When you haven’t lived completely on your own before, finding a place can be difficult, which is why you need to check out our tips for finding your first apartment.
Set a Budget
This is the most important step, and many people tend to overlook it. That doesn’t mean people are renting apartments without looking at the price. It just means they aren’t planning it in accordance with how much they make and their other expenses.
It’s really easy to see a place and feel the need to go for it before anyone else does, so knowing the cap on how much you can afford to pay per month is vital. Figure out your expenses such as groceries, subscriptions, and how much you like to spend on yourself each month. Subtract those from your monthly pay to see how much is left over for rent.
We want to emphasize something—don’t use every last dollar as the maximum you’ll pay for rent. You’ll want to give yourself some breathing room for your savings or in case something ends up costing more than you expected.
Figure Out Where To Live
Chances are, you’re moving for a new job. Figure out how close you want to live from your place of employment and set up a radius from it on a map. Be sure to account for possible traffic delays when deciding on the distance.
Once you have this set up, start using online websites or a trusted realtor to find apartments within your radius and budget. If you find a few that you like, then it’s time to set up a tour.
Look at Multiple Properties
It’s crucial to visit as many apartments as you can. We recommend that you look at many different types so you can get a better idea of which style you want and the benefits of each kind. Be sure to research the different types of apartments before going out and seeing them.
Once you’re out looking at your favorites, be sure to ask as many questions as you can about them. Asking about utilities, the neighborhood, and the parking situation are all valid topics to discuss. If you need to, write a few questions down to remember them better when the time comes.
Find Some References
In our opinion, one of the most vital tips for finding your first apartment is to get a couple of references. Obviously, if this is the first apartment that you’re getting on your own, you might not have any previous landlords.
However, you probably lived in the dorms during college or at a buddy’s house for a year after graduation. We recommend you try to use someone you previously lived with as a reference. It’s not an ideal situation, but if someone can vouch for you being a good tenant, it can go a long way for your future landlord.