Moving out of your childhood home and into your first apartment is one of the milestones of your life. It’s a step towards adulthood and being independent. It’s scary because it’s so different from living under your parents’ roof, but it’s also exciting because you now have more control over your life.
Before you go looking for apartment rentals, here are some things you need to consider:
If you want to live in a decent space than a sketchy one, you’re going to have to invest more money in it. Some of the potential costs you need to consider include:
- Upfront Costs
Because it’s your first time, you have to know the upfront costs. It includes application fees and security deposit. Most landlords also require a few months of advance in rent, which means a lot of your savings will go to these fees.
- Long-Term Costs
After knowing the upfront costs, you need to think whether you can afford the monthly rent. A good tip: your rent should be a third of your income or less. Also consider all the other stuff you need to pay for yourself, such as food and gas. Make sure that those all fit into your budget.
Some landlords already include the cost of utilities such as electricity, water, and Internet bills on the monthly rent, but some don’t. Make sure you’re clear on these terms before finalizing everything.
Dealing with paperwork is one of the signals that you really are an adult. You can no longer rely on what mom and dad have to say because you’re on your own, although some guidance may help. The documents you need to check are these:
The lease is the contract between you and the landlord. This legal document consists of all the rules that are involved in renting the property. In it, you’ll find whether you’re allowed to paint the walls, add shelves, or make any changes you might want to do.
If you want to bring your furry friends, carefully read through the document if such is allowed and if your apartment is a pet-friendly one. Ask the landlord if you can have some time to read it and bring up points you disagree with when you meet, and see if you can compromise. Following the rules on the lease will prevent future arguments that may lead to you getting kicked out.
- Renter’s Insurance
A lot of landlords today require their tenants to have renter’s insurance. The apartment may be insured, but it may not cover your personal belongings. So, in case a fire or something unfortunate happens, at least you’re covered with insurance.
- Valid IDs
Prepare all your documents that the landlord may require to approve your application. Ready your valid IDs, a resume, and sometimes a recommendation letter from your boss or even a professor so you don’t have to deal with them during the process of application, which can be troublesome.
Do you prefer a place that’s a walking distance from your work or do you prefer driving around? Make sure that your apartment is in an area where it’s convenient for you. Pay a visit during the day and night to know how much traffic you’ll deal with and how peaceful the neighborhood is at those times. You should also go on weekdays and weekends.
Before signing anything, make sure that you made a thorough inspection of the apartment. Check that the faucets, sockets, appliances, and everything else work. Keep an eye out for any damages, take a picture, and show it to your landlord. Have them sign that those damages were there before you moved in so you don’t lose your security deposit.
Moving to a new apartment is a tedious task. You have to pack and unpack everything you’re bringing to the new place and then you’ll have to take them there. You can ask your friends and family to help you, or you can hire professional movers to do the job.
Do you plan on having roommates? If you do, whether they’re strangers or your very best friends in the world, make sure that everyone signs the lease. It’s a security measure to make sure that no one can just run away in case something happens and so you won’t end up paying all the bills yourself.
Moving into a new apartment for the first time doesn’t have to be terrifying. Just keep these tips in mind when you start browsing the web or newspapers for ads, so you don’t end up on a place where you don’t want to live.