Whether this is your first or last time to rent a home, finding the right apartment that matches your lifestyle and budget is not going to be a walk in the park.
Whether you just graduated from college or have decided to move from your parent’s house to your own, there are many things you need to know regarding how to go about apartment rental.
Fortunately, we are here to help you. Before you put your signature on that lease, don’t forget these highly crucial factors for consideration sake while hunting for an apartment.
Where you live is very much important as the layout of your home. Normally, you will want somewhere near grocery stores and services you often use.
You don’t want a place farther from where you can get a haircut, groceries, and grab food or eat out at a nice restaurant.
Being able to walk a bit to your destination as well as closeness to public transportation is very nice.
You also want to consider the distance between your work and the potential new home. Along route can ruin one’s day; so, figure out the distance. During odd times, you would drive to work and back, so, determine the distance of a ride you are in for.
Firstly, can you afford to live in this place for living sake? Sure, before you start looking into the apartment, you first give your budget good consideration. Do a little online research to know the typical rate of rental in the area.
If you can’t afford the high price for a particular location, then you will need to look for other means to lower expenses. Or you may need to cover the costs by finding yourself a roommate.
Also, remember that if the rent of an apartment is ridiculously low (and too good to be true) as compared to other rental properties in the neighborhood, then this may be a warning to you.
Ensure you understand the market before you check into and negotiate apartment prices.
At this stage, you need to consider your needs and determine the size of the apartment you want to rent. Do you want to rent a studio apartment? Do you want a 1-, 2-, or 3-bedroom home? Do you want 1 or 2 bathrooms?
The answer to this question will greatly depend on your specific situation and the number of people that will be living in the rental apartment.
Remember, larger apartments, as well as more occupants, will greatly add to utility usage so be sure to plan your budget properly.
Don’t rely on those nice pictures posted online. You must request and get a physical inspection of an apartment you are considering before you agree.
Remember that surface issues, such as cracks or scratches on the wall can be repaired, possibly by the homeowner. But with deeper problems, that may be revealing improper maintenance of the apartment.
As you test the apartment, check for health and safety issues, like rodents, water damage, bug problems, asbestos, leaky faucets, dirty air filters, broken windows, lead paint, electrical problems, rust, damaged heat, and air conditioning systems, and rust.
Know in advance if you are to carry out any home improvement before moving and the possible budget for that.
You may find the interpretation of a legal document difficult if this is your first time. Familiarize with the frequently used terms in a rental contract and then carefully go through your lease.
If something is not clear to you, ask for clarification before you sign the contract. Check the neighborhoods for regulations and behavioral restrictions, late rent policy, as well as the actions that can cause eviction.
If you are not comfortable with something in the lease, talk about it with your property manager. You can normally request changes to your lease, but don’t assume all of your requests will be granted.
Your renting experience is dependent on your landlord. A bad landlord with bad ethics of one that knows no boundaries may bring you troubles with your rental. This can be prevented by meeting with your landlord or have a talk with him or her over the phone.
If you have roommates already and are relocating into an apartment, then be sure to ask them about their total experience with their landlord.
Familiarize Yourself in Neighborhoods
Most of your social life will be dictated by your neighborhood, whether for good or bad. If you are not pleased with the nearest coffee shop, leaking hole, or the whole feels, you may not be happy all through.
According to experts, if you’ve found the right apartment, visit it a few different times throughout the day.
Check in the morning, midday, and in the evening too. What is the state of the street at 10/11 pm? Be more focused on the nearest surroundings and walk around the block and a few streets.
Is there a nearby fire station that you will hear even at midnight? Spending time in the neighborhood will enable you to figure out the average age as well as demographics of the area.
You also need to find out the safety record of the neighborhood. This is done by checking different neighborhood sites like Neighborhood Scout, National Sex Offender, Neighborhood Scout, Area Vibes, Spot Crime, and Crime Reports.
Deciding whether to get a roommate or not is usually financial. If living alone is costly and cannot be singlehandedly managed, and you plan on relocating with roommates, you need to take some formal steps.
Make sure all the roommates sign the lease agreement and then work with you to create a roommate agreement.
This ensures your safety in the event of any clashes that may arise on paying bills, noise, cleanliness, and so on.
You need to be very careful of who you choose as a roommate. Your best friend may be the worst roommate ever. Don’t concentrate on the relationship with the roommates now and just consider what living with them will like.
The Pet Policy
Your landlord’s policy about pets should be added to the lease. If you own a pet or plan on getting one, this little detail is crucial.
Be sure to check if the landlord charges a deposit for a pet; if the deposit can be refunded, weight limitations on the pet, and the type of pets allowed.
For example, if you live in a condo building or an apartment, you may be allowed to keep only a dog or cat of about 20 pounds.
If you have a list of essential things you need for your day to day living in your first apartment, what are the contents? Do you need in-unit laundry for daily cloth cleaning? Do you require an on-site gym room to enable you to exercise? Do you prefer an elevator to stairs to get to your apartment after a busy day?
These are highly important factors to consider when renting an apartment to make sure you enjoy your home. A lot of apartment areas are improving their games with attractive amenities that make living easier, more fun, and convenient according to Devon Thorsby, a Real Estate editor at United States News and World Report.
You can find the right apartment and building with a list of these items in an order of importance.
The Utility Costs
Remember your utility costs. Together with the monthly rent, you possibly will have to pay for different utilities all through the rental period in the apartment.
These utilities include garbage, electricity, gas, sewer, water, air conditioning, and so on. Your lease should highlight the utilities you are responsible for paying.
Some utilities may already be added to the rent. If you have questions about who is responsible for what, ensure you consult your landlord properly before you sign the lease.
Make sure you plan ahead on how to reduce your utility bill when you move into the house.
Complete a Rental Application
You’ve discovered the place, but you are not done yet with your first apartment checklist. After you discovered the right apartment, the next thing to do is to fill a rental application.
You may be asked by a property manager at this stage to come with:
- A valid I.D.
- Social security card
- Recent bank statement
- Your last three pay stubs
- Recommendation letters from your employer or family or close friends
These are the normal requirements for any rental application but include information for a co-signer on the checklist for your first apartment.
One may be required possibly if you don’t have a long credit history. Having a person to co-sign your lease will provide more confidence to your property manager that the rent is paid on time.
Sign Your Lease
Approval for a rental application often takes a few days. Then the next step will be to sign the lease and fix your move-in date.
Your lease is a legal contract and must be treated as such.
This implies that you must read it carefully, and ask for clarification when necessary. Ensure that you take cognizance of major facts in it, like:
- How do you pay when the rent is due?
- How to submit and handle maintenance request
- Any additional fees
- If subleasing is allowed
- Policy about parking
Also, you will want to check all the lease-related policies to ensure you comply with the rules:
- Guest policy
- Pet policy
- Parking policy for guests
- Late rent policy
- Decorating policies, such as if you are allowed to put holes in your walls and paint
Ensure you are satisfied with everything in the lease before signing it. If you don’t like some, discuss it with your landlord or property manager.
They are usually ready to compromise when necessary. Anything you change should be included in your lease in writing before you sign.
The two most popular moving options are to do-it-yourself (with the help of friends) or hire professional movers.
Immediately you decide the direction to follow, book your move-in day.
Get your rental moving van ready and get friends who can be available to help.
Shop for moving and packing supplies some weeks before the moving day and start packing gradually to ensure you get it done before rush hour.
Strong moving boxes, packing paper, packing tape, bubble wrap, and few permanent markers will be needed for the move. Remember to label each of your boxes.
You can as well get some of these moving supplies free or at a cheaper rate.
Check Moving Feedback’s wide network of reliable and dependable moving companies to get the one you can perform your next move with ease and professionalism.
All movers in our database are insured, licensed, and experienced to give you peace of mind all through the move, assuring you of no damage to your belongings, starting from packing to delivery with adequate moving insurance.