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How-To: Snag Yourself an Apartment

Now that you know how to find an apartment on Craigslist, I'd like to give you some tips on how to snag the apartment you want. If you found a listing you like in the newspaper or on a sign, no need to put on the earmuffs: these tips apply to you, too.

  • First of all, if you see a listing that's even of vague interest to you, email or call the contact with all of your information, and do it fast. Some digs will go within a couple hours or a day.
  • You should have all of your credentials and references ready to show a potential landlord in case something pops up.

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  • When you've made an appointment to see an apartment, get there early! If you're first, the landlord will show it to you first, and if you like the place (assuming you have good credit), it's yours. If you come after it's been shown, you may lose out.
  • People can be flaky, and there are a lot of scams on Craigslist, so don't hold out for anything thinking you've found "the one." Keep sending out emails and visiting apartments until you've signed a lease.
  • On that note, don't be a flake yourself. If you've said you're going to visit an apartment, go! And, come prepared with anything the landlord has asked for, in addition to extra credentials and references. Also very important, bring a checkbook when you visit an apartment. Be prepared to put a deposit down, or even the first/last months' rent (if you want it) when you visit the place: it's pretty standard to ask for either of them.
  • Also, take photos. You'll be looking at a lot of apartments, and you'll want something to look back at if you end up deciding between places.
  • Finally, keep at it. Don't get bummed or frustrated. Don't panic if you need to leave work early. Apartment hunting is practically a rite of passage, and your bosses will understand.


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