5 Tips for Renting an Apartment Sight Unseen

Moving to a new apartment in the city can be an extremely exciting venture — but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, particularly if you don’t have a chance to visit and look at apartments before you have to move. Sometimes school or work can get in the way of actually being able to check out apartments in person — but that doesn’t mean that you can’t rent one. In fact, there are lots of easy ways you can look at and rent an apartment in the city, even from afar. Here are some of the best tips for renting an apartment sight unseen.

1. Use Google Maps

One of the best features of Google Maps is its Street View feature. Street View allows you to see what an area actually looks like on the street (using pictures it has captured of nearly every block in New York City!) When you see an apartment you’re interested in listen online, go to Google Maps, type in the address and check out the street view around it. You can check out how the building looks on the outside, as well as what establishments are in the neighborhood and if you like how the area looks and feels.

2. Ask a Friend to Visit For You

If you have friends or family in the city, they can be a great resource if you are trying to rent an apartment from afar. Have them go and meet with building management or landlords and walk through the apartment for you. Have them send you pictures or videos and get them to ask the questions you would ask before you rent an apartment. If you send a friend you trust, you should be able to get a good idea of whether the apartment is the right fit for you.

3. Take Advantage of Facetime

If you are sending a friend to look at an apartment for you, or a realtor or management company representative is looking at an apartment for you, have them use Facetime or other video chatting software to walk you through the apartment in real time. Using video chatting software can make it feel like you’re taking a tour of the place yourself, and it can give you a better idea of what it feels like to be in the space.

4. Try a Short-Term Lease

We have an entire section on our website dedicated to short-term rentals, meaning less than a year. You’ll find different sized apartments in a variety of great neighborhoods. If you’re commitment shy, they’re a great way to get comfortable.

Whether for school, work or just to try out being a New Yorker, many of our tenants come from great distances and rent sight unseen. We understand that renting in the city has its challenges, particularly if you’re remote. However, renting sight unseen isn’t impossible and we’re here to help. By keeping a few tricks up your sleeve, you can get the feel of your new digs from afar — and end up with a place that you love.