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RISMEDIA, January 23, 2010—Many renters across the country are ringing in the New Year with a new apartment. According to a national survey conducted by Apartments.com—securing more than 1,500 renter responses—more than 95% of renters said they are planning a move in 2010. Striking while their 2010 moving resolutions are hot, many renters are also moving earlier this year, searching for better deals and nicer apartments in great neighborhoods.

Given the growing inventory of apartments across the country and competition to fill vacancies, many renters are moving on their own terms and seeking out better bargains during their apartment search. While many renters are looking for a deal on their next apartment, price may not be the most important factor when deciding which apartment to rent. Nearly 40% of renters told Apartments.com they are moving because they want to live in a nicer apartment located in a neighborhood where they feel safe and get more for their money by taking advantage of rental offers and deals.

According to Apartments.com, nearly 60% of renter respondents moving this year said they are either paying the same or more in rent as last year. Renters are also factoring in how their new home will suit their needs and lifestyle. Some renters are looking for a more convenient commute to work, family and school while others want more space to start a family or to double up with roommates.

Renters are also choosing to move earlier this year. While the typical peak rental season extends from April through August, there have been some notable changes in renter moving behavior from year to year. Most notable is that 40% of renter respondents said they will be making their move during the first quarter of 2010, which is 16% more than 2009. This significant shift may be in response to the struggling economy, which has created a competitive rental market and more flexible leasing terms, providing renters with more opportunities to move during the year.

Renters moving into a new apartment in 2010 are going online to conduct their search. According to Apartments.com, more than 80% of renters said they will use an online apartment search site to find a new place to call home. It is important for apartment-seeking renters to know which questions to ask before choosing one apartment over another. It is wise to remember that in this current economy, not everything may be as it seems on paper. To ensure savvy apartment seekers are obtaining need-to-know information during their rental search, Apartments.com provides the following questions to ask the leasing office.

Are there flexible leasing terms? Today more apartment communities are offering flexible leasing terms that range from month to month to two to ten months to two years. Be sure to ask if the apartment community you are considering offers them. This leasing option may sweeten the deal if you need to relocate for employment or go to school. Staying put could also save you money in the long run. Talk to the leasing office about committing to a two-year lease. Your bank account may benefit from a significant savings.

Which apartment amenities and on-site community features are offered? Remember to talk to the leasing office about all their amenities and features. Depending on your needs, certain apartment amenities and on-site community features may sway your decision to rent one apartment over another. If you have a dog, an apartment community that offers dog-walking services may be more appealing to your lifestyle than an on-site Internet cafe. If you are committed to staying fit, but have a hard time making it to the gym, an on-site fitness center may be the answer to your prayers.

Are utilities included? To gain an accurate understanding of your apartment-living expenses, confirm which—if any—utilities are included in your rent. You could be saving a bundle when comparing one apartment to another. If no utilities are covered, ask for an estimate of what the utilities will cost and if there are any additional set-up or installation fees for electricity, Internet, phone and cable.

For more information, visit www.apartments.com.

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