You need to find a new place to call home. You might be a college student searching for apartments in Chico or Redding for the first time, eager to get out on your own and pursue your higher education.
You might be newlyweds experiencing marital bliss looking for your first home together.
You might be a single parent with two young kids who need a little extra room to run.
You might be needing to downsize and haven’t done this apartment hunting thing in quite some time. Whatever your reason is for searching for an apartment, the process is basically the same.
Step 1: Know what you’re looking for
You won’t get anywhere if you mindlessly start driving around and stop at the first apartment complex you see. Or worse yet, if you see somewhere that looks appealing and you absolutely fall in love with it, only to realize you can’t even come close to affording the rent.
Start by determining what your budget is. This will help rule out certain places. Then make a list of the amenities that you won’t compromise on.
For example, the single parent in the scenario above may want a playground on site so the kids have a place to play, or to be near a bus stop so they can get to and from school. Make a list of these things and take them with you, but also keep an open mind.
Step 2: Do your research
Now it’s time to see which apartments in Chico or Redding have vacancies. If you like a digital format, you can check online rental sites (like this one!) for vacancies; or if you prefer paper, you can get a copy of the local classified ads.
When you're driving around town keep an eye out for signs and specials posted in front of complexes. You can usually spot them by the balloons tied to a sandwich board.
Also, ask around among your family, friends, and coworkers if they’ve heard any feedback about certain complexes. If you’re a social media user, ask for recommendations from your Facebook friends and check out review sites like Yelp.
Once you narrow down a few places that look appealing, call them up and ask if they have or are expecting any vacancies, then schedule a time to take a tour.
Step 3: Take a tour
Some apartments in Chico or Redding might look really great online, but then you visit the actual site and are disappointed. The opposite is also true. You can never fully experience the atmosphere of a place until you see it first-hand. So pick up the phone and make an appointment to take a tour. You don’t have to commit to anything; apartment managers give tours all the time. Be sure to come armed with a list of questions and take notice of things like:
- The homes or businesses near the complex
- The neighborhood in general
- If the complex is lighted
- If it has ample parking
- What amenities it has
- If other people you see in the complex seem happy and pleasant
Make sure you also do a walk-through of one of the apartment models. This will give you a general, but good idea of what the individual units are like. This is also where you’ll want to consult your list of things that are important to you.
For example, if it’s imperative to you to have in-unit laundry facilities, and this place doesn’t, then it’s probably not the one for you. Once you’ve taken the tour be sure to ask for any brochures or even a sample rental agreement to take with you for further research.
As you start searching apartments in Chico or Redding, consider using the Hignell Rentals apartment search tool.