When Should I Start Looking For an Apartment?

If you’re thinking of looking for an apartment but don’t really know where to start, we’ve got you! We understand the stress of planning to move, apartment hunting, and even budgeting. More than that, there’s always this question of, “when should I start looking for an apartment?”. The apartment rental market can be unpredictable, so having an apartment hunting timeline is the best way to prepare for your move.

Related: 8 Boxes to Tick on Roomi’s Moving in Checklist

When Should I Start Looking for an Apartment?


If you’re planning to move out, the question of when to look for an apartment totally depends on you. But, there’s an apartment hunting timeline you can follow that’s easy and will make moving out totally hassle free.

The Ideal Apartment Hunting Timeline

2-3 months before moving in:

  1. Do your research. There are a lot of things you should consider before actually moving in. The first is deciding when and where: when’s your move-in date and where you’ll be moving in. Your move-in date is crucial because you’d have to think of your current lease, your job, and even insurance policies.
  2. Start budgeting. The second step is knowing your budget and sticking to it! Once you have a move-in date, you’ll be able to get a better grasp on when you need to start allotting money for your new apartment. Plus, getting a head start on an apartment fund can be beneficial for you; you can have extra cash in case of emergencies.
  3. Understand how applying for apartments work. Once you have your date and budget, knowing how applying and renting apartments work. This way, you can prepare any extra documents that’ll take time to get, just in case.

24 to 30 days before moving in:

  1. Prepare all requirements. Having all of your documents ready before starting to look is one of the best apartment hunting tips you should know. This way, the application process will be a lot more smoother and hassle-free.
  2. Tour apartments. Now, a lot of people ask, “when should I start looking for an apartment?” there’s an ideal time frame for this! Looking three to four months out is too far, and two weeks is cutting it too short. Usually, apartments are listed 24 to 30 days before the move-in date, so an apartment available on September 1 will probably be put on the market on August 1.
  3. Make a list. Now that you somewhat have an idea where you’ll be moving to, it’s best to list down your top choices, from the type of apartment, to the available amenities, accessibility, how close it is to your work, the hospital, banks, etc.
  4. Put in an application on your top pick. Once you have everything and you’re set on a place, put in a rental application. Usually, you’ll know whether you’re approved or not within five business days.
  5. Confirm the move-in date and start packing. If you have any more outstanding paperwork to sign, this is the best time to schedule a time for it. Make sure that all the documents you need are good to go.

7 days before moving in:


  1. Confirm your moving details. Whether you booked movers or asked help from friends, this is the time to finalize all the details.
  2. Pack all your essentials in one bag. Put at least a few days worth of clothing, necessities, paper work, and important IDs in one bag for easy access. In case you need anything, it’ll be easier to find and get.

Moving day:

On the day of your move-in, it can get a bit stressful. But if you followed the timeline and have all your documents ready, you don’t have to worry. You can expect the unexpected, but by the end of the day, you’ll be in your new apartment!

Apartment Hunting Tips

  • Think about what you really need in an apartment. When searching for apartments, it’s important to think of your needs more than your wants. Do you really need that extra room or is one enough?
  • Familiarize yourself with the lease terms and obligations. Before signing anything, take time to review it. If the landlord seems like they don’t want you to go through it, that’s generally a bad sign. Without reading the lease terms, you may be signing yourself up for terms you disapprove. Also, come prepared with a list of questions when meeting with the landlord! Make sure that if you’re planning to sign the contract and live there, your living situation is the best for you (and your landlord).
  • Be wary of rental scams. If you’re planning to move, make sure that you have your guards up. Use trusted room finders, do reverse image searching, and meet the landlord or property manager before paying a deposit. Rental scams will always be there, but you can avoid it!

Related: Breaking a lease before moving in? Here’s what you need to know

Move-in ready?


Looking for an apartment is a lot of work, but it’s all rewarding in the end once you’re settled in your new place. Just remember all the mentioned apartment hunting tips, and you’ll be good to go! If you’re still looking for a trusted and reliable app to find listings, why not try Roomi? It’s an all-in-one room and roommate finder with verified listings, and a secure in-app messaging feature. So, what are you waiting for? Start your apartment hunting journey with Roomi today!