Renting an Apartment – Advice for First Timers!

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Renting an Apartment – Advice for First Timers!

Renting your first apartment can be exciting and a little overwhelming! We’ll help you navigate the process so you can find YOUR perfect first apartment.

Budget:  Determine what you can afford. Keep in mind the expense of the move itself- a down payment, furniture and moving costs; in addition to your monthly expenses.  A general rule of thumb is that you should never pay more than 30 percent of your take-home pay on housing, including utilities, Internet and cable.  If you’ve found the perfect place but money is tight, consider a roommate to split the expenses.

Location:  Where you want to live is just as important.  Do you prefer to drive or walk to work or school?  Is public transportation nearby?  How far is the grocery store?  These factors can affect your commute so spend the time researching the neighborhood.

Amenities and Terms:  What are the terms of the rental and what does it offer?  Can Fido join you? Is there plenty of parking and an in-unit washer/dryer? Can you paint the apartment a different color?

Lease:  Little or no credit?  You may need to secure letters of reference, a co-signer or prove a strong income.  Make sure to READ all of the rental agreement and ask questions.  Is there 24 hour maintenance or a penalty if you break the lease?  What about renter’s insurance and tenants right?  If it’s unclear, ask before you sign.

Renting your first apartment doesn’t have to be stressful. Make a plan, do your homework and START PACKING!

Want to read MORE advice for first time renters? There’s even links to resources, too!




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