Starting your first apartment hunting can be daunting. Where would you even begin? What steps must you take before you rent an apartment?
Going to rent your first apartment is a natural first step toward moving out of your parents’ house. The independence that comes with moving out on your own is very intriguing, but it also comes with many responsibilities.
Moreover, being ready to undertake the search entails having a good understanding of what to know before you rent an apartment, from how much money you need to have saved to what documents you’ll require to reassure the property manager you’re a suitable candidate.
Below, you’ll find a detailed list to help you get a realistic view of what you should know before renting an apartment. So read up, then head out and find your first place.
1. Make a Budget
This is probably the first time you commit yourself to a significant monthly expense. The last thing you should do is overestimate how much you can afford.
Thus, it is crucial you first create a preliminary budget for yourself. Many budgeting resources recommend spending no more than 28 percent of your monthly income on house rent.
Also, remember that you will also be required to pay for other monthly utilities that include gas, water among others. Also, don’t forget to include food expenses in your budget.
2. Decide If You Need a Roommate
If you can’t find an apartment that you can afford, you can consider finding a roommate.
Renting an apartment for the first time can feel impossible, especially when your finances are tight. Consider a roommate if your rent goes above 30 percent of your monthly income.
However, before taping to your network or craigslist, you need first to weigh the pros and cons of having a roommate. Are you willing to make compromises along the way?
Once you have decided having a roommate is right for you, consider choosing a person who matches your lifestyle. Also, remember to write a roommate agreement to safeguard against any clashes.
3. Make Use of Apartment Finders
When finding an apartment, you must explore your options.
Today, contrary to decades ago, you don’t need to drive down the streets looking for “for rent” signs. There are many available tools today.
Many apartments renting agencies are offering online virtual tours. Some are even going further to provide you with a contact-free apartment rental process that includes lease signing.
Don’t settle for less; put your apartment hunting on the blast; you never know, a friend of a friend may have one of your dream apartments for rent that might not be listed.
4. Consider the Location
In the real estate profession, there is this saying, “finding a home is all about location.”
Even if you find your dream apartment, it is not the right match if you have multiple hours to commute from home to work and vice versa. Thus, it is essential to consider an apartment close to things that matter to you, like shops, groceries, restaurants, etc.
But if you are working remotely, you need to check with your boss to determine whether there is any chance of the company switching entirely to work from home. Even if that is the case, you will still need nearby essential amenities.
5. Consider the Amenities You Need
During apartment shopping, you consider your space and the essential amenities.
Thus, it is essential to list things you can’t live without before hunting for an apartment. Some of the things you can consider are:
- Air conditioning
- Community pool
- Wi-Fi- enabled the business center
- Remote working spaces
- Laundry unit
- Workout room, among others
The availability of such amenities in your apartment will make your life enjoyable. Today, many properties are upgrading to make apartment living easier, convenient, and fun. However, when renting an apartment with much to offer, you must consider your budget.
6. Do You Have a Pet?
Pets are part of us, and you probably want to be with your four-legged friend wherever you move.
So, you must make sure the apartment you are renting has a provision that allows pets. Before signing a lease agreement, make sure you fully understand the community’s pet policy.
The majority of the apartment owners don’t allow pets. Don’t risk signing the lease agreement only to realize that you can’t bring your pet with you later.
If an apartment allows pets, they may ask you to add a pet fee to your monthly rent. You may also be required to sign a pet agreement that may include what to do and not to do with your pet.
Some properties may also outline the types of pets to be allowed. It will also be necessary for pet owners to have the appropriate place inside the apartment.
7. Know the Best Timing
If you are finding an apartment for the first time, you must choose the right time of the year when there is less competition.
Also, apartment prices tend to change depending on the season, so you can save on rent by being strategic in your search. For instance, apartments are the least competitive during winter, and you are likely to get the best deals.
It may be easier to get your first-time apartment as a first-time renter, but you must bring a co-signer. Since you don’t have a rental history to persuade your landlord you are a good tenant; a consigner may convince them to rent you an apartment.
Tips to Rent Your First Apartment
There’s so much to learn before renting your first apartment. The best piece of advice is to determine what you can manage to pay and then carefully navigate the rental process.
To turn your first apartment into a home, be keen on every detail, prioritize your needs, and keep track of your expenses.
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