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What You Need to Rent an Apartment for the First Time

outside view of an apartment building

Moving out for the first time and finding your own place is exciting, but it can be an intimidating task, too. Whether you are moving off of campus to an apartment in town, or moving out of your parent’s house, there are lots of things you need to do, and a lot of new information to consider. You will be on your own, and you can do what you want, but it also comes with more responsibilities.

Since you are just getting started with having your own place, there’s probably a lot of questions going on in your mind. If you are wondering what you need to do to rent an apartment, then you’re in the right place. It’s because today, we are going to give you a guide about the most important things you need to consider when renting a new space. This will help you feel more confident and less stressed about this major milestone in your life. 

Set Your Budget Wisely

The very first thing you need to do if you are thinking about renting an apartment soon is to set your budget. It’s because this will enable you to know what your options are. The majority of people who rent apartments spend about 25 to 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. But prices may vary depending on where you live. Aside from your payment for rent, there are also many other expenses that you need to take into consideration when you rent a new place. This may include utilities, internet, transportation, insurance, car payments, furniture, groceries, laundry, and more. 

Therefore, before deciding to go out and find potential apartments that you can move into, consider your budget first and set it wisely. 

Choose a Great Location

After finalizing your budget, you will now have a better idea of what city or town you can afford to live in. You can also start researching online for listings. You can also find an apartment with the help of a realtor who has the market knowledge and neighborhood expertise. However, realtors will usually charge you with a brokerage fee, which may not be part of your budget. 

You also need to consider a place that is near your work, and as well as near important places, such as hospitals, stores, schools if you have kids, and other essential places for you. This will help you save money and make your commute short. Also, when choosing a location for an apartment, you also need to see if that neighborhood is safe. For example, if you work in Texas, you can consider some apartments in Pearland, which are usually inexpensive and surrounded by schools, a bustling job market, and less traffic. 

Make a List of the Amenities that You Need or Want

Another thing that you might want to do when renting an apartment is to list down all the amenities that you need.. Different apartments offer different amenities, and this will also vary depending on your price range. Making a list of the amenities that you need or want will help you in making sure that the apartment you choose will meet most of your necessary needs. These amenities can be anything from parking space, air conditioning, laundry, or even a pet-friendly environment. But also remember to be realistic when making a list, especially when you are tight in budget. 

inside a beautiful apartment

When checking out or touring different places, you need to separate your must-haves from nice-to-haves. You also need lots of patience when doing this, and sometimes, you need to understand that you have to take what you can get. It’s important to know how to shop smart when finding a potential apartment to move into. 

Make sure that you also ask questions when visiting available apartments. Ask the property manager about their policy on package and mail receiving for residents. You can also ask when the quiet hours are and more. Try to come up with a list of questions depending on what’s important to you. 

Know What Utilities are Included in the Apartment

There are some apartments that come with included utilities while others do not. If it is important to you that the apartment has included utilities, then you also need to add that to your search as it can affect your budget, too. 

Ask the property manager about the utilities that will be added to each rent payment. For example, there are apartments that bill their tenants directly for water usage, instead of making them open an account with the city for water. If this is the case with your chosen space, then you will be adding on the amount owed to each rent payment instead of sending a separate payment to the local water department. The same goes for other utilities like electricity, internet, and more. 

Filling Out the Rental Application

Once you’ve found the perfect apartment that will cater to your needs, it’s time to fill out the rental application. Most rental applications come with a fee. Rental applications are important to help the property manager or landlord determine if someone is a good fit based on income, job history, and credit score. These things speak about your character and dependability, which is used as a predictor by property managers on whether or not you will pay your rent on time. 

If you are just stepping into your first job, or if you are still financially dependent, you will need to have a co-signer for your apartment. When you have a co-signer, in case you are unable to meet the income requirements, they will be responsible for making the payment. This can be one of your parents or a family member, so if this applies to you, make sure that you talk to them before filling out the rental application. After filling out all the details, submit your application, and wait for the approval. 

Understand the Lease and Fees

When your rental application gets approved, it’s normal to feel excited and a bit nervous, too, because it’s your first apartment. However, while you’re unable to contain your feelings, do not feel rushed when it comes to signing the lease. Make sure that you read and understand the contract in its entirety, and when you have any concerns, note them. It is beneficial for you to understand the apartment lease agreement as it will tell you when the rent is due, what the late fees are, how to submit a maintenance request, what their pet policies are, and more. 

After signing the lease, there are also usually a couple fees you need to pay before you can move in. Your landlord or property manager will likely ask for a security deposit and as well as last month’s rent before making your move official. There are also some apartments that will ask for your first month’s rent. This means that you need to be prepared for these fees and anticipate them in your budget when getting ready to rent an apartment. 

Prepare to Move

Once you’ve signed the lease and paid everything you need to pay to your property manager, it’s time to move into your very first apartment. You can settle your move-in date with your property manager. Once set, you also need to set goals for yourself each week or day before the big day. This includes finding a moving company, transferring your utilities, and as well as forwarding your mail. Making a list of all the essential things you will need in your new apartment can also help you move to your new apartment easily. 

These are some of the best tips we can give on what you need to rent an apartment for the first time. It is both an exciting and intimidating journey, but if you are prepared enough, you will surely find the best apartment for you.

 

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