Secure an Apartment first?

#1
Hey Everyone, I'm new to this site but I'm glad I found it. My girlfriend and I are planning on moving to Buenos Aires for a year after we graduate from college, which will be at the end of this summer (Sept. 2008). We are trying to figure out the best way to go about securing a place to live (from the research I've done it seems like I want to live somewhere on metro line D, aka belgrano, palermo, recoleta or retiro). Do people recommend we secure an apartment before we arrive in Buenos Aires? I have been doing a lot of research on inmublesClarin.com. How do I even go about initiating contact with these landlords in my mediocre spanish? How do I make a decision based on this 2 inch photos?Or, do people recommend we stay in a hotel for a week or so while we do an intense apartment search? If so, what hotel do people recommend? All help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks ex-pats!Paul
 
#2
Rent a temporary apt for a week or two (rather than stay in a hotel) then search for something more long term- visit the place before you sign on anything.. They will probably require a one year contract (and if you can afford to put 6 months down i would negotiate for the price)... Oh, and many of the real estate rental places speak english.
Best of luck!