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4RunnerPilot t1_j1rndes wrote

Do not rent an apartment sight unseen. Stay in a hotel/Airbnb/short term rental while apartment shopping.


BlakeClass t1_j1s4t52 wrote

This. The best looking ones online had things I hated about it in person, too many people coming and going, didn’t feel secure, amenities didn’t seem to make sense schedule wise or set up wise, just a lot of little things that didn’t add up for the price.

AND the best value BY FAR, was a Craigslist ad with ZERO pictures, just a floor plan and price that sounded too good to be true and I thought there was a chance it was a scam but I’ve been in sales for two decades so it didn’t ‘worry’ me any more than a wasted trip. I which I tried to set up a tour like you’re saying, no one ever called me back, and I just showed up in person. Turns out the building just doesn’t have a lot of turn over because it’s too low priced, therefore the management company isn’t competitively compensated to actively focus on new move ins, and they said people end up showing up anyways so why bother 😂.

It was super weird to my wife but I get it since I’ve seen both sides of ‘the business’ so to speak.


ProvenceNatural65 t1_j1sa8km wrote

This is 100% of my positive renting experiences. I have lived in 6 diff apartments in DC since 2009 and all have been rentals from owners (or short term sublets by tenants) who were like, meh, yeah I am just waiting for the right person so I only advertised by word of mouth or with a low quality set of pictures on Craigslist. Don’t overlook these! Renting from an owner rather than from a big commercial building is sooo much better.

Ed: renting from an “owner” not a “wiener” lol autocorrect


slutbag69420 t1_j1t0o7h wrote

Been looking on Zillow for months and hadn’t thought about Craigslist until your comment and so far it looks like an absolute HACK. Many blessings to you and yours, beer on me if it works out


GooseCannonGT t1_j1urvtf wrote

There is a good fb group as well for this.


slutbag69420 t1_j1usdmq wrote

I’ve reached out to ~15 different listings this morning that were all far better values than anything I’ve seen on Zillow in the last 3 months and have already gotten 4 replies. Very promising morning!


BlakeClass t1_j1v66op wrote

Glad I could help! A lot of people forget that Zillow and the likes charge the apartment management companies a lot to be listed, that cost has to comes from somewhere.


question_sunshine t1_j1sdxm2 wrote

The only apartment I rented site unscene is my current one, but I have a friend who already lived in the building so I was familiar with it before I moved in.


m2199 OP t1_j1rqnff wrote

Definitely will not be doing that. A live video tour is the absolute least I want. Unfortunately I’m moving for work that starts very soon so live video tours are my only option really at this point.


spince t1_j1rrcd7 wrote

Leasing offices dgaf.

We paid for a friend for their time to go on tours and call us on video chat to help us locate.

We also used a service called Apartment Detectives that made it incredibly easy to narrow down - I wouldn't be surprised if they'll do video calls for you too.


AiReine t1_j1rw92c wrote

Seconding apartment detectives she was great for us.


toorigged2fail t1_j1rr3m2 wrote

This will end badly, even in a Class A in DC


m2199 OP t1_j1rriiq wrote

Sorry can you explain a bit more? Are the people doing this live tours that unreliable?


toorigged2fail t1_j1rshln wrote

You need to see it in person. Since it's very rare to actually be able to see the unit you are going to rent, you need to see two or three in the building that are available to understand the nuances of the unit you will end up in. They are likely to video tour you in their best unit, not what you will need to force them to show you.

You can't get a feel for things like unit quality and even view remotely with a video tour. Like if the appliances really are in good condition, noise outside the unit and building, smells, water pressure etc. (Some of these are more important than others in Navy Yard)

In my experience, it is unusual for them to be flaky about tours. Though this time of year is a little bit harder because there is less market activity. That said, prices are 3 to 5% lower this time of year.


m2199 OP t1_j1ruv0j wrote

They’ve been incredibly flaky for me. West Half, Dock79, 1221 Van, and Foundry Lofts have all flaked on tours with no notice or follow up.

I can wait to visit in person if I absolutely must but I would need to visit all of them in 1 day and their responsiveness is not exactly encouraging.

I honestly just expected better service from apartments that label themselves as ‘luxury’


GenericReditAccount t1_j1s0lw6 wrote

Everything in DC is labeled luxury these days, and almost none of it actually is. Sometimes the kitchens are nice, but the service always sucks.


WayyyCleverer t1_j1s1fyf wrote

Everything is branded as luxury. I found that the in person tours look nothing like what was available online - both in layout/floorplan and quality.


iswearitsreallyme t1_j1s0g6e wrote

I'm currently pet sitting for someone in 1221 Van and have also had my dog boarded in someone's apartment there. I would not recommend renting there. When I went to pick up keys, a few people in the building were joking in the elevator about how it was the only one working (of I think 3?) and that maintenance there was pretty bad in general.


frappeyourmom t1_j1v6nt8 wrote

You’re also asking leasing offices for video tours and responsiveness during what is typically “no man’s land” in between Christmas and New Years. If I can help it, the two things I avoid doing are job hunting and apartment hunting during the holidays because everyone is on PTO.


bullsgirl t1_j1u3fmf wrote

I live in Navy Yard and just want to warn you against Illume. All facade, all a rip off.


toorigged2fail t1_j1s1b6i wrote

I've also had better luck walking in or calling an hour or two ahead


Mareofthedmv t1_j1s5zmv wrote

Dock 79 recently had leasing turnover which is why they’ve been flaky. I was on the fence between them and the collective and ended up at the collective because even though I toured both I couldn’t get any response from dock 79


romanceordelusion t1_j1sj7ql wrote

I wonder if it’s the holidays - my building manager who handles this picked up and left on holiday with no out of office response.


bageloclock t1_j1rusiy wrote

This. We technically did not physically visit our apartment but via FaceTime were able to verify the owner was who he said he was and could unlock the unit.


bridges-build-burn t1_j1t08q2 wrote

I know people who have bought houses based on video tours, it’s totally fine to sign a lease based on video, especially if you know exactly the neighborhood and amenities you want.

However, I think I may not be as picky as some folks on this thread- it literally would never occur to me not to rent a place because the refrigerator wasn’t fancy enough.

The only time renting without in-person visiting went badly for me was in another country, when I rented a six month sublet on VRBO for a posting, and when I arrived it turned out noisy construction across the street had not been included in the description. Live and learn lol

EDIT: I just remembered, be sure you are not in a scam if you transfer money remotely! This is a common pitfall.


ChicNoir t1_j1uko7f wrote

No white hangers and no white refrigerators 😡 😝


WontStopAtSigns t1_j1sr72g wrote

They exist to sign leases and nothing else. If someone is already there asking they won't call you.

I get a referral bonus if I get someone to rent here. I'll split it with you. I'm in Crystal City right across from there. Right on the metro, and good bike paths into the city.

I can do your video walk through w you.


RilkeanHearth t1_j1tk4nm wrote

I would look for a sublet, airbnb or a short term lease so you can gauge the different neighborhoods, etc.


4RunnerPilot t1_j1rvkx5 wrote

Sight unseen means you have not seen it in-person with your own eyes. I can’t believe I have to explain this.


m2199 OP t1_j1rwo2j wrote

Well if you would like to give some other suggestions I’m all ears but I’m on a tight timeline.


9throwawayDERP t1_j1rxhht wrote

just get a hotel airbnb for a few days. most decent companies will even cover the cost for you if you are moving to the area. (mine gave me 1 week of housing) You then spend an evening looking a places for a start day later in week. You usually look at 3-4 apts and then sleep on it. Then you pick the next morning and send the paperwork over. and then it is done and the lease starts (as soon as the next day or at the end of the week).

this is how is often works for class A apartments in navy yard, etc.


[deleted] t1_j1s5hj3 wrote



m2199 OP t1_j1s6s5f wrote

Lol i literally live in Manhattan


FennelSuperb7633 t1_j1siyjq wrote

I think you’re getting a lot of flack about moving site-unseen. I moved here about three months ago and that was also my only choice. It worked out fine for me — we actually love our apartment. We wouldn’t have picked this neighborhood if we knew any better, but it’s not bad either. I’ve moved quite a lot internationally and often do site-unseen and haven’t had a whole lot of issues. And you’re renting, so you can move in a year.

Regarding customer service, it sucks everywhere you go and across industries now a days. Honestly, people don’t want to do their jobs and employers can’t find good people. The service in our building has been great, and that is actually one of the reasons we chose it even though the neighborhood was a little less desirable.


4RunnerPilot t1_j1rzpy4 wrote

I already told you what to do in the initial post. Stop over thinking this and follow directions.