Sometimes life throws you into warp speed. You get offered a great new job in a place you have never been to. You have to find a place to live… two weeks time! Thank goodness that you can search online for almost anything including rentals. You can actually take a video tour of many of the rental listings. You can research your new town or city and get a feel for the areas, neighborhoods and commute. You do the work, narrow down your rental property choices and make plans to hit the ground running when you arrive.

Lists are extremely important. Write down what the 5 most important criteria are and then continue to add more of what would be nice but is not a deal breaker. Keep in mind that there is never going to be the perfect property and that this home will not be your “forever” home. Moving to a new town or city means you’re promising yourself a new life, and you never know where that might unfold. But it’s best to think of it mainly as a base for exploring the area. This will make it easier to compromise on the small things. It’s wise to mentally commit to a year, and plan to move at the lease’s end. And who knows? Maybe this will be your forever home!

Don’t be afraid that you won’t find a rental in time and that you will be homeless. Don’t settle on a property that doesn’t have any or just a few of your “must haves”. Call on a local realtor who knows the rental market and can email you listings as well as show them to you. Most realtors do not require an “up front” fee but ask anyway. A realtor can start to set up showings for you before you even arrive. Also, property management sites are great sources for rentals and serve as a “one stop’ spot for you to search, find and apply.

Take photos while visiting listings or take good notes for when it’s time to make your decision.  Have all your documents with you that will be needed.  Have your financial documents in order. Copies of your job offer letter, bank statements, your renting histories and references are documents you should have with you. You won’t necessarily need to sign a lease on the spot, but you will want to be armed with all your paperwork especially when a quick decision is necessary.

When life throws a curve, step up to the plate and think about that home run!