Thanks to Buffalo's redevelopment and expansion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, there is a big demand for downtown apartments. With more people looking to move into the city, it is also raising prices and creating more competition for available units.
"Apartment hunters, a lot of times, are not prepared," said Lynn Gannon, director of residential leasing for Ellicott Development Company in Buffalo.
Prices for apartments in Buffalo can run from around $900/month up to $3,500/month.
Gannon advises people looking for apartments to come up with a list of what they want in an apartment, and make sure they bring with them financial information to prove that they can afford the rent.
"You should have a folder with a recent paycheck and paid bills with you," explained Gannon, who said landlords like Ellicott Development will do background checks to see if you have a reliable record of making payments.
"Just as a bank will want to make sure you can pay a mortgage, we want to make sure you can pay the rent," added Gannon.
Other mistakes that apartment hunters often make:
-Not figuring security deposits and first month's rent as part of the lease signing requirement.
-Not buying renter's insurance (about $11/month) to cover damage to personal items caused by a leaky roof or fire in the apartment. Those things are not covered by a landlord's insurance policy.
-Buying big furniture before you know if it will fit in the apartment - or make it up stairways/elevators.
-Failing to research neighborhoods and crime reports.
-Not looking to see where the apartment is located in relation to Buffalo's public transit routes, if you don't have a car.
"It is amazing how many people will pick an apartment from the internet without seeing it in person," Gannon told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly.
Due to the demand for pets, all of Ellicott Development's 650+ apartments are pet friendly - as long as you have renter's insurance.
The company has also compiled a list of apartment hunting "Do's and Don't's" that can be seen here: https://www.ellicottdevelopment.com/apartment-hunting-in-buffalo-ny/
Because the competition for apartments is filling downtown Buffalo units quickly, Lynn Gannon offered this caution; "A lot of times, we won't hold an apartment without a completed application and all your paperwork in place."