New year … new season … maybe you are itching to move to a new apartment. The idea of relocating to new digs or to a new part of the city or country sounds exciting, but realistically, how are you going to manage it during a pandemic? Gone are the days when you could just drive around and drop in at the leasing offices of properties that look tempting — at least for the time being. There are ways that you can rent a new apartment without even leaving your home, but it can be challenging. Keep reading to figure out the best way to find a new home and stay safe during the COVID crisis.
Examine your motives. Why have you decided to move? If you have to relocate because of a new job, then done deal. However, if you are just bored or have pandemic cabin fever, it might be better to wait a bit longer. If your lease is about to expire, but you are still determined to move, ask your current landlord if a month-to-month lease is an option until it is a safer time for you to relocate. Honestly, they would probably prefer that you stick around for a little longer as opposed to all of the exposure risk associated with bringing in a new resident.
Research. Downtime at home is a great opportunity to perform your due diligence. Take a close look at the neighborhood(s) you are considering. Sure, you can drive by or look via Google maps, but what you need is a comprehensive picture of the area. Many neighborhoods have dedicated Facebook groups or have space on a site like nextdoor.com. These resources really help you drill down into the community and learn about recreation and entertainment, neighborhood groups, traffic conditions, and the crime rate. If you are relocating because of your job, your new company’s HR should be able to put you in touch with a local realtor or leasing agent. If you already know some of your new colleagues, ask them for recommendations.
Virtual tours. Pandemic restrictions will vary by location, which will restrict which properties can offer in-person apartment tours. Most property management companies have virtual tours, so you can view different floorplans online; some companies take this a step further by having 3-D tours where a leasing agent will conduct a more in-depth online walk-through with you. This is a really helpful option if you are in a situation where you will be renting sight unseen.
In-person tours. Common sense prevails here. Wear a mask and maintain social distance. Carry hand sanitizer as you will be touching doorknobs, light switches, etc. While you are on the property, it is a good opportunity to observe how other residents are reacting to the pandemic. Are people in common areas wearing masks? You get the idea.
The move itself. Moving companies are considered “essential businesses” so they should be available during the pandemic and will have employee and customer safety protocols in place. (If not, swipe left!) If you can, try to move as much of your stuff as you can yourself. While the movers are there, wear your mask and try to stay out of their way as much as possible. They will appreciate not having you underfoot while they do their job, and it will be much faster
While moving to a new apartment during the pandemic isn’t impossible, COVID has definitely added a layer of complication to the process. If you can stand to stay put for a while longer, then do so. However, if you are determined to move, no matter what, the priority needs to be keeping yourself and those you interact with during the process, safe.
Vision Communities is committed to providing a safe environment for all of our community residents. If you are looking for a new 1-bedroom, 2- bedroom, or 3-bedroom apartment, check out one of our Central Ohio communities to learn more. If you have concerns about doing a tour in person, many of our communities feature virtual walkthroughs of our floorplans.