5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Portland Apartment

If you’re apartment hunting in Portland and you feel like you’ve been treading water,


1. Budget Appropriately


The first thing you must consider when searching for a Portland Apt is your budget. Repeat: budget, budget, budget. It can’t be overstated. Your monthly budget for rent determines everything about what kind of apartment you’ll have: where it’ll be, how big it’ll be, how nice it’ll be, but most importantly, how you’ll feel about it.

There is a general rule or guideline that says you should never pay over 30% of your net income on housing. While this is extremely useful to help get you started thinking about your monthly expenses, in many cities it is considered largely outdated or debunked as a myth altogether. As the cost of living continues to rise across the country, you may have to bend this rule a bit to find a suitable place, depending on your income. Nevertheless, 30 percent is a good place to start, a good number to keep in mind, and a good way to avoid getting ripped off completely. If you’re able to stay close to that percentage, you’ll be okay.

2. Choose your neighborhood

Ah, now we get to the fun part of searching for a Portland Apartment. Where do you want to live?  

Depending on your lifestyle, income, and work situation, some neighborhoods in Portland may be better suited for you than others.


Are you a Hawthorne person, or a South WaterFront Person? To find out, here’s what you’ve got to consider:

  1. The price- How much can you afford? It all comes back to budget after all, and different neighborhoods can have drastically different prices, which may mean you need to expand the scope of your ideal locale.
  2. The commute- how long will it take you to get to and from your place of work? A long commute can add unwanted stress to both your home and work life.
  3. The people- who do you want to live around you? Do you want to live around families in a more suburban locale? Or would you prefer living near young folks in the city? We can’t choose our neighbors of course, but neighbors do make a neighborhood, so it might be worth it to live near those who share a similar lifestyle.

Most importantly, don’t worry too much. You may have to make a few difficult decisions depending on your budget and other aspects of your life, but just remember that nothing is set in stone. If you look hard enough, you may find a place in a neighborhood you love, but in the meantime, our most salient advice for choosing an area in which to live is this: be open-minded about residing in a place that’s not your ideal. You may grow to cherish it anyway.

2. Refine your search methods

Of course, landing your first choice of a Portland Apartment means you’ve got to find one first. Site’s like Padmapper, Craigslist, and Trulia are great places to start. These will give you a general sense of what places are going for in certain areas, which is extremely helpful when choosing an apartment, but even more so when selecting a neighborhood. But, online listings can be very fickle, only because so many people see them. In fact, most listings are so coveted that there’s no guarantee that you’ll even get to see the place before it’s snatched up. While online listings are helpful as an informational resource, try not to rely on them too heavily.

You can spend hours at the computer without a reliable lead on a new portland apartment.

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Believe it or not, some of the best methods are hitting the pavement and good old-fashioned word of mouth. If you want to live in a particular area, walk around the neighborhood, look for listings and talk to the people who live there, perhaps they know of an apartment opening up. Try and talk to those who live in or near a building you like; maybe they can give you their property manager’s number, or the number of someone who can. Direct contact with a property manager is your best bet for landing a particular apartment you’ve been after.

3. Do your homework

It may have been a while since you’ve done some serious homework. Well, guess what? We’ve got an assignment for you: making sure you’ve seriously vetted the apartment you’re considering.

Looking for an apartment is work, and it can be tedious, but doing your due diligence before you sign the lease will only help you in the long run.

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In any case, however you feel about your new apartment situation, there are a few bases you’ve got to have covered:

1.Know about your credit score

Many apartments in Portland and beyond will require a background and credit check to make sure you’re a reliable tenant. If you’re unsure about your credit score, there are plenty of places to get your score for free. If your credit is a little low, you may need a cosigner on your rental agreement.

2. Request a tour or a walk-through

Don’t ever sign a rental agreement without seeing the apartment first. We recommend that you do a careful inspection and ask the manager about any existing damages and document them with pictures. Schedule a tour if you can!

3. Talk to current tenants

It’s not best to sign a rental agreement until you’ve spoken with a few of your tenants or neighbors. It’s not as though you need to make friends, but it will be helpful to get a sense of their experience.

4. Read and re-read your rental agreement

You should know the ins and outs of your rental agreement before you sign. Make sure you understand all of your responsibilities, and if you’re unsure of any, it never hurts to ask. Finally, get everything in writing.

5. Consider Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a simple insurance plan you get to protect the possessions you keep within your rental unit, as your property manager is not responsible if something happens to them.

6. Know Your Rights as a Renter

The three basic renter’s rights are your right to a habitable premise, your right to privacy, and your right to safe premises.

4. Be ready!

This may be the most important bit of advice we can give on getting your an apartment in Portland Oregon. In most places, apartments can go very quickly. If you’re to learn anything from searching for apartments online, it’s that.  

If you’re serious about getting a particular place, and you know it’s in high demand, then you’ve got to have your ducks in a row.  


You should carry your checkbook and references with you when you meet the property manager, even if it’s for the first time. Make sure you have enough for the deposit, as well as first and last month’s rent, as most rental agreements will require this up front. The situation with your dream apartment may come up like a flash, and you’ve got to be ready to pounce, or else you might miss it. Unfortunately, this is the nature of Apartment hunting in Portland.

It’s true, finding an apartment in Portland, Oregon can be a dauntingly difficult task. You may feel like you’re treading water with no land in sight, but we promise a ship is coming, and its name is Osprey Apartments in the South WaterFront Neighborhood of Portland. At Osprey, our aim is to offer our residents the very best of life in Portland. But more than that, we want you to find the apartment of your dreams. It can certainly be a lot of work finding a new apartment in Portland that’s both nice and within your budget, but at Osprey, we’ll do all the legwork to make your dream apartment a possibility.

If you’re looking for a brand new apartment in the South WaterFront neighborhood of Portland, there’s no need to look anywhere other than Osprey.

Apply for your new apartment right now!

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