Guide to renting your first apartment

What you need to know about renting a first apartment

Are you considering going out on your own and renting your first apartment?

Living on your own for the first time is going to be an exciting time. But, if you rent an apartment, there are a few things you should know beforehand.

Some of these apply whether you choose to rent an apartment or a house.

Let’s take a look at how to rent an apartment and which stages to go through.

Understand your apartment budget

Just like buying your first home, before renting an apartment, you need to know how much money you are going to spend on it. There may be more costs involved than you might initially expect, and you don’t want to run out of money to rent an apartment in a few months.

Not only do you have to consider the rent, but there are also utility bills, internet or cable costs, and insurance that you have to pay each month. There are also several other fees that must be paid in advance when renting an apartment. This includes your moving costs, security and pet deposits, as well as cable installation costs and more.

You should also consider whether you should buy furniture and add that to your budget. There are some websites or apps that can help you budget to give you a better understanding of what your costs will actually be.

Create an emergency fund

Unforeseen things will always happen, and if you don’t have the money to cover the costs, problems can arise. Be sure to set aside some savings that you don’t spend for other reasons. You must have at least three months in reserve in case of a financial emergency.

What do you want from an apartment?

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on rent for your new apartment, you can start thinking about what you want. Add in all the things you would like in your first apartment, but realize that you will have to make some compromises. Find an apartment that has everything you’re looking for can be challenging, especially if you’re moving to a popular city or suburb.

How big do you want your apartment and how many bedrooms do you need? In which location would you like to live? What kitchen appliances would you like? Do you need pets to be allowed in the apartment? Do you need parking or would you rather use public transport?

These are just some of the questions you should know the answers to before looking for an apartment. It will help you narrow down your search so you spend less time looking for unsuitable homes. There are many tips to follow when renting for the first time. As a new renter, it can help to get as much advice as possible from friends and family who have been in the area.

Find your desired location

One of the most important decisions to make about your new apartment is its location. You need to consider how far you have to travel to work and whether the neighborhood has all the amenities you need. Will it be close enough to your friends and family? Is the considered a healthy neighborhood to live in? How is the crime rate? These are the kinds of questions worth getting acceptable answers to.

Tours of apartments are important

Guide to renting your first apartment
Guide to renting your first apartment

Once you’ve narrowed down your apartment choice, you can arrange a tour of the homes you like. While you may have looked closely at the photos of rental apartments, it won’t tell you the whole story. You should view the apartment and also make sure that the neighborhood is what you expect.

If you are a more sociable person, you will want to find an apartment where people seem friendlier. But maybe you don’t want an apartment where you know too much about your neighbors; when traveling through the apartment, listen to sounds from neighboring houses.

During your tour, try to check that everything is working properly. Check the locks on windows and doors, press the light switches and make sure the faucets are working properly. Turn the appliances on if you can, and if something doesn’t work, ask the manager if it can be replaced or repaired. Make sure you have enough sockets and check the reception of your mobile phone.

Which direction the windows face and how much light they let in. Larger windows will flood your apartment with more sunlight, which has a positive effect on your mood.

Be on the lookout for signs of water leaks or pests. If the floor is not completely level, this may indicate that there was a water leak previously.

Is there an elevator, or do you have a lot of stairs to walk up with your groceries? Find out the parking situation for you and your guests and view the amenities available to you in the building. Ask the manager if they can give you an idea of ​​typical energy costs to make sure your budget is right.

If you have a few apartments to check out on the same day, it can be hard to remember what you liked and didn’t like about each apartment. Make some notes about the good and bad you found on your tour so you don’t confuse the apartments.

Understand rental applications

When you have found the apartment that suits you, you must complete the rental application. You will need a valid ID, recent bank statements and pay slips, a social security card and referral letters if you have one.

If you don’t have a lot of credit history, you may need a co-signer. Your co-signer gives the landlord more confidence to hire you as a tenant.

Know the lease contract

Once you have gone through the application approval stage, you must sign the lease and plan to withdraw. You must read the rental agreement very carefully and understand all the sections. The contract is a legal document that you must take seriously and adhere to.

Make sure you understand your responsibilities, such as when the rent is due and how to pay for it. Please be aware of any charges you may have to pay, such as late payment fees if you miss the day of rental payment.

Make sure you know the rules for things like guests, pets, and parking. And pay attention to the decoration policy for the apartment. If you are happy with everything, you can sign the lease. But if you want to change something, they may be willing to compromise.

Making the move

Once the lease has been signed, you need to get ready to move. This may mean seeking help from friends or family, rent a moving van, or hiring movers. You also need packing materials and packing.

Once you’ve moved in, it’s not time to relax yet; you have a housewarming party to organize!

Final thoughts on renting an apartment

Renting an apartment for the first time is a big step in one’s life. It takes a lot of due diligence to ensure that you will be happy when you choose to live. Make sure you spend enough time doing the research necessary to make yourself comfortable. It will be worth your time when all is said and done.


About the author: The above article about “How to Rent Your First Apartment Guide” was written by Bill Gassett. Bill has been working in the real estate industry for thirty-three years. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Massachusetts. Bill likes to provide reliable information to buyers, sellers and fellow brokers to make the best possible decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Today.com, Credit Sesame, and others.


About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold team at RE/MAX Realty Group. With over 40 years of combined experience, if you are considering selling or buying, we are happy to share our knowledge and expertise.

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