Breaking out on your own can be exciting…and a bit scary.
Being prepared can help your confidence level as you review your rental options, and make decisions about what type of apartment to rent to meet your needs (and maybe even some of your wishes).
Here are 7 hacks to help:
- Be serious about determining your budget. Being stressed over having (or not having) money for your rent is not a good place to be. A general rule of thumb is to figure 30 percent of your gross (before taxes) income for housing. So, if you make $3,000 a month, your rent budget should be $900 a month.
- With your rental budget set, next consider what that budget will get you. Can you be in the location you want? Will you need to look at cheap apartments instead of the nicer townhome you have your heart set on? Or will that budget get you exactly what you are looking for in your first apartment?
- If your budget falls below the available apartments you can find or afford, consider whether you need to have a roommate to have the apartment you want. If so, is that an acceptable solution for you? Or do you need a reality check on your apartment-finding expectations?
- Be prepared for the deposits that could be required. Not only a security deposit, which is normally first and last months’ rent, but if it is your first time with a utility or cable bill in your name, you will be required to pay a deposit to those companies as well.
- Don’t forget about rental insurance. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but unless you plan to live a spartan existence, you’ll need to be insured.
- Google “Rental Lease” and read over several leases so you can see what you could be signing. This will also help you decide what is important to you. It can be helpful to know what to look for when you aren’t under the pressure of signing something.
- If the location is convenient to work, class, and shopping, it could help you save money. But if it is further for everything you leave home for, it is going to add to your monthly expenses. Decide if you are willing to change your work and social habits to have the apartment you want.
With these hacks you can be a more informed first-time renter. Shopping for your first apartment can be an exciting experience. Having a well-thought-out plan and being prepared will help you find your dream apartment!
Written By Melanie Olsen