.
Luckily, the following tips list makes it easier. Keep reading for six important tips on how to find a good apartment in Long Beach, CA.
1. Write Down Your Must-haves
Start your apartment search process by deciding what you want. You need to make this a concrete list with things you must have, and things that are negotiable.
For example, parking might be a must-have if you drive to work every day. Or, you may need a certain number of bedrooms.
Of course, you don’t want to be too picky. But knowing what you want will guide your search. Here are some apartment features you can decide to prioritize or not:
- Closets and storage space
- Walking distance to amenities
Once you know what your must-haves are, stick to them. Don’t settle for an apartment because you want to move sooner than later. Long Beach has so many apartments for rent; you’ll find the perfect unit eventually.
2. Research Neighborhoods
What’s your budget for your new apartment? This is a deciding factor when choosing the neighborhood to live in. Long Beach has a range of average rent costs across the city.
The most expensive neighborhoods are also some of the nicest. Alamitos Beach, East Village, and Terminal Island are all over $2000 per month.
The cheapest neighborhoods in Long Beach are Addams, Cherry Manor, and College Square.
You need to research more than the cost of living in each neighborhood. If you have children, you want to choose an area with good schools. If you value spending time outside, choose neighborhoods that are near the beach.
The crime rate in Long Beach is low overall. But some neighborhoods are safer than others. Do your research on different neighborhoods so you know where to search for an apartment.
3. Ask the Right Questions at Viewings
Once you’ve reached out to a few landlords that have vacancies in their buildings, plan your viewing. What questions are you going to ask? What things do you need to learn about the unit in this viewing?
Here are some guiding questions to start with:
- What is the cost of utilities each month? Are they included in the rent?
- Is renter’s insurance required?
- How are repairs and maintenance duties handled?
- Are there any renovation plans coming up?
You should also ask about the demographics of the other tenants. Ask about the ages of other tenants and what they do for work. If you value a quiet and peaceful home, living next to people who like to party a lot isn’t ideal.
If you get a chance, talk to one of the other tenants. Ask them how they like living there.
You should also ask about the prevalence of bed bugs and rodents. These are things the landlord likely won’t disclose.
4. Take Lots of Notes
Bring a notebook or digital note-taking device to your apartment viewing. Take pictures of every room, the floors, and ceiling. If there’s any visible damage, take a picture.
Taking notes will help you remember each apartment you see and compare them. It’s easy to forget every detail the landlord tells you about the unit.
As you take the tour, note things that might be missing. Check that the windows all have screens if they’re supposed to. Open the fridge and see if all drawers and barriers are there.
If the apartment is missing some things, it’s not a huge deal. But, you want picture proof that those things weren’t there before you moved in.
5. Look Out for Red Flags
Before you reach out to set up a viewing, keep an eye out for red flags. Online listings are home to many scammers all over the world.
For one, if the listing seems too good to be true, it probably is. The price should reflect the quality of the unit and the location. If a posting has a price way below the average rent in that area, it’s likely a scam.
Second, if the landlord doesn’t vet your financial stability, that’s a red flag. They should ask to see a credit report and employment letter. If they don’t ask you, they’re not asking your potential neighbors either.
If the landlord is pressuring you to sign the lease, that’s also red flag. Units that are amazing won’t stay vacant for long. Pressuring you to sign it quickly means they’re desperate and something’s wrong.
6. Hire a Real Estate Agent
You can avoid scams and uncomfortable situations by hiring a real estate agent. Agents aren’t only for people looking to buy a house. Renters can make use of agents as well.
For renters, real estate agents earn money when you sign the lease. The property owner pays them to match renters with their unit. You don’t usually have to pay a thing.
Agents often have relationships with the best apartment buildings in the city. Hiring them allows you to skip a lot of the apartment hunting process.
Still Wondering How to Find a Good Apartment?
Your perfect apartment is waiting for you in Long Beach, you just have to find it! Use the tips above on how to find a good apartment that’s right for you.
The Grand Terrace Apartment Homes have the nicest apartment units in all Long Beach. Not only is it a gated community, but it’s located near the best amenities in the city.
If you’re interested in viewing these gorgeous apartment units, contact us to schedule a tour.