Moving into your own apartment for the first time can be both an exhilarating and intimidating thing. You may be excited due to the freedom that comes with it especially if you have been living with your parents all your life. However, when it comes to the actual apartment hunting, things are not as easy as you may think.
There are numerous issues to consider before you can find an apartment that largely suits all your desires. The truth is you will have to let go of some of your preferences as not all apartments will have what you want. You may find one with all the amenities you want but its size will be smaller than you wished. You have to know the important features you need and what you can do without. We have come up with a list of some of the most important factors to consider before renting an apartment.
You may want to live in a nice neighborhood in a house that has all the amenities you seek. All this is good but how much money are you willing to part with? It’s the most important factor to consider before renting an apartment.
Remember, the better the neighborhood and amenities, the more costly it is. You need to check your budget so that you do not move into a house that you struggle to pay rent for. It should not become a burden but a place that you can live in comfortably. So, the first thing you need to do is draw a budget for all the things you’ll need on a monthly basis including the rent. When you determine how much money you can manage, then you can start browsing for apartments.
Rent is only part of the things that you’ll require in your house so it should not take a large percentage of your total earnings. You will need some money for social activities and emergencies just in case.
Going through apartment listings on websites and other media is a good way to familiarize yourself with the apartment sector. You can also seek assistance from family and friends who have been where you are before. You will end up gaining some knowledge of what to expect during your search and the dos and don’ts of the process.
Do not let the excitement of moving into a new apartment cloud your judgment. Pay attention to every detail included in an apartment listing. Which services do they offer for free and are there any hidden charges that you will be required to pay once you move in? Most have offers and measures in place to protect their tenants.
Visit the areas where the apartments are located and ask residents what they think about them. Are there any drainage issues or noise from either companies or schools close by?
You should also research on the security of the area to be on the safe side of things. Traffic is another important issue that you need to check on. You do not want to move into a place where it takes you ages to get to your daily commitments. If it’s the first time for you moving out, you should read up on your rights as a client. You should know in which areas the law protects you so as not to get shortchanged by unscrupulous landlords or agents.
There are things that you’ll want to have in the apartment that you move into. Whether it’s a swimming pool, gym, laundry or courtyard, you need to note it down. Some of these things are a must-have for some people so it’s important to note what you can do without and vice versa. 46% of renters do not mind paying extra for fitness amenities.
If you already have a washer or you plan to purchase one, the laundry area is not important. If you enjoy a gym membership that also has a pool, you can do without it at the apartment building. You need to compare the amenities different apartments offer and if they are free or there’s a monthly charge. Knowing what you want in advance may end up saving you some cash in the long run.
Things such as electricity, cable, gas, and internet services will be transferred in your name so you should make arrangements for this on your own. Check the best service providers in the area and organize with them before you move in.
After researching and finding an apartment that you believe suits your needs, get an appointment with the lease agent or landlord to go and inspect it. A house may sound good on paper but physically not so much. Check for things such as mold and slanting of the floors. Ensure that the size of the apartment matches the advertisement.
Also, make it a point to converse with some of the neighbors. Ask them questions about their experiences living in their apartment or the block in general. Professional agents and landlords already know ways of welcoming new tenants stress-free. You may get some valuable information from them which the agent hid from you so as not to lose your business. Check that the toilet flushes, the taps are working and that the paint in the house is appropriate. Right now is the time to voice your complaints to the relevant parties before signing a lease. Ensure that they fix what does not work before moving in to avoid disputes with them.
You should also inquire about the maintenance crew, do they live nearby or do you have to call the office? Also, knowing if there is a caretaker in the building and getting their details is important for future use. Do not forget about parking, check if they only allow one car parking or they have a huge parking lot for you and your guests.
Go Through the Lease Agreement
After you’re satisfied with the apartment, there is a lease agreement that you’ll be required to sign. Some agencies and landlords, however, will require you to fill out a rental application first. It is for them to screen potential tenants. They will ask you about your monthly income, where you work and your rental history. Once satisfied, they will provide you with the lease agreement.
Carefully going through the contents of the lease will save you a lot of headaches in future. Check for things such as penalties for late fees, pets, noise, and where it is that you are supposed to pay your rent. If you wish to move out in future, how long in advance should you give the notice? Some of these things will save you money later on. If you are good at comparison and contrast essay topics, it is a skill that may come in handy in this situation.
Agents will also require you to pay a security deposit. It may be equivalent to one or two months rent. Check when you can expect it to be refunded once your lease agreement is over.
All this information should be contained there. If for one reason or another you break the lease agreement, the penalties should also be included in it. During this time, you have a window to negotiate for better terms or to voice any concerns you may have. Once you sign the lease agreement, you are legally bound. You will be required to adhere to it, and the landlord or agent can take you to court if you refuse to honor it.
Watch Out for Scammers
In any sector, there are those that will seek to make a quick buck out of the unsuspecting public. Apartment hunting is no different. Some scammers go as far as copying all the details but changing the email and phone number. There are signs that will tell you if the advert is genuine or not and how to avoid scams.
First of all, if they are dodgy about meeting you and their excuse is that they are far away at the moment, be wary. No transaction or genuine negotiation for an apartment can be done via the phone. If they ask you to transfer money into their account even before viewing the apartment, that’s another sign. All in all, be wary of irregularities or strange behaviors.
Finding an apartment may be a tiresome thing but armed with the right information, you will be okay. Do not rush into renting an apartment without checking for all the things which they require on your part. Being diligent in your apartment search will save you lots of disputes and money in the long run.
Finding an apartment that caters to all your needs will even lessen the amount of stress that you face each day. At the end of it, you will have a comfortable place to come back to, a place you’ll call home.
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