Moving into your first apartment is a fun and exciting time. Following these tips will help make the transition to living on your own a breeze.
Budget and Costs
Renting an apartment is a serious financial commitment. Before you even begin to look at apartments, you need to determine your budget. Generally, your rent shouldn’t cost more than 25 percent of your gross monthly income. This chart can help you determine your price range for monthly rent. If you are a student or are otherwise unable to work full time, you will need someone, like a parent or family member, to co-sign your lease.
Now that you’ve determined your budget for monthly rent, you’ll need to take other costs into consideration. Make sure to ask how much the security deposit is for each apartment you look at. If you plan on bringing a pet with you, make sure you know how much the pet rent and deposit are. You should also be mindful of application fees and whether or not you’ll need renter’s insurance. Ask if you’ll be responsible for paying utilities, and, if so, ask how much they typically cost. You should also ask whether your apartment has air conditioning and a washer and dryer. If the unit you’re looking at doesn’t have these amenities, you will likely need to adjust your budget accordingly.
Transportation and Location
Location is an important factor in deciding where to live. You want to make sure you’re able to easily get to work or school, grocery stores, restaurants and all of your favorite places. If you don’t have a car, look for apartments that are either within walking or biking distance from the places you frequent, or look for apartments that are near bus stops. If you do have a car, make sure to ask about parking availability, the cost of parking and visitor parking.
For most first-time renters, signing a lease is the first time they’ve come into contact with a legally binding document. Make sure to read your lease thoroughly and ask questions if you have any. Before signing it, be certain that you will be able to stay in the apartment for the entire lease term and that you understand what actions would constitute violating or breaking the lease. If you have roommates, have them sign the lease as well. If you are the only person signing the lease as a tenant, you are responsible for any lease violations, including late or unpaid rent.
Maintenance and Repairs
When you move in, thoroughly check the unit for any damages and report these damages to your landlord. This will allow you to get these issues repaired quickly and makes it more likely that you’ll get your security deposit back once you move out. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the maintenance and repair workers so you know who to call if anything in your apartment breaks.
First-time renters need to equip themselves with as much knowledge as possible before moving into their first apartment. Renting your first apartment is an exciting experience, and Scott Brown Properties is happy to guide you through the process of finding and renting your first apartment in the area!