Getting an apartment can be a daunting task, whether it’s your first time getting out of the house or your downsizing from house to an apartment. Often times those that have rented an apartment look back on the experience and realize there were definitely some things that could have saved some extra work and worry. With that in mind, we want to help choosing your first apartment as magical an experience as possible.
What’s included? Always seek further into what exactly you’re paying for.
There’s nothing worse than being shown around the perfect apartment, fully equipped with a washer, dryer, dishwasher you name it.. Then moving in day comes, only to realise the last tenants took those with them. No one wants to pay out a bunch for the deposit, only to have to go and spend a bomb on what they thought they already had. This goes for bills too, make sure to check what’s included in the rent. You may jump at the chance of unrealistic cheap rent and think you’ve got a good’un , to then receive added on utility bills.
Setting a budget.
It’s suggested that no one spends over 35% of their monthly income on rent. Work out 35% of your income and start looking for apartments, at least then you know that anything over your worked out amount may be a stretch. Like above, don’t forget to look into exactly what’s included in the advertised rent, if utilities such as water and electricity aren’t included, make sure to take those into account too. Work out your new monthly expenditures and see if it’s affordable for you.
What to search for – Narrowing down your search.
You should always start with a rough distance, whether you’re wanting to be closer to your parents house, school or work, it’ll help you narrow down your search for your perfect apartment. Think about whether you need a pet friendly apartment, laundry facilities or free parking. If this is going to be long term housing for you, thinking ahead at all of these points should make life a whole lot easier for you right from the start!
Knowing the in and outs and your rights.
Before you sign a lease or contract, make sure to read it more than once to make sure you really understand the conditions you’re agreeing to. Ask for a copy of rules and regulations to keep in case you need to go back on them later. Realize that different types of apartments have very different leases. For example if you are looking for student housing, the Weber State housing you choose may have a very different lease than a standard apartment complex. Here are a few things that are absolutely essential to know about before signing the lease;
- The beginning and the expiration date
- The rental price and information about your security deposit
- The reasons for which your landlord can terminate your lease contract
- Are there any penalties for moving out of your apartment before the expiration date?
- Are there any responsibilities on your head for repairs and such?
- Is subletting allowed?
- See if you have to buy renters insurance
- Is there a policy about guest visitors?
Inspect the apartment.
Yes, the apartment may look great, but it’s the hidden details you have to look out for. Whilst you’re viewing apartments, don’t just look, touch! Open draws, cupboards, doors, windows, anything! Try turning on taps, flushing toilets, turning on appliances and checking pipes. Notice a door coming off its hinges? Or windows not quite sealed properly? ..Write it down. It seems a little obsessive, but its little things like this that will be checked at the end of your lease, and may lead to you losing your deposit or paying for damages. Make sure to tell the landlord before you move in, so he can either fix them or keep them on file, as not to charge you for them later on.
It’s not all about the money though. Also make sure you check the noise levels, especially if you’re a student that’ll need to focus or just someone who enjoys a bit of peace and quiet. It’ll help you out in the long run. If you need further insight into what to look for, you can find out more at Apartment Guide.
If you stick with these points, you’ll be on your way to a magical experience in your very own first apartment, Good Luck!