Tips For First Time Apartment Renters – Renting your own place can be a daunting experience, especially if it is your first time. If you are moving out of your campus dorm and into a new apartment in town, you’ll be away from your usual scheduled activities and college community. That could be really intimidating for some of us. If you are leaving your parent’s house to strike out on your own for the first time, that takes a lot of courage as well. Whatever your circumstances, moving out to rent your own apartment is a mixed bag of emotions. It’s scary and risky, but also exciting and freeing. This is a huge transition for anyone to make and you need to arm yourself with adequate information about the process of renting your own home.
To help ease you out of your comfort zone and into your new life, we have curated a list of questions and terms that will assist you in your search for the ideal house or apartment. Also discussed are the ins and outs of renting that will definitely help beginners like you.
Tips For First Time Apartment Renters
Moving out of your parent’s house and renting your own apartment is one of the milestones of growing up. Independence is a beautiful thing. You will finally be on your own and you will have the freedom to pick out a comfortable space you want to live in and make all the decisions yourself. There are many kinds of apartments that you can choose from. It ranges from a stylish studio unit, gorgeous loft, or a quaint second-floor walk-up. If it fits your budget and it’s available for rent, rent it can be yours.
First-timers can be understandably nervous when it comes to renting their very first, very own space. If you are confident you made the right choice, the first-timer jitters will eventually turn into joy once you sign the lease.
The following tips are meant to help first-time apartment renters in handling moving situations easily and efficiently:
#1 – Look presentable when meeting the leasing agent or landlord
When you are meeting your realtor or your potential landlord for the very first time, you want to create a good impression. Keep in mind, they can just as easily give the space to someone else. You have to make an effort to put your best foot forward. Dress neatly and in a manner that conveys responsibility and reliability. You don’t have to be in corporate attire but do keep in mind that you have to get them to trust you enough to sign with you and no one else. You are probably not the only person interested in the place, especially if the apartment is a steal, make sure you leave them with a great impression.
#2 – Have your checkbook ready
Most young people are used to paying with their credit cards or in cash. They probably won’t even think to open a checking account unless the need arises. If you want to rent your own apartment, now is the time to open a checking account if you don’t already have one. Most rent agreement will ask for an advance, security deposit, and post-dated checks. Some establishments might let you pay in cash, but it looks more professional if you issue checks. Remember, you want to make a good impression. Bring your checkbook with you when you visit prospective apartments, in case you score a deal for an apartment that’s too good to pass up.
#3 – Research the neighborhood
The neighborhood is just as important as the actual apartment unit you will be renting and as such, you will need to weigh the community just as fastidiously. Talking to your potential neighbors will help you learn a lot of things about your new neighborhood that your realtor might not volunteer. Be friendly with them and ask questions that are thoughtful and relevant, and do so tactfully. Some people will not respond well if they feel like someone is being too nosey or like they or the place where they live are being scrutinized.
#4 – Ask for details about parking regulations
Parking regulations are different for every place and every apartment complex. It always depends on the management of the building or the property you are moving in to. Inquiring about available parking spaces for tenants and visitors should be one of your top priorities before moving in. Apart from that, ask about the parking cost and parking guidelines. Inquiring about this will save your car or your visitor’s car from being towed in case you unwittingly parked in the wrong spot. Even if you yourself do not have a car, ask the questions anyway for the sake of your future visitors who may need to bring a car.
#5 – Do not overspend; especially on your first apartment
Statistics show you will move out of your first apartment after the first year. This is normal. With that find a place that’s in your budget and allows you to have some free cash available in the event of an emergency. The temptation to splurge or to get the very best you can afford is strong, but for your first ever apartment, we suggest erring on the side of thriftiness. Start small and choose a modest apartment. There will be a lot of expenses that you will not be able to anticipate when you are a first time home renter. Don’t blow your entire budget on rent alone. A good rule of thumb when renting is to choose an apartment that cost less than a third of your gross monthly income. For example, if you earn $3,000 every month, your rent should cost at most $1,000 a month. This is not an easy thing to follow when you “fall in love” with a place a little above your budget, but self-control is key. It will save you many months of financial stress and frustration.
#6 – Read the rental agreement and ask questions to the leasing agent
The rent agreement legally binds you with your apartment so make sure you read everything carefully. This will typically cover information about loud noises, visitors, pets, and other related aspects of daily living. It’s not enough to find an apartment you like and that fits your budget, you should also look for one that won’t restrict your lifestyle. Know what your non-negotiables and know which areas will you be willing to compromise. Read the agreement from cover to cover before signing it.
#7 – Get a renter’s insurance
This is something that most renters take for granted, when in fact, it is very simple to acquire. Your insurance will help you secure your personal belongings when you decide to move into an apartment. There are many companies that offer amazing discounts and promos for renter’s insurance.
#8 – Hire expert movers
If you are a first-time apartment renter, you might want to ask help from your friends and family during your move to save some money. However, hiring experts to help you during your move is the best thing to do because they will professionally assist you with everything you will need. This is especially true if you are moving a considerable distance. Expert movers will help you every step along the way. There are a lot of inexpensive and reliable moving company services that you can choose from.