Navigating the waters as a first time renter can be as scary as it is exciting! You’re preparing for a life on your own. Knowing where to start first can make a world of difference in avoiding some of the most common renter pitfalls.
Budget is the single most important thing to consider when getting your first apartment. It is wise to not spend more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent. Apart from your monthly rent you can also expect to pay for utilities such as electricity and water. The apartment community will typically bill you for your monthly water usage. It is also a common practice for properties to require tenants to pay monthly for renter’s insurance as well.
“Upfront Costs can add up so knowing what to expect can make the process smooth”
Upfront Costs can add up so knowing what to expect can make the process smooth. Typical expenses when applying for an apartment can vary community to community but usually include an application fee, administrative fee and deposit(s).
The application starts the initial approval process and applicants 18 years of age or older will incur an application fee. The administrative fee is a one-time fee that many communities charge for your credit, rental, employment and background screening. There are many types of deposits that vary from applicant to applicant. Deposits can be standard, conditional or even additional for tenants that are first time renters or have pets.
“Determine What’s Most Important To You”
Determine what’s most important to you. Is it a pet-friendly community, a short commute to work, being in close proximity to shopping and restaurants or modern finishes in your apartment? Knowing exactly what you want will help you decide where to call home.
Tour the community to see what they have to offer. Seeing the unit in person will give you an idea of the layout of the space, the color scheme and interior apartment finishes. The community amenities are just as important as the apartment amenities so don’t forget to ask about them.
Schedule a tour
Read through your apartment lease carefully so you know exactly what you’ll be responsible for during your lease term. The community’s policies are outlined in the lease agreement. Understanding the fine print in your lease will help you avoid potential lease violations.