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Greetings Portlanders!

Like so many in this forum, I will be relocating to Portland soon (from Boston, MA).  My partner will be attending OCOM starting in September, but we would like to move in July so we have plenty of time to get settled and enjoy our first Summer in the area.  My question for all of you: If we're planning move in July, when is the best time to do our apartment search?  June?  May?  April?  Pickings look pretty slim on Craigslist right now (beginning of March), but I assume that will change with the seasons.

In addition to the search/move timeline, I'd love to hear any recommendations for good apartment finding services in the area (aside from Craigslist).  We're looking primarily in Northeast and Southeast neighborhoods in the $800-$1100 range. 

Thanks a bunch!

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Hey Thom,

If you're planning to move in around July, you won't find much before now (mid-May). The housing market is really tight here, so you should be searching in earnest at this point and shouldn't rest until you sign a lease.

And while Portland might be cheaper than Boston (I have no idea), $800-1100 isn't really realistic unless you'll have roommates or live on the outskirts—or rent a very small place. Expect $1100-1500 for a nicer 2BR that's close-in. Prices are rising because of increased demand.

Also, prepare for a ton of competition for housing. Your best bet is probably to fly out here around 5/31 after having lined up some visits for that weekend (6/1 and 6/2). Bring everything you would need to apply on the spot:

  • Copy of your ID (and any co-signers of lease)
  • Proof of income (pay stub/offer letter)
  • Credit report (I've had landlords ask for this)
  • Names and contact info of previous landlords
  • Checkbook for deposit/application fees
  • Names and contact info for references

I don't know of any apartment services, but I used Craigslist and Padmapper (Craigslist on steroids!).

—Aaron

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