In the age where we cannot just attend open houses along with other prospective buyers, it is not exactly a walk in the park to look for a new place to live in. Having to move at a time like this may sound like a definite no, but there are actually some people who decided to move even before the pandemic came and locked us all in and kept away from each other.
No one really knows when we will be able to go back to the way things used to. In this case, we have no idea when we can do the old house and apartment hunting again. Do we have to rely on virtual tours and online listing photos for the rest of our lives?
When you are in the middle of an apartment hunt or about to dive into one, keep these useful tips inside your pocket—we want you to survive the pandemic along with finding a new place to dwell in.
1. Figure out if moving is your only option
A health emergency as serious as the coronavirus pandemic may have made you rethink most of your plans. Such as vacation plans, getting a tattoo, or quitting your job to set out on a new path. The uncertainties it brought along made us all reevaluate everything we thought we have decided on already. This may include your plans on making changes in your living conditions.
You may think you need to move because your lease is nearing its end, and you have been waiting for it to happen. You planned it all without knowing a highly contagious virus would come in and change everything.
Since COVID-19 is here, why not consider taking up a monthly lease option with your landlord? You will have a higher chance of getting that request approved because if they disagree, you will have no choice but to find a new place. This will cause them a loss when it comes to income.
Moreover, your landlord may not be on-board with allowing a new tenant to move in, given the current health emergency. Not only would they risk themselves, but they would also have to spend money on getting maintenance services for the new tenant’s move-in.
If you think about it really hard, maybe you can delay finding a new apartment to live in. Say, if your landlord agrees to your proposed terms, you would have more wiggle room—you would have a place to temporarily stay in while you look for a new one without a sense of urgency guiding your decisions.
2. Find a place that suits your needs
Now that you have decided that moving out is the only option, you are out there—virtually—looking for a new apartment. You are scrolling through various rental sites looking for a place you can not only afford but also be comfortable in.
If you are moving alone, it would be good to opt for a studio unit. You will have less space to clean, and everything will be within reach. If you want to sleep in a separate space, opt for a single-bedroom apartment with paid utilities, if possible.
3. Opt for virtual tours
If you have weighed your options and already received disapproval on changing lease terms from your current landlord, maybe it really is time to move out and move on. In a time like this, the importance of digital innovations is even more highlighted because they keep us connected and are the best options to provide even just a bit of normalcy. If you already got used to the ropes of working from home—the endless video meetings and calls—you already know that your house hunting would be a similar experience.
Today, real estate agents and realtors alike rely on the power of virtual reality to give house tours to prospective buyers or tenants. There are also listing photos taken with quality cameras to give the viewer the most accurate view of the place as possible digitally.
When a virus such as COVID-19 is out there, the last thing you want to do is be in a confined space with a stranger whose whereabouts are unknown to you. You would also want to avoid shaking hands with them. To make sure you do not have to be all awkward with people giving house tours, opt for a virtual one. It would mean less awkward conversations, no touching, and you will be following virus mandates.
With a new place, you would want to tailor it based on what you need: a lower cost, a better space, an ideal location, or nicer neighbors.