Whether you’re a first time renter or a seasoned veteran of the process, finding the right apartment that has everything you want and also fits in your budget can be a daunting task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of things to consider before you sign your name on the dotted line of the lease.
How much the monthly rent is the first item you need to budget for here, but there are other costs that need to be considered. First among those are move-in costs like security deposit and renters insurance. One way to bring those costs down is to evaluate deposit alternatives, which is a surety bond that protects you and the property against damage and is often much more affordable than a typical security deposit. Additionally, you can work with your property to identify and purchase an insurance policy that meets your needs.
Other costs you need to take into account are how much it will cost you to move in. Are you going to hire movers or will you just be renting a truck. If you’re looking to move on a budget, check out this post for some tips.
Finally, you’ll want to have all of your financial documentation lined up to help you move quickly through the verification process. Make sure you have access to your pay stubs, bank account information, and whatever else the property requires of you before moving in.
If the costs are going to be too high, it’s not the end of the world. You could take on roommates to lessen your burden.
When looking for an apartment, it’s important to know the things you can’t live without because once the lease is signed you don’t want to have that FOMO for a community that has what you’re looking for.
Make sure you have a list of everything you want/need and check those boxes off during the walk through. This is the time to make sure you have everything to make this apartment your home for the foreseeable future.
Where your apartment is located is just as important as what’s inside. When deciding where you want to live make sure you know what your priorities are. Do you want to live in the city and have access to nightlife, shopping, and maybe a little shorter commute or do you want to live out in the suburbs and have access to nature, parks, etc.
Another way to keep costs down is to move during the offseason when there’s less demand. This varies depending on where you’re looking to move, but typically the offseason is from September to April.
Not every property is going to allow pets. During the evaluation phase, make sure you find out whether or not you can have a pet and if it’s going to cost you more (either in terms of a higher deposit or higher rental rate).
It’s hard to know what the future holds, but it’s important to have an idea of how long you want to be there because breaking a lease can be a lot of hassle (and possibly costly), so make sure you read all of the fine print.
Finally, before you make a commitment, do all of your due diligence. Read reviews of the properties so you have a better idea of what it’s like when you actually live there and not the sanitized version you get from touring the model. Speaking of touring, take the time to turn everything off and on to make sure everything works.