Getting to move into your first apartment is exciting. It’s also a big and intimidating change. With so many things to consider, they may leave you with your head spinning.
Here is a list of essential things to consider before starting the apartment hunting process. Thinking about them now will help you choose the best apartment rentals and avoid making expensive mistakes later.
1. The Upfront Costs
When renting an apartment, all that renters think about is the rent. Once you pay the rent, you’re good.
Well, not at all! You’ll spend a lot of money before settling in your new apartment. You’ll need to pay for security deposits, application fees, and one month rent in advance. Therefore, you may run out of money even before you move in.
Make plans to have rent for a couple of months to allow you to cater for these costs.
2. The Long-term Costs
After moving into an apartment, you’ll only pay rent, right?
Again, No! There are some utility bills to pay. Don’t forget to pay for gas, heat, power, and internet. Some landlords will require you to have your renters insurance before moving to their property. While it’s not a huge cost, you’ll have to consider it.
Also, don’t forget the other costs in your life. Your earnings might be enough to cover rent, but other things need your financial attention. For instance, you’re responsible for gas for your car, groceries and many other expenses.
As a rule, your monthly rent shouldn’t exceed a third of your total earnings.
3. What do You Need?
Furnishing a new apartment is super exciting. You’ll be full of ideas on how you want the new area to look like. But before going wild with these decorations, ensure you have basic furniture necessary to live.
For instance, eating your takeout food for a day on the floor will seem cool. After this, you’ll wish you had a table and dishes.
Your house will need some basic furniture like a couch, bed, table and some chairs. Other small things that you need are curtains, utensils, and towels. Having cookware is a must unless you want to be stuck with takeout foods.
4. Prepare Your Paperwork
Finding an apartment requires you to deal with a lot of paperwork. If you’re terrified of bureaucracy, then this isn’t an ideal task for you.
Before you start a serious apartment search, ensure you have all your paperwork in order. For instance, your landlord will ask for your ID, driver’s license, and references from anyone who can attest to your behavior and character.
Having these documents saves you a lot of time and stress later.
5. Agree on Lease Terms
Once you get an ideal apartment, agree on the lease terms with your landlord. Go through the document before appending your signature.
Carefully read the entire document. If you don’t understand anything, feel free to ask any questions. If this is your first time, ask your landlord to give you some time to go through the lease. Ask for guidance and assistance from someone you trust.