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Top 10 Rental Living Tips When Looking for an Apartment

Posted by Paige Gilbert

May 15, 2013

rental adsAre you looking for a new apartment? Rental living can be a very fun and rewarding experience. What is generally not so much fun though is finding a place to stay. There are so many variables and questions to consider that it all gets confusing and frustrating. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask can make searching for a new apartment fun, easy and exciting.

The following 10 tips will help you in your search for an apartment: 

1.   Act and look professional

Your apartment manager wants to know they are renting the place to the right kind of person. So dress nicely and play the part. Think of it like an interview. Leave the old ball cap at home. Don’t chew gum. Turn off your cell phone. There are probably many people looking to rent that same unit. Presenting yourself as well as you can will help make you memorable.

2.   Bring your checkbook

If you like the place and want to rent it right then before someone else does, there will be fees to pay immediately. You'll need to have a way to pay for this. You may be asked for money for a credit check, a security deposit, first month's rent and maybe even last month's rent. Be prepared to pay.

3.   Interact with a neighbor

If you can talk to someone living close to where you'll stay you can find out valuable information from someone like this. Does the couple living next to you fight all the time? Does the neighbor above play bass in a band? Ask questions about the area and the apartment manager. Get a feel for the place before you even sign the lease.

4.   Secure a parking spot

Many apartments don't have assigned parking but some do. Secure your spot if they have specific places for you to park. This can make a big difference, especially for rental living, when it comes to hauling in groceries or on days with inclement weather. 

5.   Set a budget

You should have a budget set beforehand on how much you can afford for an apartment. Financial experts say a best practice is to spend 1/3 of your gross income on housing. If you make $3,000 per month that means you can pay up to $1,000 for an apartment. Stick to this percentage.

6.   Deal with credit issues

Apartment managers want to get paid. A bad credit report will reflect poorly on you. Fix your credit before you try to rent the apartment. This may mean living with Mom and Dad or bunking on a friend's couch for a bit, but it will be worth it in the long run.

7.   Read the lease

Your lease is a legally binding agreement. Read it carefully and then read it again! Don't be caught off guard because you did not read the lease.

8.   Get renters insurance

First of all renters insurance is fairly inexpensive. Think about this...you're living in a complex with hundreds of other people. You're trusting all of them to be honest, trustworthy and to not leave a candle burning. Be prepared. Protect yourself.

9.   Make a few friends

You want to know a few people you can trust. You might want them to take care of your pet while you're gone or just to keep an eye on the place. Find a pal.

10.  Relax and enjoy

You followed all the rules and steps. Now move in and enjoy rental living.

Just by following a few tips and using common sense your apartment search can be easy and fun. Rental living is meant to be enjoyable! 

These tips can help you make a final decision on the right apartment

Topics: Rental Living, My First Apartment

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