No matter if you desire to move out of paternal house or just want to be independent in your matters without any interruption; renting or buying an accommodation is what you need to do first. You must also consider the fact that it is not as easy as it seems, especially when you choose to rent an apartment. It comes with responsibilities and some unseen tasks that you might have never done earlier. Even the most organized and ambitious renters with first-hand experience can get overwhelmed with the procedure.
Searching for an apartment, fees, budgeting, packing, applications and all the planning of moving out is surely a tiring task but it is worth your efforts. In order to make your relocation smooth and hassle-free (as much as possible), we have gathered a checklist for first time apartment renters. Read on!
Tips On Renting an Apartment
1. Figure out your budget
A lot of first-time apartment renters don’t give importance to their budgets, but it is significant. Usually, the renters overestimate their allowance for an apartment or its necessities and end up having a lot of unwanted things. So, it is suggested to estimate your financial plan first and then find a suitable space accordingly.
Remember that, when you are living on your own, you might have to make a few compromises until you are fully settled in order to keep yourself free from financial stress. It is wise to save some percentage of your total budget for food, transport, and other forthcoming living expenses.
2. Choosing the location wisely
If, by any chance, you find an apartment near your workplace or educational institute and the rent is also affordable, then you should totally consider the option. Secondly, if you are a student and use public transport for going to the institution, then look for a space that is closer to the station to save your time. However, if you own a car, then its security is definitely important too. In this case, look for an apartment with garage or a parking area nearby.
The best thing is that; you always have an option to choose your neighborhood. Whichever type of environment, facilities and people you want around you is totally in your hands.
3. Co-living or solo living
The next thing to decide is, whether you want a solo apartment or a shared one. Both options have its own advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of non-sharing space
- You have your privacy of doing whatever you want at whatever time.
- Freedom of making own rules and change them when needed.
- You can call your friends over for as much time as you want without requiring someone’s consent.
- You can keep a pet, if you want to, without worrying about someone’s approval or allergic reactions.
- The burden of all the house chores will be on you solely, like doing piles of laundry, heaps of dishes, clearing mess, mopping, etc.
- All the financial responsibility of the house will be on you, like paying bills, doing grocery, etc.
Pros of shared space
- Responsibilities are divided, either financial or domestic.
- You get a friend for a life time. You wouldn’t need anyone from outside to be with you in happy times and sad moments.
- Shared kitchen, shared bathroom, shared wardrobe and even shared bedroom. It’s not a great option for introverts or for those who like to be in their private spaces.
- You can’t invite your friends or guests in your house at odd hours.
- You can’t keep pets if your partner isn’t comfortable with it.
If you are low on budget, then consider a shared apartment, it will save you a few bucks. Remember, you have to make some compromises initially, but once you are settled; everything will be fine.
4. Do your own research for an apartment
When it’s the time to search for an apartment, you must be confused about where to start. Well, there are many options for that, you can either hire someone, ask a friend to help, look for ads in newspaper, spread a word on social media, etc. No matter who helped you in the ‘finding’ process, you should also go and see the place yourself before booking. No one can know your needs better than you so do. You can ask for suggestions and opinions but the final decision should be yours only.
5. Read the lease contract
If you have finalized an apartment in your mind already, then it is the right time to talk to the party for a lease. Ask them to send you the lease contract, and read it carefully. If you have any ambiguity, talk to the concerned people. Do not sign until you understand and agree on all the conditions. Ask for an experienced person’s help if you didn’t understand anything. Stay away from scams and always do some research.
6. Determine The Right Time To Book an Apartment
If you can borrow some time for moving out, then you will be glad to know that there are seasons when rental places are less expensive and less competitive as compare to the rest of the year. Prices of rent depend on the seasonality changes, which means you can save a few bucks by searching strategically. Generally, winter is comparatively less competitive period to book an apartment.
7. Ask Questions While Visiting the Shortlisted Apartment
Before signing any contract for your starter home, make sure to inquire about all your concerns and confusions.
You can ask questions like:
- Is the house well ventilated?
- How cold it gets in winters and vise versa?
- In case of any maintenance issue, who is going to bear the expenses?
- Is the house equipped with gas fittings?
Or any other question that are bothering you. Don’t hesitate. After all, it’s the matter of where you are going to spend your next few months or years!
Secondly, see every room yourself, switch on/off the lights, fan, lock/unlock the door to ensure everything is working perfectly. Moreover, inquire about security services of the building.
8. Gather Your Documentation
A lot of property management and landlords require rental application along with authentic information from tenants, like rental history, credit score, past landlords, proof of income, personal references and at time they would also ask for your social security number. However, if you have completed a credit check; then there is no need to give away any social security number.
A majority of renters, especially the inexperienced ones, don’t give much importance to the reference letter, but it is crucial. If your credit scores are not very impressive, then you might need it. You can ask your colleagues, former managers, roommates or any other reputed person in your circle to do that for you.
First step towards everything is risky and uncertain; same is the case of first-time renters. Moving out of the house itself is an insecure feeling, other risk factors add to it. However, there is always first time of everything because growth demands change which comes with experience and for that you need to take the first step.
The above-mentioned tips and tricks are quite useful for those who are struggling with finding their first rental apartment. It is not as difficult as it seems. Just do research before signing any contract papers and read all terms and conditions carefully. Don’t settle for less but keep in mind that you may have to make some compromises. Good luck!