Apartment search

When you reach US, you may not want to directly approach a leasing office and rent apartment immediately. They follow certain procedures and require documents to release an apartment to you. Also there should be an availability. So you can do a research and shortlist the apartments before you reach, stay in a hotel for 2-3 days then shift to an apartment.
Get the zipcode of the area you have planned to reside. Using this you can look for apartments online using various sites like apartments.com, apartmentsearch.com, rent.com or apartmentratings.com. Check the amenities, rent and locality of the apartments. The basic things to look for is free/paid utilities, carpet/wooden flooring, number of rooms and bathrooms, airconditioning and heating options, gym, swimming pool, play area. Shortlist the apartments as per your requirement and check with the apartment management for availability. You can request them to show a sample apartment. Kids will require separate rooms. Some apartment communities do not allow renting a one bedroom apartment if the kid is above 2 years.
Once you finalize, you need to sign a lease which can be either 3 mnths, 6mnths or 1 year or more. Rent will be different in each case. Also some apartment communities do not offer short term lease. In case you decide to leave before the lease period ends, you may have to pay a penalty equivalent to 2 mnths rent or as per mentioned in the lease documents. Read your lease document thoroughly before signing.You may have to submit your visa documents/ salary documents.
You can get a discount/reward from online site (approx $100) if you tell the leasing office that you found the property through that site like rent.com. You can find the details of the discount/rewards on the apartments search sites.
Also if someone already staying in the apartment community refers you the place, both can get a bonus from the leasing office.
Sometimes an area may not have apartment communities, you may then search for private apartments listing in craigslist.org.
After signing, you can get a renters insurance for your apartment and get settled!

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