More than 40 million people in the United States rent an apartment or home. Many people decide to rent because payments are cheaper than a mortgage and there is less property to maintain.
If you are planning to move into your first apartment, you will want to make sure that you are fully prepared.
Continue reading to discover all of the items that you should mark off on your apartment rental checklist!
1. Set a Budget
The first item that should be on your apartment rental checklist is to set a budget.
Consider how much you want the rent to cost each month. You will also have to think about additional expenses that go along with renting an apartment. Security deposits and utility bills can add up and cost more than you expected.
Before it is time to start looking, analyze your financial situation to determine how much you can put towards rent.
2. Save Money
Once you have your budget set, you have a new goal.
You will have to maintain and save up money so that you can afford the apartment. It is not uncommon for landlords to ask for the first and last month’s rent amount. This money is often due before moving into your apartment.
Make sure you have this money saved up so that you don’t miss out on your dream home.
Rental insurance costs are another reason to build your bank account. This comes in handy when damage occurs.
3. Look at the Location
It’s all about location, location, location!
When renting an apartment, you will likely want to search for one that is close to your job. Make sure that you are looking for apartments in your desired area. This will help you avoid wasting time and money.
You may also want to think about the type of neighborhood you want to be in and what roads you want to be close to.
4. See It in Person
To find the best apartment, leg work is required.
If you are interested in an apartment, go to an open house or talk to the landlord. During these visits, you can walk-through the apartment and determine if it will be a good fit for your lifestyle.
If you can’t visit the apartment ahead of time, many companies have virtual tours that you can experience. Seeing the places and picturing yourself living in them will be one of the largest factors of choosing a place to stay.
5. Fill out Your Application
Before moving into the apartment, your landlord will have you fill out a lengthy application.
Applications are meant to supply the landlord with your basic information and details. This is mainly about your background and financial history. Depending on the landlord, you may have to pay up to $100 for the application. This money typically goes towards credit checks.
Aside from the application, your landlord may also ask for references at this time. They will want to talk to a few people that can verify your credibility and character.
6. Send in Your Paperwork
After you fill out your application, you will need to gather documents for your landlord.
They will want to have recent pay stubs and tax information to ensure that you can be held accountable. This will also inform them if you can afford to live there or not. Depending on the renter, they may also want bank statements that show a consistent balance.
Make sure you have a photo ID and your social security card with you so that they can get a copy to run background and credit checks.
7. Move-in and Get Settled
As long as everything checks out and you are still interested in the apartment, the landlord will approve.
If your credit score didn’t make the cut, but everything else looks good, they may ask for a cosigner. After all of these details have been worked out and you decide to move in, you can start unpacking!
Getting settled into your new apartment sounds fun and exciting but there are many things to worry about, aside from unpacking.
8. Take Care of Utilities
If you want access to the internet, water, and electricity, you will have to take care of utility bills.
Most landlords can supply you with information about what other residents use. Certain cable services are only accessible in particular areas. You can also look online or talk to neighbors if you aren’t sure about the most reliable services.
Natural gas and sewage bills are other common utilities that may not come with your rental. Make sure that you look for reliable companies in the area that come at a cheap cost if you are about to go above budget.
9. Parking and Amenities
After all of the business has been taken care of, you should consider all of the amenities you now have access to.
Many apartments have private gyms, pools, and parking areas for their residents. Depending on the apartment and landlord you choose, you may have more benefits. Typically, the higher the rent costs each month, the more things you have access to.
Some apartments have parks, recreation centers, and daycares inside. With as much as you pay, you should take advantage of every perk as a tenant.
The Ultimate Apartment Rental Checklist
Moving into your first apartment can be exciting, but there are a lot of details to handle before you unpack your boxes.
By reviewing the apartment rental checklist, above, you can discover all of the steps that you need to take to get into your new home.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about living on your own and being financially prepared!