Renting an apartment for the first time can be overwhelming. You know that you need to undergo a process of application and head off to live in an apartment that is unfamiliar to you. There are so many questions to answer. Will you live alone or with a roommate? How much will it all cost? Did I make the right choice with the location of the apartment? This is why we have created this first-time apartment renter’s guide, as we want to make the entire transition easier for you. As with everything else in life, good organization is the key to success.
Start searching for an apartment on time
As soon as you start thinking about relocation, it is wise to start searching for an apartment and preparing yourself for the relocation. This means that you will have plenty of time to do what is necessary. You will also avoid or minimize stress and anxiety levels. When you know what you are looking for and what you need it will be easy to dismiss any apartment that does not fit your needs. And this is only possible if you have plenty of time on your hands.
Decide on your budget
This is by far one of the most essential things in our first-time apartment renter’s guide you need to take into consideration when renting your apartment for the first time. There is a 50-30-20 rule that you can and should follow every month. According to this rule, you should spend no more than 50% of your salary on rent and bills. This includes rent, all the utilities, but also car and phone expenses as well. Furthermore, 30% of your salary should go on what you want. You can spend this money on books, travel, leisure, etc. And finally, 20% of your income should be left aside as savings. This rule will create balance in your finances and you will hardly ever reach a situation in which you have no money to pay the rent.
Don’t forget about renter’s insurance
It is easy to forget about some important things when you are about to relocate. Once you choose your new apartment, make sure to get renter`s insurance. It will not affect your finances, so you don`t need to worry about that. It usually costs somewhere between $10 and $30 per month, and we can agree that it is worth it. What does the renter`s insurance cover? In case of theft, fire, or flood, your items will be under protection. You will be able to get compensation for the damaged items. In some cases, your landlord will require you to get renter`s insurance, which is great.
Beware of other costs besides rent
Renting an apartment does not mean that you will just have to pay for rent. There are several other things you will be required to pay. This includes utilities, water, trash collection, Internet service, and cable. If you are planning to live with a pet, you are likely to pay the pet fee. Another aspect that you need to take into consideration when deciding on your budget is the security deposit. Almost every landlord will require you to pay for the security deposit. The security deposit is usually as high as one month’s rent.
Choose the location wisely
Although renting an apartment means that you will have to pay for rent every month, it does come with certain benefits. One of them is choosing the location of the apartment. If you have a stable job that you don’t want to leave anytime soon, there is no reason to commute at all. Here is a list of things you should take into consideration when choosing the location of the apartment.
- A good neighborhood – Most neighborhoods have certain reputations. Some are ideal for families with children, others are ideal for young professionals, while some are simply too expensive. You can immediately dismiss living in some neighborhoods by getting to know their reputation.
- Closeness to amenities – It is convenient to live near a grocery shop, market, post office, healthcare center, bank, and other amenities. While this may increase the amount of rent, it is worth it as you will be able to quickly finish all of your errands.
- Closeness to your job, school, your kids’ daycare – While all of these don`t have to be close to each other, you should have this in mind when finding your ideal apartment.
Apply for the apartment
What is the process behind renting an apartment? You will need to fill out an application for renting an apartment first. It usually costs around 50$ and it will cover the credit check and background check that your landlord will perform. Your landlord or property manager will also require proof of identity. This can be your ID, passport, or driver`s license. Furthermore, you will need to submit your bank statement, or tax return to verify that you receive income regularly. Finally, a recommendation from your previous landlord is also necessary as your landlord will want to contact them to verify your characteristics of a good tenant.
Read the lease carefully
A lease is like a contract between you and your landlord. Once you read it, you will sign it and everything in the lease becomes valid. This is why you must read the lease carefully. You can even have a lawyer go through it if you have any doubts. The lease is also one of the most important items in a first-time apartment renter’s guide. It will contain information about the rent, how much you will pay each month, and in what way. It will also cover things like pets, smoking, roommates, etc.
Do an apartment walk-through with the property manager
Once you rent an apartment, it is wise that you do a walk-through with your apartment manager NYC. Take a good look at the condition of the apartment. Check whether everything is working properly. If it is not working properly, the property manager will send someone to fix the issue. If you fail to notify the property manager about the issue immediately, they can make you accountable for it.