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Looking for a Home? Here's How to Do an Apartment Search During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted our normal way of living. Some nations are on an entire lockdown and some are on enhanced national quarantine. Wherever that may be in the world, one thing is common - there are no crowd gatherings and people are distancing themselves. The world of real estate isn’t an exception as apartment touring is unavailable.

So you might be wondering, "How am I supposed to find a new home when the world is a viral danger zone?" Let’s discuss 6 smart tips you can follow while searching for an apartment during these uncertain times. 

1. Evaluate carefully your options about moving

Ask yourself, “How badly do I really have to move out?” Consider if it’s possible to postpone moving out until the pandemic is over. If your reason for transferring is due to a lease that’s nearly coming to an end, try to negotiate with your landlord for a month-to-month basis. Make your landlord understand politely that leaving isn’t a good idea for now.

2. If available, go on a virtual tour

If the need for moving to a new residence is really bad, ask the real estate agent or a property manager for a virtual tour. We live in an era of technological advancement so this option should be available. You can ask for a floor plan of the room areas to decide on your ideal unit. Don’t be afraid to inquire about any other units if you don’t like what was presented to you.

3. Establish a no-physical contact policy

If you have found a suitable apartment to move into, perhaps you can check it yourself if it’s allowed by the government and the property manager. Remember to always maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away. When sealing the deal, avoid handshakes, fistbumps, or any of the sort. The person in charge will understand this easily but always be courteous. You can do a bow as a sign of gratitude. Also, carry your own pen when signing a lease.

4. Arm yourself with disinfectants

On an apartment tour, touching surfaces will be hard to avoid. Carry disinfectants in advance. It can be rubbing alcohol or a hand-sanitizer. Always keep in mind not to immediately touch your face after touching any surface. If you’ve forgotten to bring your own, ask the agent or property manager for a sink and soap. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds.

5. Have a backup plan

If the opportunity for transferring to a new apartment is unavailable and moving out is inevitable, have a plan B. Give a heads up to a family member or a friend about your situation. Ask politely if you can stay for a while in their home. If they won’t allow you to, you can opt to stay in a motel.

6. Provide your background information

If you find a viable unit to move into, there is no guarantee that you can immediately transfer. Take note that a careful property manager will always follow protocol and will do a background check on you to avoid a problem tenant. You have to gain their trust by presenting all the necessary info they need for this such as a credit score and your previous landlord’s contact info. To be specific and complete, politely ask what kind of information is needed and provide that information honestly and as soon as possible. 

A final reminder: Please remember to cover your nose, mouth, and wash your hands when heading out at all times. Your safety and health are of utmost importance. If possible, please stay indoors. (Related: How to Clean Your Apartment to Prevent COVID-19 Spread)

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!