Renting Your First Apartment with Confidence
Renting Your First Apartment with ConfidencePosted by Korman Res | Renting Your First Apartment with Confidence
Moving into your first apartment is a big milestone, whether you move in with a roommate, a significant other, or on your own. The process can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Although leaving the comfort of home is an adjustment that will likely come with a few bumps along the way, the transition will be much smoother with some preparation and a realistic budget plan.
Before you begin to look for a new place, you should first determine how much rent you can afford and what your moving costs will be. How do you determine what you can afford? First, research the rental rates and utility costs in the area where you’d like to move. Next, calculate your monthly expenses, including your estimated rent and utilities (heat/hot water, electricity), cable/internet, renter’s insurance, medical/dental insurance, groceries, transportation costs, entertainment, car payment, student loan payments or any other monthly expenses you may have. Subtract your total monthly expenses from your monthly net income. What are you left with? Do you have enough left over for incidentals or savings? If not, you may need to consider a smaller apartment, a roommate, or a less expensive neighborhood.
Once you’ve determined your budget, it’s time to calculate your moving costs. Some of these expenses include: security deposit (often equal to 1 - 1 ½ months’ rent, although some apartment communities offer discounts to qualified applicants – hint, hint), moving company/truck rental, furnishings, kitchenware/appliances, food/pantry items, bedding, bathroom items, and cleaning supplies. For a more comprehensive checklist of items you’ll need for your first apartment, please click here: http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2013/05/things-you-need-for-your-first-a....
After you’ve determined your budget and calculated your moving costs, it’s time to imagine yourself in your new apartment. What would it look like? Where would it be? Because there are different apartment styles and communities with varying amenities, it will help to write down a list of features and amenities that are important to you. Some questions you can ask yourself are: does one style of apartment appeal to me more than another (high-rise, mid-rise, townhome, garden apartment, house apartment)? Do I want to live in a private rental or in an apartment community? Which community amenities appeal to me (pool/gym/business center/dog park/community garden/tennis court, etc.)? Would I prefer to have a washer/dryer in my apartment or would a community laundry room or Laundromat be acceptable? How close do I want to live to public transportation? Do I need my own parking spot? Which neighborhoods appeal to me? If it’s important to you, write it down. Your wish-list will help you narrow down your choices and can serve as a tool to remind you of questions to ask prospective property managers.
After factoring in your budget, expenses and preferences, you’ll be armed with a clear vision of what you want and an understanding of what you can afford. Then, you can confidently move forward and enjoy finding your first apartment. Happy hunting!