Finding an apartment as a freelancer can be a challenge. With so many options and so much freedom, it can be hard to know where to start.
Plus, most landlords require proof of income, and since your income is varies from month to month, it can be tough to meet their requirements.
But don’t worry, I’ve been there before and I can tell you there is hope for you. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect apartment for your needs.
Take time to organize your thoughts
Apartment-hunting is flat out difficult, especially at the start of being your own boss where your income and schedule is unpredictable. That being said, if you know the right steps to take, you can make this go much smoother.
First, it’s important to get organized. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, and prioritize accordingly. It’s also a good idea to start looking early, as the best apartments tend to go fast. Another tip is to be flexible with your budget. You may have to sacrifice some of your must-haves in order to find an affordable place.
Lastly, don’t try to do everything alone. Friends, family, and even real estate agents can be a great resource.
Create a List of Priorities
One of the most important aspects of finding an apartment as a new freelancer is to create a list of priorities. What are the must-haves for your new place? Do you need a lot of space to work? A quiet neighborhood? Good public transportation options? Once you know what you need, you can start looking for places that fit those criteria.
Being organized from the beginning will allow you to stay away from bad fit apartments that are a waste of time and focus your efforts on the best opportunities.
Another tip is to be flexible with your move-in date. Many landlords are looking for tenants who can move in right away, so being flexible with your start date can give you a leg up in the apartment-hunt.
Get a Roommate
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work from anywhere—but that doesn’t mean finding a place to live is always easy. Sometimes, due to the lack of new clients, you might want to consider getting a roommate.
Not only will this help split the cost of rent, but it can also make the search process a lot easier. You can also look for apartments that are specifically geared towards freelancers and remote workers.
Consider a Coliving Situation
If you’re a freelancer, the apartment-hunting process can be a little different than if you were looking for a traditional 9-to-5. For one thing, you may be working from home more often, so you’ll want to make sure your new place has enough space for you to set up a home office.
You’ll also want to consider a coliving situation, where you can rent a furnished room in a shared apartment or house. This can be a great way to meet other freelancers and have built-in community, which can be important when you’re working from home.
Use your creative brain
As a freelancer, your home work set up will be crucial to how effective you are at your work since you’ll be there so often. After all, your home is your office, so you want to make sure it’s a space that inspires creativity and productivity.
It’s also important to use that same creativity with your search. Instead of just looking on apartment finding websites, consider using other websites like craigslist or doing a Google search. A much more intelligent way to search would be to use terms like “bungalo” or “maker space” rather than just “apartment”. This will allow you to connect with renters or others who are more free spirited.
Seek out a subletting situation
Finding an apartment as a freelancer can be a ridiculous difficult pursuit, especially as a new freelancer. You may not have the same income stability as someone with a full-time job, which can make landlords hesitant to rent to you.
One of the solutions to this problem is by checking out subletting options. If you can find someone who is already renting an apartment and is looking for a subletter, you may have an easier time getting approved. The landlord will already have proof of your income and stability, which can work in your favor.