Pro Tips on Apartment Hunting in San Francisco

Pro Tips on Apartment Hunting in San Francisco

Living in San Francisco is a dream come true for those who enjoy green spaces, cultural venues, and nightlife. However, apartment hunting can be challenging for those who have yet to try renting in San Francisco. 

Here’s how to find the apartment of your dreams.

Choose a neighborhood

San Francisco is made up of communities with unique personalities. Choose the perfect match for your lifestyle. Mission District, for one, is among SF’s oldest neighborhoods and is home to some of the city’s trendiest galleries and restaurants. The Castro is known for the gay scene, but it attracts its fair share of non-LGBT residents. Noe Valley is one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods and is an excellent choice for families.

Incorporating various living arrangements and lifestyles that make up the SF experience will also influence your neighborhood choice. Wherever you go, however, you can look forward to sunny weather and friendly neighbors.

Move quickly

Time is of the essence when looking for houses for rent in San Francisco since there’s a massive demand for housing, and apartments get occupied quickly. The summer months are the busiest time for real estate, and things slow down in the fall and winter – you might get a better deal then.

Since properties don’t stay on the market quickly, you should contact landlords immediately. However, reaching out to a leasing agent more than 45 days before your move-in date is not advisable. The apartment hunting and approval process only take a month or so, and you can get approved in as little as 24 hours, so be ready to move in when you start looking.

Beware of scams

Application fees can lend themselves to scams. Newcomers might sign a lease on an apartment only to find out that the space has already been rented to someone else weeks prior. It would help if you also looked out for bogus listings and landlords asking for money without arranging a visit to the place.

Avoid scams by looking for reputable apartment listing sites.

Ask if the apartment is pet-friendly

If you have pets or plan to adopt, you’ll need to verify if the apartment you want is pet-friendly. There are apartment buildings that prohibit the bringing of pets, while others have pet-friendly policies. When it comes to properties that don’t specify whether or not they’re pet-friendly, your best bet would be to approach private landlords, who are usually more willing to negotiate. Professionally-managed buildings tend to be stricter with their no-pet policies and can be nearly impossible to deal with.

Set a budget

San Francisco rentals are not cheap – you can expect to fork over $2,500 to $3,000 for a small apartment – so make sure you know what you can afford before looking at apartments. Create a monthly budget so you know how much you’ll spend on food, transport, entertainment, and other expenses.


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