A new year means new resolutions, new opportunities, and new locations. If you’re graduating this semester—and are ready to leave the nest—a new apartment may be on your horizon. Or perhaps you’ve been living at home, and this is your first venture into the world of apartment renting. Before you snatch up the first place that catches your eyes, which could leave you pinching pennies, here are some tips for renting your first apartment this New Year.
- Set a budget based on the area. The adage—“location, location, location”—rings true not only in real estate, but also when renting as well. In some places, such as expensive urban markets, you may have to budget a little more as you get settled. Unfortunately, when starting off at an entry level job, pay can be a little less than desired. New renters should shoot for housing costs that reach no further than 30 percent of their annual income. This may mean that that top dollar upscale penthouse is out of the question—for now.
- Budget for more. Some rental companies bundle utilities and amenities in the rent; however, this is not always the case. As a new renter, you may have to fork over more of your hard-earned cash toward things like electricity, heat, and cable. You can call the utility provider to see what past tenants paid; though, depending on your use, your costs may fluctuate over or under that benchmark.
- Check out the neighborhood. This goes back to the mantra of “location, location, location.” Scoping out your surroundings can give you a better idea of how far you’ll have to walk (or drive) to restaurants, the grocery store, work, or anywhere else you’d like to go. The interior of an apartment only makes up part of the puzzle. Be sure to check out the area as well.
- Do a walk-through. Before putting pen to paper and signing that lease, be sure everything in the apartment works. This may be one of the most important tips for renting your first apartment that people tend to gloss over. Inspect the stove, the refrigerator, other appliances, and see if the water runs hot for at least half an hour—especially if you are prone to taking longer showers. Also, make sure to take note of any preexisting problems such as scratches or holes to protect your security deposit.
- Try to be an attractive tenant. When searching for places to rent, keep your references and checkbook handy as rentals go quickly in competitive markets. Mom and dad cosigning on a lease can put some landlords at ease when renting to newbies, especially if that prospective tenant lacks a long credit or employment history. If you don’t have a cosigner, putting up more money upfront or submitting some documentation showing employment can let landlords know that you are financially responsible.
Use these tips for renting your first apartment if you or someone you know is seeking a new locale in 2019.
Is a new place on your New Year resolutions to-do list? Give us a ring at 601-264-6955 and we’ll help you link you up with a great space. For more tips for apartment renters, and to keep up with what’s going on at Summer West Apartments, be sure to follow our blog.