First Time Renter’s Guide: How to Rent an Apartment
In the first quarter of 2019, the number of rented households grew at an annual rate of 350,000. Renting has continued to rise, especially in the last few years. If you’re looking for an apartment, chances that you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The process can be exciting while still stressful for a first-timer. You might be unfamiliar with the process when renting an apartment. If you want to learn how to rent an apartment, keep reading our guide.
You’ll learn practical tips for renting an apartment for the first time.
1. Have a Realistic Budget
Your budget will determine the kind of apartment you’ll search for. As such, setting a budget ought to be the first step the minute you decide to rent an apartment. Your budget allocation will give you an idea of the options available for you.
Don’t spend more on the rent than you can afford in the long term. So, how much money do you need to rent an apartment? Your budget depends on several factors, but your rent shouldn’t exceed 30% of your gross income.
The last thing you want is straining to pay for your apartment six months down the road. You’d rather upgrade to your dream apartment when your income allows it than to start at the top and end up regretting.
As you budget for the rent, consider the monthly expenses to make a more informed decision. Factor in the utilities, groceries, transportation, and insurance are some of the expenses that you’ll incur every month. Once you have a realistic budget, getting an apartment to suit your needs will be easier.
2. Where Do You Want to Live?
Your preferred location is a critical factor to consider when looking for an apartment. You can start by looking at online listings. A realtor can also help you find an ideal apartment, especially if you don’t have enough time to search for a vacant house.
It is crucial to consider the apartment’s proximity to school or work. Having your home closer to some of the places that you frequent is a life-saver. You’ll save time and money that you’d otherwise spend commuting from one place to another.
Security is another factor you need to note as you look for your ideal apartment. Check things like lighting and parking. If the property manager hasn’t put in adequate security measures, it’s better to get an alternative.
Other factors to consider when searching for an apartment for the first time include the availability of transportation, neighborhood, and convenience to public amenities. Knowing more about your location will make it easier for you to rent an apartment with minimal effort.
3. Outline Your Needs
If you want to find an apartment that you’ll love, ensure that you have a checklist of your needs. Note that modern apartments come in different styles and features. Without this list, you wouldn’t know what to look for in an apartment, and you might end up settling for a space that doesn’t excite you to go home.
Your checklist of needs is the must-have features that will ensure you’re comfortable enough. For instance, your needs might include having public transportation near you for easy commuting if you don’t own a car. You need to differentiate these needs from your wish list, which are wants that you can live comfortably without.
Look for an apartment with the features you consider paramount. If you get one that meets most of your wants without compromising on the needs, go for it!
4. Ask About the Utilities Included
You might get an apartment with a suitable location but lacking the necessary utilities to keep you comfortable. You might need to begin by asking your property manager about the house and the utilities.
Sometimes, you might end up paying more for a house just to enjoy certain additional utilities. These utilities include water, energy, internet, and any other utilities you might need. If you are a first-time renter, it will make sense to consider all the relevant utilities before making any payments towards rent.
Today, more people are working online as the idea of freelancing gains traction. Are you wondering how to rent an apartment for the first time? Utilities such as stable and fast internet are considerations you can’t overlook.
5. Consider Walking Tour of the Apartment
Any first-time renter wondering how to rent an apartment with ease needs to pay attention to the details. Once you understand the cost implications and the other features included in the offer, the next step should be to visit the apartment in person.
Taking a walking tour of the apartment will help you put a physical face to the online pictures. At times, the photos you see online could be deceiving. Before relying on an online marketing gimmick, you should consider a physical walk through the apartment to confirm that everything is intact.
Your greatest mistake would be to pay for a house based on unverified information regarding the state of the building. A walk-in tour gives you the confidence that all is well.
6. Ask for a Renters Insurance
When moving into a new house, nothing is more important than a renter’s insurance. However, most first-time renters don’t realize or ask for this critical document. A renters insurance protects you as the renter from any eventualities that may emerge along the way.
Typical insurance coverage includes coverage against personal liability, theft, fire, and damages caused by varying weather elements. Before moving into a new dwelling, it would help consider the issues that may arise that may cause direct losses to you, necessitating the need for renter insurance.
7. Sign Agreement
The last thing that you can’t overlook as a first-time renter is a signed agreement. Ultimately, it’s your word against the property manager in case of any concerns. Before considering a new apartment, ensure that you ask whether they have a signed agreement that’s binding.
A lease agreement is among the most important documents you must have as a renter. The agreement allows you to have a legal premise in case of trouble. It’s important to read and understand the lease before signing.
Are you trying to find an apartment that fits the bill with all the legal instruments in place to protect you? You don’t have to look any further.
This Is How to Rent an Apartment
Finding a house that you can call a home is never easy. Are you looking for tips for renting an apartment for the first time? It would be best if you took your time to consider all the dynamics that make up a perfect apartment for you.
If you are wondering how to rent an apartment? With these seven tips and adequate due diligence, you’ll be able to find a house that satisfies your every need.
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