How Language Affects Your Apartment Shopping Experience

Three friends, stylishly dressed, having conversation on outdoor apartment balconyLanguage is a funny thing. As you look across the country, you can find a variety of ways to say the same exact thing. For instance, the sparkling, sugary drink we all love so much is called “pop” in the Midwest,  “soda” in the Northeast, and simply “Coke” in the South. What you call a “sub,” I might call a “grinder.” And, while kids on a playground in your town might be catching “doodlebugs,” they’re catching “roly-polys” (or “pill bugs”) in my neck of the woods.

The same thing often happens when you search for an apartment. Some words are more effective than others at communicating what you are looking for. And the language you use may not be the same that apartments use to attract new renters. 

Here is a look at how language affects your apartment shopping experience:

  • Complex vs Community: When you are seeking a new apartment home, you are looking to become part of a larger group. You are among many others seeking a life in the same multifamily environment. This makes you part of a “community,” not a complex.
  • Description vs Reality: Some communities fill their advertising with a whole host of different terms that must be analyzed by apartment shoppers. Phrases such as “state of the art fitness center,” “sparkling, resort-style pools,” and “apartment with a view,” while commonly used, can mean totally different things from one apartment community to the next. It is important to dig a little further to make sure that your expectations are being successfully met. Watch out for these four danger signs when touring an apartment to make sure the apartment’s description matches reality.
  • The Indoors vs the Outdoors: Even something as simple as the outdoor extension of an apartment home has a variety of terms surrounding it. Is it a porch, a balcony, a lanai, or a veranda? Even within the same area of a town, all of these terms could pop up. What is important is that you understand what you are getting for your monthly rent payment.

No matter what you might call it, the one thing that your next apartment will be is… home. When you begin the search for that home, we hope you will start by visiting There, you will find the only national apartment locating service that’s not only free to use, but actually pays you for using it. Turn hours of apartment searching into minutes and don’t forget to tell your leasing agent that you found your new apartment on ApartmentSearch to earn up to $200 in rewards. Now that is a language we can all understand!


Pros and Cons of Tiny House Living

Smiling man leaning on orange camper van.Are you in the process of looking for a new home? Whether you live alone or you’re relocating with your roommates, you’re probably weighing all of your housing options. Houses and apartments are the two obvious choices, but have you considered tiny houses?

Tiny houses are a relatively modern type of housing that’s gained significant popularity over the past few years. These small-but-mighty homes vary in terms of style, amenities, mobility options, and more! Are you curious about what it’s like to live in one of these charming abodes long-term? Here are the pros and cons of tiny house living.

The Pros of Tiny House Living

In addition to being aesthetically adorable, there are many pros to tiny house living, which can explain their boom in popularity.

Most notably, tiny houses are incredibly affordable in comparison to their “normal-sized” counterparts. They cost much less money and time to build and are typically designed to be highly energy-efficient. Depending on the total cost, tiny home dwellers are often able to skip paying a mortgage altogether. All of these subpoints make tiny houses an especially great option for first-time homeowners.

Additionally, tiny house living can span beyond miniature houses. Converted vans, refurbished buses, and trailers also count! With all of these different options, portability is a big advantage. Choosing the tiny house life allows you to enjoy unconventional freedoms, such as a nomadic lifestyle, going off-the-grid for extended periods, and traveling without pricey hotel bills.

The Cons of Tiny House Living

Although tiny houses have their fair share of perks, it takes a specific personality and lifestyle to thrive under this type of living arrangement. Consider if you’re willing and able to deal with these cons.
Living in a tiny home can cause you to encounter issues that apartments and larger homes manage to avoid. For instance, sub-par plumbing is a known problem with this type of living arrangement. If a tiny house is calling to you, make sure you can handle a composting toilet first. This kind of living experience is not for everyone.

What’s more, tiny homeowners aren’t awarded the luxury of having a landlord, HOA, or dedicated property management company to help with routine maintenance and repairs. Although it’s nice to have ownership of your place, this means more work on your part when something needs to be fixed.

Most obviously, tiny homes are significantly lacking in space. This typically isn’t an issue for those living alone or practicing a minimalist lifestyle; however, that’s where the buck stops. Tiny houses aren’t well equipped to handle large families or excessive storage and can feel quite confining to some.

The Happy Medium

As you can see, tiny houses are an enjoyable and affordable option — but they often come at a cost. If low-maintenance living is what you’re looking for, you’re better off finding an apartment that perfectly suits your needs.

By using our apartment lookup tool, you can find all the things you love about tiny homes in an apartment of your dreams. You don’t have to live in a small house to reside in an on-trend space! By searching short-term apartment rentals on, you can enjoy the same freedoms that tiny home living brings. Plus, with our referral reward, you can easily claim a $100 cash + $100 CORT bucks to spend on your furniture rental package! does all of the tedious work for you by gathering all of your worthy options in one place. Whether you’re looking for a studio apartment, a one-bedroom, or a space with multiple bedrooms, will help you pick out your ideal living situation.


4 Reasons Furnished Apartments Are Better For Short-Term Leases

Person in sweatpants walking around cozy , stylish furnished apartmentIt’s a dilemma many people entering short-term housing situations face: How to make a space feel like home without investing too much time or money. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about being stuck with a sparse or impersonal apartment. Furnished apartments could be the solution to your short-term lease AND decorating needs! Why do we think so?

1. There are only so many hours in a day.

Articles that try to convince you furnishing an apartment can be done on the cheap tend to gloss over a crucial point. You’ll need to run around to many different retailers to get everything you need and likely make multiple trips. But you’re preparing to relocate! THAT’S where you need to focus your energy! You likely don’t have time for full-scale bargain hunting. With the time you save, you can select a few inexpensive yet personal pieces to help your new place feel like home. (See #3.)

2. You only have so much money.

Realtor Magazine asked several designers about the expense associated with decorating spaces. The good news is that the rooms the designers worked on look great. The bad news is that you’ll need about $15,000 for the living room alone! That’s way more than you’ll spend furnishing a short-term apartment during your entire stay!

3. No one wants to make sacrifices … and you won’t have to.

Here’s where you can spend some of the time you saved with reason #1! You’ll probably need a security deposit for your short-term lease, but what you won’t need to sacrifice is your sense of style. There are many ways to personalize your short-term living space by:

  • Decorating with plants
  • Adding curtains to cover window treatments you don’t like
  • Putting up removable wallpaper
  • Using candles or scent sprays

4. It could not be easier.

Thanks to ApartmentSearch, finding a furnished apartment for your own short-term housing needs is amazingly simple. Here’s just how simple:

  1. Select “Short-Term” in the search box at the top of’s home page.
  2. Enter your search term (a zip code will do).
  3. Once you look at each property, scroll to the bottom of the page and look under the heading “Need It Furnished.”

Setting up a short-term housing situation should be easy, regardless of where and why you’re moving. makes it easy to search for short-term lease options AND furnished apartments at the same time. Give it a try today!

More Short-Term Housing Help

  • How to Be a Short-Term Housing Pro
  • Tips for Finding Temporary Housing in a Pinch
  • Hotel vs Furnished Apartment: How to Choose


Why Winter Is the Best Time to Find an Apartment

Young woman in city, enjoying snow and apartment hunting in winterAre you a savvy shopper? Then you probably know when to catch the best sales and biggest discounts. Did you know the same is true when it comes to renting apartments? If finding the cheapest rent is a top priority for you, it’s all about apartment hunting in the winter months when you can get the best deals on apartments and moving costs. Learn about the benefits of searching in the “off-season,” and find out how to use the cold winter months to your advantage when negotiating rent!

There is less competition during the winter.

The busiest season for apartment hunting is between May and September, for several reasons. Students are out of school, graduates are moving home or moving to new cities, and you’re not stuck moving in snow or the bitter cold.

Because so many people are eager to find new apartments mid-year, landlords have it pretty easy. They often have several applicants applying for one apartment, so they can cherry pick tenants who agree to their terms.

In the winter, landlords don’t have it so easy. Fewer people are apartment hunting, and it can be hard to fill a vacant apartment. As a renter, you’re in high demand. The odds are in your favor. Landlords are eager to fill their empty apartments, and they want YOU! That being said, there are also fewer apartments to choose from in the winter. Make sure to prioritize the factors that are really important to you in an apartment, and decide which things you’re willing to compromise on.

Rents tend to be lower during the winter.

Vacant apartments aren’t bringing in any money, and landlords want to get their apartments filled ASAP. However, because there are fewer renters searching for places in the winter, landlords may try to entice you with low rents. This is your major advantage. An apartment that might rent for $1,000 in the summer could go for $900 or even $800 a month in the winter when the demand has slowed down.

Landlords may be more willing to negotiate during the off-season.

Renters don’t come around often in the winter, and landlords know this. They don’t want to lose their opportunity to rent their apartment and may be much more likely to negotiate with you in the winter than in the summer. Approach the prospective landlord or leasing agent with confidence and see what you can get.

What should you try to negotiate? Some things to negotiate include:

  • Lease terms: If you want a shorter or longer lease term than what they’re offering, ask!
  • Fees: See if they’re willing to waive fees, like a pet deposit or certain utilities.
  • Amenities: Maybe you love the unit but wish there were nicer appliances in the kitchen – see if you can get upgraded appliances before you move in!
  • Rent: Negotiating rent is the holy grail of apartment hunting! During the peak months, landlords probably won’t be willing to negotiate. After all, there are plenty of renters to choose from. During the winter months, they need renters and will likely be more flexible on the details!

Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and strike while the iron is hot – or cold, in this case. Get help finding an apartment you like at a price you can afford on ApartmentSearch, the only apartment site that actually pays you for using it!


4 Things to Know Before Renting an Income-Restricted Apartment

Family sitting on couch in stylish income restricted apartmentThere’s no doubt about it: Like pretty much everything else in life, the cost to rent an apartment in the U.S. is going up.

Median monthly rent for U.S. apartments rose by 15 percent from 2000 to 2016, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that time, the median monthly rent went from $850 to $980.

To reduce the cost of an apartment, some renters turn to something called income-restricted housing. At complexes that offer income-restricted apartments, the monthly rental amount takes into account the renter’s income.

How does all of this work? Here are four things you should know before renting an income-restricted apartment.

1. Income-restricted apartments are designed to be affordable.

Income-restricted apartments are meant to help lower-income people afford a place to live. If you qualify for an income-restricted apartment, the savings can be significant.

To be approved for an income-restricted apartment, a household’s gross annual income must be at least 50 or 60 percent less than the median income of the area where you’re looking for an apartment. This percentage depends on the landlord and the type of unit you’re considering. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets the income guidelines each year.

Here’s an example of how income-restricted housing works.

As of April 2018, a single person making 60 percent of the median income in Phoenix would pay $777 for a one-bedroom apartment or $933 for a two-bedroom apartment in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Department of Housing.

By comparison, the average April 2018 rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix was around $860 and around $1,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

The rent for an income-restricted apartment doesn’t go up or down based on your income.

So, if you pay $777 a month for a one-bedroom, income-restricted apartment that’s identical to the one-bedroom, income-restricted apartment next door, your monthly rent also is $777. It doesn’t matter that your neighbor’s take-home pay is slightly more than your pay, as long as both of you meet the income guidelines.

2. The landlord of an income-restricted property will check your background.

As apartment landlords usually do, the landlord of an income-restricted property will make sure you can afford the rent by verifying your employment and income. This also allows the landlord to confirm that your income matches what’s required for an income-restricted apartment.

In addition, the landlord normally will look at your credit record, rental history, and criminal background before approving your rental application.

By the way, don’t lie about income or anything else on your application. If the landlord discovers the lie before you sign a lease, your application could be rejected. Or if the lie is uncovered after you’ve signed a lease, you could be evicted.

3. Income-restricted apartments aren’t public housing.

Income-restricted apartments are owned and operated by private landlords.

But if you live in public housing, a government-run housing authority owns your building and is your landlord, according to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. In a few cases, a private company manages the property but the housing authority still owns it.

Typically, rent in public housing is based on a percentage of a renter’s annual income, so one renter might pay a lot less than a neighbor does for an identical apartment. This is known as income-based housing. Most residents of public housing pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income, which is gross income minus tax deductions.

4. Income-restricted apartments often look like more expensive apartments.

In many cases, you can’t tell the difference between an income-restricted property and a traditional property, since they often appear a lot alike both inside and outside.

Here’s a description of an income-restricted apartment community in Texas:

“Beautifully landscaped grounds contain a swimming pool, picnic area, and a playground. We provide a fantastic clubroom with full kitchen, a fitness center, and an on-site laundry facility. Our apartments offer walk-in closets, large patios, fully equipped kitchens, and full-size washer/dryer connections.”

Sounds pretty great, right? Income restricted rental programs may be more common than you realize. Rental companies will often offer conventional and income restricted apartments side by side. You just have to know where to look and ask! Even if you’re not eligible for such apartments in your area, you can still find affordable apartments on ApartmentSearch. Search for apartments by price and once you sign your lease, get paid $200 in rewards.


How Much Apartment Can You Really Afford?

Woman sits at desk in window area of loft apartmentMuch has been made in today’s media outlets about the affordability of apartments. And, while the cost of renting is still lower than the cost of owning in most cities, the truth is that many apartment residents are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Despite what is often reported in the news, there are still plenty of affordable apartments in every city in the U.S. The two challenges are first finding them and second knowing how much apartment you really can afford.

Location vs. Lifestyle
If we all had our wish, we would live in the nicest apartment in our favorite part of town, close to all of the things we love and need to do. But where you rent an apartment is just as important as which apartment community you choose. Downtown high-rise and mid-rise apartment communities will cost you much more than their counterparts in a more suburban or rural setting. Ask yourself which is more important: living close to the action or saving more money to enjoy your lifestyle? To lead the life you choose, it might be necessary to either commute or moderate your apartment expectations.

Does Size Really Matter?
When you are searching for a new apartment for yourself (and those who live with you), ask yourself how big or small of a place you truly need. The bigger the apartment, the more space you have —but also the more you are going to pay. For people who seek more play than possessions, a micro-apartment may be a great way to save a few dollars on rent. But, if space is a necessity for you and your family, you might need to give up some luxury in order to afford the space you crave.

How Old (New) is Too Old (New)
In a perfect scenario, you will spend less than 20% of your take-home income on rent. Depending on the job that you have and the lifestyle you desire, you are going to have to make some choices when it comes to how old your new apartment community is. The newer the community, the more it will cost. With a new community, you get a newer fitness center, outdoor recreations, and some other community amenities. This enables you to save a few bucks on a gym membership and other things you would normally venture outside your home to do. But the real savings come when you find an older, established community that still meets your basic lifestyle needs. It may not have all the trappings of the newly-opened place up the street; but, for the money you will pay, it is hard to beat the savings you will find at an established community.

Once you have determined just how much you are able to spend, the next step is finding the apartment for rent that best meets your budget while appealing to your lifestyle. Instead of spending hours of legwork to discover the best options, head over to There, you will find the nation’s only free apartment locating service that actually pays you (up to $200) for using it. Enter the criteria that you are looking for and ApartmentSearch’s comprehensive marketplace listings will match you with the apartments that are best for you. That is time and money well saved and one step closer to moving into a great apartment you can really afford.

Keep Reading!

  • How to Budget for Your First Apartment
  • Why Paying More for Rent Can Be a Good Thing


Tips for Getting an Apartment When You’re Self-Employed

Girl holding while dog in front of computer while applying for apartmentsMore and more Americans are choosing to work freelance, be self-employed, or join the gig economy. This has caused the typical rental application process to shift dramatically from even five years ago. If you’re one of the more than 15 million self-employed people in the U.S., you may have noticed that it can be particularly difficult to get your apartment application through the approval process. Why is this and what can you do to make sure you get the apartment of your dreams?

We’ve covered finding an apartment when unemployed and now it’s time give our post a facelift in light of the ever-changing renter’s landscape. Here are some NEW top tips to help you rent an apartment when you’re self-employed.

Choose your landlord wisely.

It might be best to shy away from super large complexes run by nationally-owned businesses. These companies usually have corporate leasing policies in place that are difficult to budge. Stick to small and privately-run rental properties where you can meet the landlord face-to-face. Ask friends for referrals so that on top of finding an awesome landlord, you or your friend may get a discount or referral bonus.

Know where your money’s been and where it’s going.

You can expect to be asked to show proof of income through bank statements and tax returns when you’re self-employed. Make sure to bring at least six months’ worth of bank statements along with IRS-approved copies of the past 2-3 years’ annual tax returns. If you have big, recurring clients, you might want to bring copies of their contracts or invoices that can demonstrate some sort of regularity. Show your landlord that you are responsible with your finances. The more information you can provide, the better!

Also, save up a big ol’ chunk of cash. As a bargaining chip, you might be able to pay above and beyond a typical deposit, such as two or three months’ rent, up front.

Know your network.

Make sure you have good references from former landlords, especially those who leased you an apartment while you were self-employed. Written recommendations with contact info are ideal.

BONUS TIP: Take it a step further and create a “renter’s resume” detailing your past rental history: dates you lived there, landlord contact info, the reason why you moved, how much you paid in rent, etc. You can include employment history, references, even an objective!

Have a great “interview” on the day you tour!

Dress appropriately when meeting the landlord. Make sure you are polished and put-together. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a job interview, but don’t come in anything your mother wouldn’t approve of. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, don’t bring any funky smells with you. Act respectfully, ask insightful questions and keep a level head.

Other possible bargaining chips?

  • Try to think of other features that might make you a model tenant. Maybe you don’t have a car so you won’t need a parking space. Or maybe you don’t have any kids or pets. Every point counts here!
  • Consider hiring a real estate/leasing agent to help with the search. There are agents who specialize in finding rental properties. He or she might be able to find properties you don’t know about!
  • Co-signers are another great option if you have someone that trusts you to not mess up their financial future. Co-signers don’t live at the property but are fiscally responsible if you can’t make a rent payment.

With these tips in hand, it’s time to put in an application for your perfect apartment. Search apartments for rent on ApartmentSearch today! Once you’ve signed your lease, let us know and you could get a $200 reward.


Subletting vs Reletting: Which Is Best For Me?

Happy couple moving into apartment they're sublettingIt’s not uncommon for a tenant to leave their lease or rent out their apartment to someone else, especially in temporary housing situations. You may hear the term “subletting” most often, but “reletting” is another concept you should familiarize yourself with, too. The two are very different scenarios that are important to understand if you’re leaving your lease or renting your apartment to someone else for the short-term. Check out the big differences between subletting and reletting, and learn how to decide which one is right for your situation.

The Skinny on Subletting

What is subletting?

“Subletting” refers to renting out a room, a portion of your property, or all of your property to another person (a “subtenant”) without changing the name on the lease. In other words, the principal tenant could be considered a middleman between the landlord and subtenant, and is liable for the actions of the subtenant.

Who should sublet?

Subletting is a good option if you’re leaving your apartment but don’t want to deal with the costs associated with terminating a lease early. It’s also the perfect option if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, but intend on coming back to your place eventually (i.e. subleasing your apartment just for a summer while you travel!).

The Rundown on Reletting

What is reletting?

“Reletting” refers to voiding your original lease entirely, allowing for a new tenant to sign a new lease. There are a number of common reasons that people terminate a lease, from job changes to lifestyle changes, or sometimes eviction due to bad behavior.

Who should relet?

Reletting is your best bet if you have a special circumstance (i.e. a new child or a job transfer) that requires you to find new housing. It’s also a good option if you don’t want to take responsibility for the new tenant and any damage they might cause to the apartment.

You can’t make the best decision for your situation until you understand your options. If you have a unique rental situation, visit today. We can help you find everything from short-term rentals to furnished apartments, fast!


How Do Apartments Verify Income?

Blond girl at computer with phone, looking up how apartments verify rentYou’ve scoured the internet to find the perfect apartment, wowed the socks off your future landlord, and picked the perfect color to accent the cabinets in your new kitchen. All that’s standing in your way is navigating the rental application and all the details it demands, including your income. Many leases, especially with larger apartment complexes, have some sort of income requirement (likely 2 to 3 times your rent). But how do landlords actually verify your income during this crucial process?

In addition to your credit score, renter’s history, and a few other variables, your income is a key component of your candidacy for an apartment. A good rule of thumb is to search for an apartment that costs about 30% of your income. Be careful though – some leases require more than this, or a higher security deposit.

The first thing you can do is be prepared with 3 to 6 months of current pay stubs and/or bank statements. For freelancers, bringing along a few years’ of IRS-approved tax returns is recommended in addition to bank statements. Students should bring their loan disbursement schedule.

Landlords will probably ask you to list your employer’s contact information so they can verify your income and date of hire. They might also run a credit check to gain insight into your financial health. Some landlords work with outside organizations to run employment checks and verify income.

Bottom line? Be honest. Don’t waste you or the landlord’s time if you don’t meet the income requirements up front. Some may be willing to work with you if you don’t, but avoid getting attached to a place if you don’t think you’ll be able to afford it. Tell him or her up front to establish a trusting relationship with your potential future landlord.

Now that you’re in-the-know, you can prepare your information ahead of time to speed up the apartment application and approval process. Find your next apartment on to get started today!


Do Better! Negotiate Your Best Relocation Package Now

Crop of happy couple hugging near unpacked boxes in new apartment, copy spaceAccepting a new job or higher position in a new city can be one of the best experiences of your career. It can also be very disorienting. Grocery store prices, your commute, and even the local language may be different! A less than desirable relocation package can complicate the process even more. For a smooth job relocation and your best relo package, give these tips a try.

Pick the appropriate package. There are generally four common relo packages. Each has its pluses and minuses.

  • Lump sum. This option provides financial support up front, but is the only payout you will receive.
  • Reimbursement. No one enjoys having to save and submit receipts for work-related expenses. Imagine how complicated such a process is with something as large as a relocation!
  • Direct billing. Direct billing may combine lump sum and reimbursement relocation support. The potential downside? The logistical hurdles of coordinating such a move between the employee and employer.
  • Third party relocation. Using a third party relocation service overcomes some, but not all, of the direct billing hurdles. There can be peace of mind with utilizing relocation experts for every aspect of the move, though.

Carefully consider your relocation package options and then make your move! (Figuratively and literally speaking.)

Ask away. It isn’t just you. Relocating for work spurs a lot of questions among everyone in a similar position. Don’t hesitate to inquire about anything and everything that comes to mind. Your relocation questions might include:

  • Is the company headed in a direction worthy of my time and energy?
  • Does the culture of the new city fulfill my personal needs?
  • Can I speak with any fellow employees who have made a similar move?
  • What if I move and discover I’m not happy?
  • Will I be comfortable with the weather in this new place?

There are literally dozens of additional questions worth considering. Business Insider offers more.

Know your numbers. Corporate America loves data. To negotiate the best relocation package you can rely on data, too.

  • More firms are paying for relocation, reports a survey by HR Technologist. Why? Because they’re eager to attract talent. Talent such as you. That’s a stat you can leverage to your advantage.
  • Building a bench of talent is more important than ever, says 76 percent of hiring managers in the same survey. Your company wants a strong bench and they recognize you’re part of that.
  • Not everyone wants to move. On average, Millennials envision moving to a new city, state or country fewer than two times in their lives. Bank of the West, which spearheaded a study on the subject, found that most even say they would prefer to build a life in one community rather than live and work in multiple geographies. Whether a Millennial or not, such reluctance improves your relo negotiating power.
  • Many other companies offer relocation support. About 70 percent of U.S. companies offer relocation incentives for employees or new hires, reports Fox Business. Don’t like your options with one prospective employer? There’s a good chance you can find relo options elsewhere.

You don’t want to appear like a know-it-all, but citing facts and figures demonstrates that you did your homework. Your managers may even appreciate the extra data.

Relocating for work is a little like venturing out into the great unknown — new address, new workplace, new city, and eventually, new friends. While you work on getting used to all that “newness,” let CORT’s relocation services help you find a place to live and get your family acclimated. Learn more about CORT’s relocation services today!