Toronto continues to be one of the hotspots for real estate anywhere in the country. Buying a home within the city or near downtown is almost impossible for everyone but the wealthy. That has also put a squeeze on rental accommodation and what is available is difficult to find, and very expensive. To help you there are a number of online and community tools that can assist in finding affordable furnished apartments in an area that is convenient to work and amenities.
The best way to find a furnished apartment to rent is still by getting a recommendation from friends or a family member. If that doesn’t work, here a few more suggestions.
1. Look online
There are many online tools that can help you find the furnished apartment you would like in Toronto. One of the best is an apartment seeking tool called Viewit. It is an awesome website that shows available apartments all over the city. But you can also use specialized sites like Padmapper, Myhood, Casalova and the reliable Craigslist and Kijiji. You can also set up Google News Alerts to find out fast about new listings as they appear.
Both the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun have real estate and rental listings during the week, and extensive listings in the Saturday newspaper edition. You can also can check their listings online at any time. But every community and neighbourhood in Toronto has their own community newspaper for supermarket flyers that also carry real estate and rental listings. You can also find rental listings for apartments in the Metro newspaper and in the downtown publication, NOW magazine.
3. Check out the neighbourhoods
Toronto has the greatest variety of neighbourhoods in the world. You can choose to live right downtown in a high-rise building or move a little east or west to find the Portuguese or Greek neighbourhoods with smaller buildings and cheaper rent. Take a walk around the areas that you’d like to live and maybe you’ll see a sign advertising a vacancy in a private home or small building. You will not only get some exercise and see what’s available, you’ll also be able to check out the scene in your new neighbourhood.
4. Consider getting a real estate agent
Getting a real estate agent could be a great help in finding a furnished apartment. You don’t have to pay because they work on commission from real property companies and apartment building managers. You tell them your budget and what you need and they make a shortlist of units and setting up viewing appointments. You are never under any obligation to accept what they find. Having a real estate agent works for people who need to find a furnished apartment fast and for those who may not have the time and energy for a long apartment search process.
5. Check everything before you sign
When you are viewing a possible apartment, you should maximize your time, since your visit will likely be a short one. Make sure all of the lights and outlets work and that the toilet flushes easily. As the landlord checks you out, you should check them out as well as the overall condition of the building. If the elevator is broken today, it is probably broken other days as well. Take a look in the stairwells for signs of garbage or neglect. This will be your new home. Also check out the Toronto bed bug registry. Yes. there is one, and yes. you need to check to make sure you know what you are getting into.
6. Look for a deal and come ready to sign
Even though the market in Toronto is busy and competitive, you can sometimes get a deal on your rent if you ask. Try looking for a free month at the beginning or end of your lease. Also, bring a check and your references with you to apartment viewings. If you find the furnished apartment you love, you’ll want to snap it up before someone else does.