Winnipeg Apartment Search Tips

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Couple searching on Tablet

Searching for an apartment

Start your search by looking at listings online like Thorwin.ca. Once you find an apartment, schedule a walk-through so you can see the property in person and assess its condition and potential. While there, take extra precautions to protect against COVID-19 by sanitizing your hands before entering the building, wearing your protective mask, and not touching surfaces in the apartment.

 

Asking questions

Most importantly, determine whether this is a place you can afford by asking questions about utilities, deposits, and rental amounts. Bring a list of questions and take notes during the walk-through for reference later on (you won't remember everything!).

 

Setting up a budget

List out your monthly expenses: Include things like your bills, rent, a personal loan, and anything else that you must pay each month. Create a list of your monthly income. This should include the total amount you plan to spend on rent and any other income sources.

 

Figuring out the difference

Do you make more than you spend? Great! You have a surplus! It would be a  great time to start saving or looking at reward credit cards.

Do you spend less than you make? Wonderful! That means you have started to save money. See if there are any areas where you can cut back even more and put those funds toward an emergency fund or retirement account.

If neither applies, you should look at how much money is coming in and what needs to go out each month—this will help determine your actual budget for housing costs.

 

Getting your credit score in order

As you prepare to approach a landlord or property management company, having a good credit score will increase your chances of renting an apartment or house rental property in Winnipeg.

Landlords are very interested in how well you handle your credit and whether you pay your bills on time. The credit score—ranging from 300 to 850 points—gives an overall idea of how well someone handles money. A high score indicates that an individual pays bills responsibly; a low-credit score indicates bad credit and needs improvement.

Find your credit score number by checking with the two major agencies: Equifax (https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/education/credit-score/what-is-a-good-credit-score/) and Trans Union. You can also check your credit score by downloading the Credit Karma App on Google Play and App Store or visiting https://www.creditkarma.ca — the best part is that it's free! Utilizing this app will show your current credit score and rating.

One way to boost the number is by using credit cards responsibly. Opening accounts with small limits and making regular payments toward those balances will demonstrate that you can handle debt and pay it down on time. Another essential element is paying other bills on time each month without fail—rent included! Delinquent payments will show up immediately in these reports, usually negatively impacting scores within 30 days of the transgression.

 

Making an apartment wish list

Make a list of both your needs and wants. Your apartment search list should include items like the apartment location, the number of rooms, amenities (gym, parking, pool), and any other detail.

Prioritize the list. You may not find a place that meets all of your needs or preferences, so decide what is most important to you.

When you find an apartment that you're satisfied with, make sure that it meets your needs at the top of the list. Otherwise, you may end up in a great Winnipeg apartment but frustrated because it lacks air conditioning and has no parking available.

 

Finding a new place to live

Once you have decided what is most important to you in finding a new home, start looking at online resources like Thorwin.ca to find Winnipeg apartments that match your needs. Contact the property management office or Resident Community Manager to set up an appointment for viewing the property.

 

Protecting your money

Make sure you understand who you're dealing with before handing over any money. If you decide to rent from a private landlord who requests cash payments only, that is a red flag. You want to be able to dispute the charge if something goes wrong or if you're unhappy with the apartment or its conditions. Cash is untraceable and has no protection offered by credit card companies or financial institutions. Not to mention that scammers can get away with pocketing your money and disappearing into thin air. 

Property management companies will base their decision on whoever provides proof of funds first (if asking for a damage deposit in advance), so many people choose to leave this initial deposit in check form. However, some landlords may prefer to receive payment electronically via services such as e-transfer or Paypal. Please make sure that both parties are privy to any transaction fees associated with your payment method (the sender generally pays any fees). 
 

Finding a pet-friendly Winnipeg apartment

Are you searching for a pet-friendly apartment? We can help! Start looking as early as possible. The earlier you start, the better your chances of finding a pet-friendly apartment home that will be comfortable for everyone, including your pets.

Here are some tips on how to find a pet-friendly Winnipeg apartment that you both will be happy in:

1. Start your apartment search early
2. Take advantage of online resources like visiting Thorwin.ca – all our properties are cat and dog-friendly
3. Create an online profile of your pet
4.  You’ll need to bring proof that all required vaccinations are current and that the animal is spayed or neutered (if the landlord requires it). 
5. Ask about restrictions with certain breeds
6. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or landlord

 

Looking at the neighborhood

Have you ever gotten to a new apartment, only to realize there's no good grocery store within ten blocks? Or that it's on a flight path that makes sleep next to impossible? Avoid making mistakes by walking around the neighborhood before signing the lease. You can't know everything about a place from pictures online.

What should you be looking for in neighborhoods? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Crime
  2. Schools
  3. Transportation options (including access to public transportation, carpool lanes, and parking)
  4. Shopping
  5. Noise level (do people party on the weekends? are there any nearby bars?)
  6. Age of buildings in the area (will they need repairs soon?)
  7. Parking availability and cost

There are many factors to consider when selecting an apartment. Finding an apartment takes time and flexibility. Remember that the right place is out there—it's just a matter of finding it.

 

It's also important to remember the many different factors to consider when selecting an apartment. Even if you have a dream location in mind, you may be unable or unwilling to get it for various reasons: cost, size requirements, accessibility, and nearby amenities all play a role in determining which apartments are best for you.

 

Getting organized before beginning your apartment search in Winnipeg will help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Knowing your budget beforehand will save you time from seeing apartments out of your rent range. Have your paperwork ready (including bank statements and pay stubs) so that you're ready to apply once you find that perfect apartment home. Research on the best locations that work for you, like how far the commute is to your workplace, how far public transit from the apartment, which neighbourhood suits your preferences, etc. Finally, make sure that any other people involved in this decision –whether they're a roommate, spouse, or partner are on board with these plans. 

Follow our Community Board for more helpful tips and updates!
Your Thorwin Properties Team 

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