Apartment Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Apartment Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught my family many things. We have learned how to be safe and healthy and gas stations, how to buy groceries online using apps and picking up or having them delivered, and how to use Zoom for everything from meetings to classes to virtual happy hours. One thing that we were not expecting was the need to shop for apartments during the pandemic. But with our daughter moving to Ohio and attending graduate school next month, it was necessary to shop for apartments.


Reduced Inventory

Because we could not travel out of state due to our shelter in place restrictions here in Michigan, we waited until the middle of June to travel. We drove to Cincinnati from our home near Detroit. You can read about our trip in my blog post. We faced a lot of challenges with the apartment hunt and this post covers what to expect.

Our economy is uncertain right now. People have lost their jobs and are seeking new ones. Unemployment is higher than it has been for a long time and there is fear aboutReduced Leasing Office Hours

Leasing Offices are reducing their hours for several reasons. First, they have employees who are sick or caring for family members with COVID-19. Second, they are trying to reduce the traffic into their offices to restrict transmission of the virus. Lastly, there are not that many apartments available to rent so there is no reason to offer extended hours.

We had only twenty-four hours to look for a place to live in Cincinnati. So we scheduled appointments at the apartments who called us back. We visited a few others or called numbers on the signs we passed in neighborhoods we liked. Some people called back but many didn’t. One agent told us that they only do showings on Thursday. We were in town Tuesday and Wednesday. They refused to show us the unit on Wednesday and make an exception stating they have reduced hours due to COVID-19.

Reduced Cleanliness

When we did tour a few apartments, only one agent wore a mask. The apartments were not very clean. We were not able to use the bathrooms in any of the leasing offices. Many leasing offices asked that only two of use be in the office at a time.

All in all, we did find a place to rent. It’s just minutes from my daughter’s school and we really liked to leasing office and agent. But the search was not easy. If you are apartment searching during the pandemic, I urge you to do the following:

Do your research online

Call and make appointments either in person or virtually

Be persistent

Wear a mask

Bring sanitizer to use after you leave each apartment

It may take a little longer and require some patience given our current state. I hope your search is successful and I welcome your comments.

Last updated on September 13, 2020


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