Getting a new apartment can be exciting but also extremely overwhelming. From the location of the landlord to the building to the lease term, there’s a lot that you need to think about when renting an apartment. Whether you’re a first-time renter or a seasoned pro, there are some things you should know before you sign a lease. Read this apartment living guide to learn what you need to know as a renter!
Figure Out Your Budget
Before you even begin browsing apartment listings, it’s important to figure out your budget. Not only will this help ensure you don’t spend beyond your means, but it’ll also increase the chances of your rental application being approved.
While it varies from apartment to apartment, most property managers require your gross monthly income to be three times the monthly rent. Your gross income refers to how much you make before taxes. So, if your gross income is $3,000, this means your rent shouldn’t exceed $1,000.
Most financial experts also recommend that you don’t spend more than 30% of your salary on rent. Fifty percent should go to basic needs, and the other 20% can go to recreational activities and hobbies.
Also, keep in mind that the monthly rent may not cover the entire picture. You’ll also likely need to pay utilities, such as electricity, internet, water, sewer, and garbage. This can easily add an extra $100 or more to your monthly rent. You may also need to pay for a parking spot if you have a car.
If your budget is tight, you may want to consider getting roommates to lower your rent.
Decide On the Type of Apartment You Want
Once you know your budget, it’s time to consider the type of apartment you want to rent. The main thing you need to determine is whether you want to live in a newer building or an older building.
Newer buildings tend to offer more amenities, such as pools, gyms, and concierge services. Many also host community events to get to know their neighbors. Most newer buildings are also outfitted with AC, laundry, and dishwashers. However, the downside is that you’ll likely pay more for less square footage.
While older buildings may not come with all of the fancy services and amenities, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck regarding square footage. Plus, many people prefer the charm of older buildings.
Once you decide the type of apartment you want to live in, it’s time to schedule some tours. Touring an apartment in person is the best way to figure out if it’s the right fit for you.
It’s also great to talk to the property manager about the building and its policies. Some questions you may want to ask to include the following:
- What is the pet policy?
- How much is the security deposit?
- How do I submit rent payments?
- Who do I contact if something breaks or if there’s an issue?
- What utilities are included?
Check here to learn more questions you should ask before renting. After you finish touring the apartment, it’s also a good idea to check out the neighborhood to see if it’s a good fit!
Apartment Living: Time to Rent
Now that you’ve read this apartment living guide, it’s time to start your search. With the tips above, you should be able to find the apartment of your dreams in no time.
Check back in with our blog for more apartment living tips!