Rental Report: Apartment Hunting from Afar

Rental Report header

Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Sometimes renters don’t have the time or financial ability to do their apartment search in person. And while there is plenty of information available to apartment hunters, sometimes it can be overwhelming. If you aren’t familiar with the area, it is hard to know where to start. Looking at apartments on a listing service only gives you a small snippet of the overall picture. So what is the best course of action when relocating from afar?

Make A List – Determine your deal breakers. Write them down in order of importance. Sure, you know you want a washer and dryer in unit and parking included. But what if you can’t have both? Make a list of neighborhood features you want, and put those in order too. Need a dog park within a few blocks? What about a grocery store? Are you willing to walk a half mile to the Metro, or would you be willing to walk a little further?

Enlist Help – Do yourself a favor, if you aren’t familiar with the area, ask for help. Even with all of the information out there at just a few taps on a smartphone, it is hard to narrow things down. If you are relocating due to a job, ask the HR department for recommendations. Maybe they can connect you with some of your new colleagues who can give you some advice on where to look. If you have a friend in town, promise them a pizza or brunch, and maybe they will help you out by doing a video tour with you of your favorite apartment.

Find an AgentAgents in the area are able to listen to your priorities and help you narrow down your search. They are going to know the neighborhoods and the properties that meet your needs. Give them your priority lists and your budget. Be open so they can really help. Agents can direct you to better information about neighborhoods of interest. While many managed buildings are able to help you virtually, remember their job is to lease their building. A rental agent deals with several properties, in several neighborhoods, and is able to give you options, and pros and cons of each.

Virtual apartment hunting isn’t going to be easy. Most likely, nobody but you is going to find you that perfect apartment. But help from a friend or an agent will make it less of a headache. Do some research, prioritize, and ask for help, and you’ll likely be able to find something great!

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of


Recent Stories

Morning Notes

I-66 Change Takes Effect Today — “Starting Monday, Dec. 5, vehicles on I-66 in Northern Virginia will need three or more occupants to qualify as a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)….

Daily Debrief for Dec 2, 2022

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 14680 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…

Police issued a traffic ticket every six minutes, on average, during an enforcement effort in front of Nottingham Elementary on Thursday afternoon.

Police swarmed the Rosslyn neighborhood after an alleged thief led an officer on a brief foot pursuit.

Hello Everyone -You are invited to the final meeting of NAACP Arlington Branch NAACP for 2022When: Dec 12, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: 2022 General Membership Meeting – NAACP Arlington BranchRegister in advance for this webinar: registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.7:00 pm Meeting Opens7:30 pm Installation 8:00 pm Presentation/Q&A; by Dave Schutz on Ranked Choice Voting 8:30 pm Final Remarks and Comments by Newly Elected Members9:00 pm Meeting Adjourns Installation Official Robert N. Barnette, Jr. President, Virginia State Conference NAACP The President of the Virginia State Conference NAACP will serve as the Installation Official and provide remarks for our newly elected officers at the general membership. NAACP Arlington Branch Election Results President- Elect: Michael Hemminger 1st Vice President-Elect: James Younger 2nd Vice President-Elect: Bryan Coleman 3rd Vice President-Elect: Lorelle Langhorne Secretary-Elect: Wanda Younger Assistant Secretary-Elect: Kathleen McSweeney Treasurer-Elect: Adriana Spain Assistant Treasurer-Elect: Kenya Pennington Executive Committee-Elect: Nadia Conyers, Kellen MacBeth, Karen Nightengale Their terms officially begin January 1, 2023. 3rd Monday of the month meeting date changed due to the festival observance of Hanukkah

Submit your own Announcement here.

Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Light Up Arlington – Clarendon Menorah Lighting

Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!

Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration

Experience the festival of lights!!

*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah

Read More

National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!

NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.

Outstanding Young Artist


Subscribe to our mailing list