You’ve seen the signs and have come to the conclusion: it’s time for a new apartment. Whether you’re planning to move across the street or across the country, apartment searching is a daunting task, with a ton of factors and moving parts to wrap your mind around. But it doesn’t have to be a source of stress. Before you type “apartments near me” into your favorite search engine and risk quickly being overwhelmed by the results, here are some tips to keep in mind as you look for a new apartment.

Make Lists to Narrow Your Goals

For some people, writing things down makes a world of difference. If you’re forgetful or you have a lot on your mind, putting pen to paper lets you keep track of everything. In terms of finding your next apartment, creating lists can help you narrow down goals and give you a better idea of exactly what you’re looking for in a new place to live.

Before writing anything down, ask yourself some important questions about what you’re looking for in your future apartment. What are some absolutely essential amenities, and what could you do without? What does your ideal apartment look like? How much can you afford to spend on rent?

After you take note of your preferences, your list of preferred features and other details should help you paint a picture of exactly what kind of apartment you want to find, where it should be located, and what amenities it should ideally offer. With that information in hand, you can narrow your search parameters before you’ve even looked at a single place.

Find a Location (Not Just an Apartment) You Love

Your neighborhood can play as big or as little of a role in your daily life as you like, but to some extent, it’s all about location. Once you know what city you’re going to be living in, do some research on potential neighborhoods. Towns big and small have a variety of neighborhoods to offer, from bustling, hip areas to more relaxed sidestreets. Each area will have its own unique feel. If you’re able to travel to your new town, or you find yourself already there, you may want to take some time to explore a few neighborhoods you’re thinking about renting in to figure out if you can really see yourself living in that part of town.

There are a few other factors to be aware of when it comes to location. One is your preference for noise levels. Would you prefer somewhere close to a thriving downtown? Or would you rather come home to a quieter, more suburban area? And how are the noise levels subject to change throughout the day? What seems like a quiet area during your noon tour could easily turn rowdy on a Friday night. Additionally, how long will your commute to work be? What kinds of dining, shopping, and entertainment options are available?

Bring a Friend Along to Check it out

Sometimes, a second pair of eyes is what you need to help you find the perfect place. Once you’ve narrowed your search down to some likely apartments, it’s time to tour a few. Bring a good friend along to help you in your apartment hunt.

There are a whole host of things to pay attention to on an apartment tour, and your friend can help you keep track of all these important factors. He or she may also bring up things that you might miss, like great features or important questions for the landlord.

Your friend can also come in handy in your final apartment decision. If you’re less of a list-maker and more of an auditory learner, a friend will be indispensable in helping you talk through your various options. Tell your friend about your favorite apartments, how they satisfied your requirements, and, if possible, rank them. If you’re having trouble deciding, have your friend help you weigh the pros and cons of each place. The decision is ultimately up to you, but you may find their input invaluable in the apartment searching process.

Make Apartment Searching Easier with a Property Management Company

Once you’ve narrowed down your idea of what you’re hoping to find in an apartment, where do you even begin to look? You’re likely to go down a rabbit hole if you just start Googling available apartments. Instead of wading through hundreds of unverified search results, consider making use of a property management company like Elevate Living.

Elevate Living can make your search for the perfect apartment a lot easier. Potential renters can search all of the properties that Elevate Living manages in one convenient spot. This is where your previous lists and goals for your next apartment come in handy. With Elevate Living’s apartment search tool, you can set the exact criteria that you’re looking for in your next apartment, including everything from square footage to amenities. From there, you can view more details about each apartment, ask questions, and even put in an application.