You’ve been thinking about this for a while, but you think it’s time to move out of your parent’s house to get a place of your own. You don’t have the funds or credit score necessary to take out a mortgage, but you can manage renting an apartment.
While you’re searching for a new home, there are a few things that you need to consider. If you fail to read all the fine print before you rent an apartment, you’ll find yourself paying for it later. Literally, in many cases.
You also shouldn’t get more apartment than you can afford, and there’s the matter of taking a tour of the building. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Set Your Budget
Before you begin looking for an apartment for rent, you need to set your budget. You shouldn’t be spending more than 30% of your income that you make each month on your rent. You’ll be stretching your resources if you shoot too high, which means you won’t have any cash left over for yourself.
Your rental quote isn’t the only price that you need to consider. You also have to think about the upfront costs that come with your security deposit and leasing application. If you have a pet, you’ll most likely have to pay some kind of deposit to move them in with you.
There are also the future costs that come with renting. You’ve got to consider your utilities and since this is your first apartment, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have to buy some new furniture.
Most landlords require you to get the best renters insurance to cover your things in the event of a fire or burglary. That’s another expense to add to the list.
2. Choose the Right Neighborhood
Now that you have a budget in mind, it’s time to search for the right neighborhood. If you want to save money on gas, it might not be a bad idea to find an apartment that’s close to where you work.
Those who don’t like driving may prioritize a location that has plenty of public transportation options. Maybe you want to be within walking distance of all the nearby amenities.
Would you rather be in a big city or do you want to stay in a quiet rural area? If you don’t take a moment to think about all these things, you’ll find that you’ll be unhappy even if you’re in a nice apartment.
3. Decide If You’ll Need a Roommate
Many first-time renters find that most places are out of their financial reach unless they take on a roommate. There’s nothing wrong with it. Especially if the apartment of your dreams puts you above that 30% mark.
The problem is finding the right person. You can make a lifelong friend or enemy, depending on how things go. First of all, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to find someone.
You’re going to need to interview multiple people and put advertisements on social media. It’s not something that you should try and rush through.
You also need to take a minute to decide what’s important to you. Do you need someone who can get along with your dog? Do you want someone who’s cleaner than most?
When you do find someone who meets all your criteria, make a roommate agreement. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that problems will pop up later.
4. Take a Walking Tour
Most apartment websites will allow you to take a virtual tour of a place before you rent it. We’re here to tell you that this doesn’t replace looking at an apartment in person.
Don’t rent a place out without taking a walking tour first. Doing so will give you a small taste of what the community and neighborhood are like.
Visiting the complex in person also gives you the chance to check out the quality of the amenities. Having a dog park where your furry friend can play is all well and good, but if the landlord doesn’t keep it up, you’re not going to want to use it.
5. Find Out What the Parking Situation Is Like
Parking at an apartment complex can be a nightmare. It might be hard for you to find a spot for yourself, let alone your guests. You want to gear some of the questions that you ask during the walking tour toward this.
Ask what the parking situation is like during the evenings. This is when things are at their craziest. Ask if your guests will need a parking pass, and find out if you’ll have access to your own garage.
6. Ask Potential Landlords About the Application Process
You’d be surprised at how complicated the application process can be. This is especially true if it’s your first time renting one. There might be a lot of jargon that you’ll have to navigate through.
For the most part, the process will involve handing over the application and turning in a small fee. From there, the landlord will do a credit check and let you know within a few days if you’ve been accepted or not. Things can vary from apartment to apartment, though, so it’s good to ask.
7. Consider Amenities
The last thing you need to consider is amenities. It’s nice when apartments near me have swimming pools and gyms to work out in.
Your pet will enjoy having access to a gorgeous dog park, and some places have quiet areas where you can take your laptop if you work from home.
You also need to consider the amenities inside your apartment. Places that have washers and dryers in the unit are a godsend that you shouldn’t take for granted.
Things to Know Before Renting an Apartment
Are you thinking about renting an apartment for the first time? A lot more goes into the process than you might think. If you don’t take the time to create a budget or schedule a walking tour, you may find yourself disappointed a few years down the line.
Don’t let that happen to you! Find the place of your dreams the first time and visit our blog for even more articles on apartment hunting.