Renting Your First Apartment?
by Caleb Bartlett
Increased demand and lower vacancy rates in rental units can make any first time renter feel overwhelmed. Only 9 of the 100 largest cities have seen rents fall over the past year. With limited space, and prices of rent increasing across the nation, it can feel like it’s an impossible task to find a place that fits your lifestyle and your budget. Here a few tips for any first time home renter:
Research the neighborhood. Location. Location. Location. If you decide to rent solely based on the interior of the apartment or home, it is likely you will become disappointed when you find out how far you are from friends and work. Researching crime statistics will also give you a great understanding of what areas you would like to live in. Walkscore.com is also a great tool when deciding how close you are to local amenities.
Set a budget. Setting a realistic budget based on what is most important to you will really go a long way in nailing down the must haves. Make a list of the non negotiable, and go from there. Refusing to go above your set budget on rent will ensure that all the other bills are paid for every month.
Consider getting a roommate. Once you have decided on your budget, you will quickly know if you need help affording your dream communities rent. Having a roommate can come with its challenges as well. Always make sure to do extensive research and screening if you decide to go with a roommate you do not know personally.
Visit your desired community. Always make sure to visit your desired rental property in person. Photos online are nice, but walking through the property will give you the best understanding of what you are getting. Come well prepared with 5-10 questions for your leasing agent. Also ensure that you come ready to fill out the rental application if all goes how you want it to.
Get everything in writing. After the honeymoon is over, you will want to have all of your rental agreement in writing to prevent future issues. Make sure to understand how all pet fees and administrative applications fees will process.