Who wouldn’t want to live in Montreal? It’s the best of so many worlds. You can enjoy a sophisticated Continental lifestyle without ever leaving North America. Savor rich French culture, cuisine, and traditions while never being far from spectacular natural beauty, a hockey rink or a Tim Hortons.
Settling into an exciting life in Montreal sounds like a great idea; which, ironically, is one of its downsides. That is because tens of thousands of cosmopolitan adventurers had that very same idea before you — and many of them are engaged in a fierce competition for the best rentals in the best places.
It’s survival of the fittest, and the smartest way to increase your odds is to employ a combination of digital resources and old-school insights. For practical insights and guidance on Montreal real estate, market watchers and tenants alike often turn to Ami Reiss, founder of Ami Reiss Management. A Montreal native, he has observed the dramatic transformation of the city and its diverse neighborhoods over the decades. He understands the trends, and frequently helps shape them.
“The new reality in the metropolitan area is that apartment-hunting takes more time, patience, and research than ever before,” says Ami Reiss. “There’s intense competition, and some of the best opportunities vanish quickly. But by planning ahead and approaching an apartment search as a campaign with many moving parts, you can place yourself ahead of the competition.”
Credit is one of those key parts. As rents have soared in Montreal, credit standards have risen. This has had the effect of pricing many prospective renters out of the market, especially younger apartment hunters whose credit history is new and whose early career positions don’t generate the level of income that many landlords are now demanding. The most coveted neighborhoods have the strictest credit requirements.
For those with established credit histories, it’s important to keep credit reports spotless. For individuals just starting out, it’s a good idea to make a plan to slowly build credit over time. Apply for a small number of quality credit cards, Ami Reiss advises, and if possible add a car loan to the mix. Keep the cards you may already have, as the length of a credit line has a substantial impact on your credit score. And don’t carry large balances on your cards or make too many applications.
Armed with a respectable credit score and ideally a strong rental history, you’re ready to set out on your mission to find the perfect Montreal apartment. As with any successful campaign, you increase your chances for success by drawing upon a network of resources to move forward and seize victory. In today’s wired society, your strategy can benefit from online platforms that list rental opportunities in real-time, allowing you to quickly compare benefits, locations and prices.
For the Montreal market, Ami Reiss recommends these popular sites:
Use it to find your dream apartment; and once settled, to find everything else you may be looking for, from furniture to electronic gadgets.
This site has great search options, along with an interactive map of the city and its many neighborhoods.
Rentals.ca provides an array of filters that will allow you to narrow your choices and focus on what is practical for you.
You can’t beat the reach of Facebook Marketplace. It’s a good way to find rentals that haven’t yet been widely publicized. Plus, you can communicate with owners via Messenger.
This old-school site may not be your primary resource, but its low advertising cost means that you may find a wider range of especially frugal landlords here.
This site allows you to review available apartments right down to the granular level, including utilities and other sometimes overlooked variables.
Taking virtual tours of apartments is a breeze on this site. Journey across neighborhoods and linger in living rooms as you search for the perfect Montreal apartment. Que dire de plus?