Relocating to a new neighborhood and going house/apartment hunting can be a nerve-wracking process. It’s essential to be prepared when you are searching for a new place to call home. With plenty of research and some knowledge about the area you are moving to, you will have what you need to find the best possible apartment in the area.

Stay within your budget

How much you want to (and can) spend is going to be one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to where you rent. Sometimes you may be able to get a much nicer unit if you’re willing to spend a couple extra thousand shillings a month, but if that’s going to mean stretching yourself thin, it’s probably not going to be worth it.

Take some time to establish your own budget comfort zone before you start looking for a rental, and no matter how tempting a more expensive property might look, stick with what makes sense for you.

Consider the neighborhood

If you find the perfect apartment, but it takes you more than two hours to commute to work, is it really worth it? When you’re putting together your list of non-negotiables, consider making the neighborhood one of them. Start by getting to know a few neighborhoods in your target city. Evaluate these in terms of: distance to work, safety, nearby parks, restaurants, and other attractions, grocery stores, public transportation etc

Make sure your target neighborhood suits your lifestyle. If you like to spend quiet nights at home, make sure your apartment building isn’t near a late-night hotspot. Likewise, if you live for dining out, find a neighborhood with interesting restaurants, or with transit options that make it easy to get to adjoining areas.

Read the lease agreement

Leasing contracts are tedious to read, but are full of implications and may have a major effect on your day-to-day operations in the property you will rent. It’s critical that you read a lease before signing it to get a full idea of what your landlord is expecting from you and what you can expect from them. Things like how much notice they need to give you before entering your unit, how you need to maintain the property, and under what conditions the lease can be terminated are all in there. Once you sign off, you’re legally agreeing to the terms. It’s much better to know what you’re agreeing to from the get-go than to get hit with surprises later, especially because you’ll have no recourse if something isn’t to your liking but was clearly written out in the lease.

Start your search

The best rentals, in terms of price, location and amenities, go earlier in the month, so don’t wait until a day to your relocation dayto look for a new place to live. It’s best to start searching 30 days before you need to move, especially if you are looking for a rental property where there aren’t many options to choose from.

Using house hunting agents

This method of house hunting can be very effective and challenging at the same time. Challenging, whereby we know the high level of con artistry there is in Nairobi, therefore trusting someone can be hard. It can also be effective, where the agent already knows where all available units are located since he/she is in the business and will save you time. So, outsourcing from an agent requires one to be very street smart and once you identify any houses with them, it is up to you to do your due diligence.

Search for rental listings online

Searching online is a good way to start. You can get a sense of pricing and apartment amenities. However, if you’re moving to a new city, apartment rental sites won’t tell you enough about neighborhoods and the local amenities of each, such as public transportation or grocery stores. Therefore once you have decided on a neighborhood based on your budget, plan to go physically to assess the place.

Finding a rental takes time, but it’s always worth putting in a little extra effort during the search phase to make sure you end up somewhere that’s the best fit for your budget, lifestyle, and needs. Once you have identified your house, Cube Movers Ltd will be more than happy to make your transition as smooth as possible. It will be a move without tears.