The time has finally come. You’re transitioning into a new apartment. No matter what stage of life you’re in, apartment hunting and finding a new home should be an exciting experience.
It’s the end of an old chapter and the start of a new one. You now have the ability to choose a different neighborhood, find a home that can provide you with all your must-haves, finally get out of your parents’ home, or downsize into something more manageable for you. Before you move into the first apartment you find, however, there are a few things you should do first.
Finding the right apartment for you will take some time and research, but this apartment finder app is also to the rescue! Continue reading the guide below to learn some of the best apartment hunting tips!
Table of Contents
1. Determine Your Budget
The very first step to finding the right apartment for you is to determine your budget. How much are you realistically able to spend each month on rent and utilities? Sit down and figure out your exact budget.
Do this by taking your income and deducting all of your expenses excluding rent and utilities for now. How much money are you left with for the month? Then, deduct gas and grocery expenses and extra spending money to have each month.
The number you’re left with is how much you can realistically spend on rent and utilities. Remember, not all apartments include utilities in their rent, so you’ll need to keep these other expenses in mind when deciding how much you can spend on base rent.
2. Choose Your Neighborhood
Now it’s time to choose the neighborhood you want to live in. Location is a huge factor when searching for new apartment rentals. You might find an apartment or two in your price range with everything you want.
However, the apartments could be located in a less-than-ideal neighborhood. This is why it’s always important to see where the apartments are located and then research that neighborhood. If you find several apartments all for a cheap price in the same neighborhood, then this is a sign that the neighborhood might be a compromise for you.
It’ll take time finding a reasonable place in a good neighborhood, but they’re out there! You just have to do your digging. Start by knowing what neighborhoods you’ll live in and which ones you won’t.
3. Start Touring Apartments
Once you find a few good apartments in neighborhoods you like, you should then start touring them. Take the time to schedule tours of several different apartments. Don’t simply look at the galleries online and fall in love.
It can look a lot different once you get there and see it in person. Touring the apartments will give you a feel for the neighborhood, the office staff, the apartment unit, and the apartment complex as a community as well.
4. Prepare a List of Questions
Before you head out to tour your apartments, prepare a list of questions you want to ask each apartment complex. Think of any important questions you might have and then consider asking these questions as well.
- Are utilities included in the rent?
- Is there a trash service fee?
- Is renter’s insurance required?
- What are the pet fees?
- How does parking work here?
- Will my rent go up on a regular basis?
These are just a few questions to keep in mind when creating your list. It’s important to know the answers to these questions because the answers will give you a better idea of what to expect from the apartment complex and a better idea of how to plan your budget.
5. Conduct an Inspection
While touring the actual apartment unit, do be sure to inspect everything. Take your time going through each room and looking for red flags. This is going to be your home, the last thing you want is to sign a contract for a unit with black mold or an infestation of some sort.
Check under the sinks, in the bathtubs, around the AC unit, and on the ceilings for signs of leaks. Water damage and mold are signs that there’s a leak somewhere. Check in the cabinets and under the refrigerator.
Do you see any signs of insects or rodents? Have you spotted black mold in the AC unit closet or in the bathrooms? These are all things that need to be addressed before moving forward.
6. Read Reviews and Take Your Time
You should be able to find online customer reviews when searching for the name of the specific apartment complex. Find the reviews on the websites or on review sites if needed. These reviews can tell you a lot about the apartment community.
Pay close attention to what’s said and when the review was written. A few reviews from past or current residents could save you from making a decision you later regret.
7. Start the Application Process
The last thing you need to do before moving into your new apartment is start the application process. Sit down with the leasing office and go over the entire application and lease. Will there be an application fee?
What’s the likelihood of your application being denied? What’s the deposit amount? When will you be able to move in?
Then, read through each section of the lease before signing. This includes all the fine print as well. You need to know what you’re agreeing to before you agree to it.
There will be a lot of important information in the lease, so if there’s something you don’t like, then don’t sign it.
This Is Apartment Hunting Made Easy
Apartment hunting might not always be the easiest task, but with the help of this guide, we hope you’re now able to find the apartment that’s right for you. Read through all of these factors listed above and remember to stay patient. Don’t jump on the first thing you see but rather take your time finding the best apartment for you.
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