Renting Your First Apartment

 In Blog

When it comes to renting your first apartment, it can be a nerve-wracking process. There’s so much that goes into finding your first place. You want it to be in a great location. You want it to fit your budget. And you want it to meet your needs – as it’s a place where you’ll create many memories. 

Of course, since it’s your first time renting, you probably have questions and are wondering where to even begin. Here are a few tips to help!

    • Start Searching for a Place: The first thing on your list is to find a place. Think about the amenities you are looking for. Do you need parking? Would you like a workout center? Do you want your own washer and dryer, or would a central laundry area work for you?
      • And, consider your commute to work. Do you want to live close to your job? Will you need public transportation? Make a list of things you hope to find in an apartment.
    • Consider Having Roommates: An apartment takes up a significant portion of your income, and once you’ve figured out your budget, you may decide that a roommate (or two) makes sense. Or, if you just like the idea of living with a roommate – find someone you are compatible with to share your apartment.
    • Gather All the Information You Need for the Rental Agreement: When signing a rental agreement, there are some things that you will need to bring with you. Be prepared with:
      • Proof of employment
      • Photo identification
      • List of previous addresses
      • Vehicle registration (may be necessary to obtain parking)
    • Have References Available: You may also need letters of reference. Seek out reliable people to write you a letter and make sure they are signed, dated, and include the contact information of the person providing the reference.
    • Read Your Lease: Before signing on the dotted line, be sure you read your lease carefully. You want to read everything – even the fine print. Pay close attention to dates, and be sure to ask questions or for clarity on anything you don’t completely understand. If you still have questions, seek out the advice of a lawyer or someone with knowledge of leases.
  • Make Sure You Have Enough Money: When you sign your lease, you may need to put down a deposit, plus a month’s worth of rent (or sometimes more). Make sure your budget is ready for the financial commitment. Additionally, you may need money to set up utilities and purchase necessities for your new place. 
  • Get Renters Insurance: Many people believe that the apartment owner will help if damage is done to items in a renter’s apartment due to broken pipes or a fire. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But renters insurance is designed to protect you and your things if destroyed, damaged, lost, or stolen. Speak with an insurance agent to see what a policy would cost and what exactly it will cover.
  • Move-In: Once you’ve got everything in order, it’s time to move in. Do a walk-through of your apartment and be sure to note any damage (scruffs, scratches, stains in carpeting, etc.). Then invite some friends to help you carry boxes and heavy furniture. 
  • Get to Know Your Neighbors: And, once you’re settled, spend some time getting to know your neighbors. Be friendly and say hello! Set yourself up to be the neighbor that everybody loves.

Moving into your first apartment is exciting, and when you follow these tips, it can be a much easier process. It’s time to find an apartment and enjoy your new space!

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