Finding an apartment can be a very stressful process. We have compiled a list of commonly asked questions.
What is the first thing I should do when looking for an apartment?
Location is everything in real estate.
Maybe the ideal location is close to work, or school, or near public transportation. Know which neighborhoods you would or would not consider.
What are crucial amenities? Do you need laundry in-building, or in-unit? How about a pet friendly apartment? What about parking? Make a list of all the must-have’s for your new apartment.
Determine what your budget is for the property. Make sure to factor in utilities like cable, internet, and heat & hot water if they are not included in the rent.
Contact an agent by calling us at 617-756-3029 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a list of properties matching your criteria. Most of our listings have full HD video walk-through tours, eliminating the need to see many units.
Look over the list of properties and let your agent know which units you are interested in viewing. Keep in mind that seeing our properties is a completely free service.
When can I see apartments?
You may schedule property showings between 8AM and 9PM every day of the week, and during most holidays. Typically our showings are scheduled 24 hours in advance.
How much money do I need to move into an apartment?
When landlords and property managers send over available inventory, move in costs are included in the memo. Move in costs are typically first and last month’s rent, a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, and a broker fee equal to one month’s rent. There may also be a key fee (typically under $100.00) for changing locks and making keys, and a credit report fee of $20 per person. Your agent will work with and your budget to negotiate best-case scenario for you to secure your rental.
Is there a fee for the services?
Proper Realty Group collects a brokerage fee for our services. It may be paid in whole or in part by the tenant or the landlord. There is no fee for a showing; however, if you are approved for an apartment, our fee is one month’s rent. We always try to collect that fee from the landlord, since they are the party that is profiting from the rental transaction. Please be advised, real estate is based on supply and demand. When a landlord is having a difficult time renting a property, they will usually pay the fee in full. On the other hand, when a property is in high demand, the landlord might not pay any part of the brokerage fee.
Why do I have to pay last month’s rent or security?
Landlords request last month’s rent and security as a means of mitigating risk. In the event that an issue arises with a tenant, the landlord has some financial protection against items such as non-payment or excessive wear and tear.
Proper Realty strives to provide the best deals to both parties. If the financial backgrounds and tenant histories are strong, typically some of the move in costs are waived.
I found an apartment I like. How do I secure it for myself?
To secure a property, a formal application must be submitted. Applications can be filled out at our offices at 1340A Commonwealth, or at your convenience by downloading the application from our website. With the applications, we attach copies of government issued ID’s, proof of income for you or your cosigner, and credit reports for you or your cosigner. This gives the landlord the confidence that the rent can and will be paid.
Some landlords are easier going than others and might require less. Some might require more documentation, such as proof of employment and previous landlord references.
Usually within 24 hours we hear back from the property owner about the applications, and then schedule a time to sign the leases for the property
When should I start looking for an apartment?
You should start looking immediately. It is important to understand what the market currently has to offer. The worst situation is when you fall in love with a property, and miss out on it.
How soon do I need to apply for an apartment?
After visiting a property, and falling in love with it, the applications need to be submitted at that moment. While many of our properties are exclusive, the majority of listings in Boston are quite open, and you are competing with every other tenant and agent.
Our rental process has become completely digital and requires no printing or paper. From the moment you decide you would like to move forward with a property, we can get all the necessary paperwork and items to the landlord for a quick approval.
Are more properties coming out in the future?
Properties become available all the time, but there is no guarantee. The majority of properties become available between January and May, for September 1st. Additionally, many apartments that aren’t on the September cycle have 60-90day notices.
What is a cosigner? Do I need a one?
A cosigner is someone who shares the liability of the rent with you. Cosigners are typically needed when the applicant doesn’t meet sufficient income requirements, or doesn’t have a strong financial history. Most students need cosigners since they usually have minimal or no income.
Do different agents have different listings in Proper Realty Group?
Every agent in Proper Realty Group has access to the same listings.
Can I work with 2 Proper Realty Group agents at once?
Our policy is that each client can only work with 1 Proper Realty Group agent at a time.
How does the pricing of off-campus apartments compare to living on campus?
That really depends on the pricing of your on-campus apartment. We typically see apartments near the major universities in Allston, Brighton, and Brookline starting at about $1500 for a studio, $1600 for a 1 bed, and $1800 for a 2 bed. It is always much more expensive to live by yourself. Getting a roommate will save more than 50% of your rent expense often