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Apartment Hunting Timeline: When Is A Good Time To Start?

Eager to start searching for your new apartment? If you’re itching to move, you might want to get a head start on apartment hunting. But how soon is too soon when it comes to looking for suites?

We’re going to cover how to plan your timeline and what you need to consider before you start searching for an apartment:

Choosing a Date

When do you plan to move out? This is perhaps the most crucial question to ask yourself. If you’re bound to a lease, the answer is easy: You’ll need a new place before the renewal date. But how far in advance should you start looking?

  • If you start apartment hunting too early, the suites you like may not be available by the time you want to rent them.
  • If you start too late, you may not find something in time for your move-out date; you’ll have to settle for something less-than-perfect.

So, when’s the perfect time to start your search? The earliest we suggest is 3 months. 1-2 months is the sweet spot in the middle, while 2 weeks is cutting it a little close. 

Selecting a Season

If you aren’t bound to a lease or deadline, you have a lot more freedom. You can even choose which season you want to move in—each one has pros and cons.

During the warmer months, it’s much easier to move your belongings into a new apartment. But you’ll be competing with all the other tenants who had the same idea. This means that you’ll find fewer available properties in the summer, and it may be tougher to book moving services. Prices tend to be higher because of the higher demand.

In the winter, it’s more of a hassle to move in the cold and ice. That being said, prices are lower, and more apartments are usually available. 

Booking Services

Need a hand with your move? A month or two before the big day, we suggest that you arrange any services you need. For example:

  • A moving truck. If you’re moving large furniture pieces (things like a bed frame, couch, or dresser), you’ll need to call ahead.
  • Cleaning service. Once you’ve moved out of your former apartment, you’ll leave quite a bit of dust and debris behind. Schedule a move-out clean if you need help with that. 
  • A few friends to help you out. Moving is a lot easier when you have some helping hands. 

Prioritizing Amenities

Once you start searching, you might be overwhelmed by all your options. Narrow your search by separating what you need from what you want.

Here’s an example:

If you don’t have a car, you might need a place that’s close to your workplace or school.

You want one that’s near your favourite restaurant—but that’s less important.

We suggest writing out your “needs” and “wants” in two columns. When you’ve got it down on paper, it’s easier to keep your priorities in mind while you search. 

Preparing Your Application

You’ve found the perfect apartment to call home. Now, it’s time to submit your application and hope that it’ll be accepted.

We suggest getting your documents in order before you start apartment hunting. That way, you’ll be ready to apply the moment you find your dream suite. 

A few documents you’ll need include:

  • Contact information & identification 
  • Present address 
  • Employment information (proof of income)

Packing Up

If you’re gearing up for moving day, you might be equal parts excited and nervous. Now that your search is over, it’s time to pack up. But how soon is too soon to start packing?

If you start packing boxes 30 days before you move, you’ll have plenty of time to get organized. Be sure to leave your essentials unpacked until the last day. You don’t want to put away your favourite pair of jeans, then spend an hour tearing apart boxes to find them.

We’ll leave you with this moving pro-tip: Label your boxes. All of them. You’ll think you’ll recognize them later—you won’t.

Your Timeline

We’ve given you a general review of everything you need to do before the big day. For reference, we’re going to put it all together in this table. Here’s the ultimate apartment hunting time:

  • 60-90 days before the move. Give notice to your current landlord that you plan to move once the lease is up. Decide on your budget, your move-out date, and what you need in a new apartment. Assemble the documents you’ll require for your application. Then, begin searching for an apartment. Apply once you find the one you want!
  • 30 days before the move. Schedule a moving truck and/or cleaning service for moving day. If needed, ask your friends or family to help you out with the move. Start packing the items you don’t need every day.
  • Moving day. Pack up the last of your belongings and start your life in your new apartment.

Finding a Property Manager

Are you looking for apartments in Winnipeg? At Globe Property Management, our Find an Apartment tool makes it easy to discover exactly what you’re looking for. Filter results by desired possession date to see what’s available when you’re ready to move. Once you find the perfect apartment, give us a call!

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