It's a landlords' market where they can pick and choose the renters that are the least risky and the most qualified.
With the best apartments renting within 24 hours, 7 On Your Side asked two real estate experts advice to give you the inside edge on apartment hunting in Charleston.
Before you fall in love with that luxury listing, it's imperative to figure out what are your must-haves as far as amenities.
The CEO of an apartment search website says make a wish list, then slash it.
If that's a washer dryer, a dishwasher, a doorman, make a list then cut that list in half because you're not going get everything in your budget.
Forgetting the outdoor space for the fabulous fitness center may open up hundreds of units; just know what your maximum budget is first.
Your budget should be made by taking whatever you make pretax each year and divide that by 40.
That's the minimum landlords require, but if your income falls short, consider getting a guarantor, to co-sign the lease.
Once you find the apartment, you want be prepared to move quickly. Brokers will tell you the candidate with all their paperwork ready will beat out the other renters.
Have a letter from your employer, a copy of your ID, proof of income, and a bank statement ready to submit for review.
Also be ready to pay a licensed broker a fee for navigating the competitive process for you.
If you don't want to pay a broker, find a building renting directly to the public. Here's a broker secret, prices in this steep market slip a little around the holidays.
November, December is a really great time of year, it's a slower and not as many people are out there looking for an apartment.
Also, be the early bird. Start looking five to six weeks in advance of your moving date. If your moving date is October 1st, you should start looking by the end of this month.
That's when landlords start releasing what inventory is going to be available and you're have access to the most inventory.