Just because you prefer renting an apartment rather than buying a house, it doesn’t mean you deserve any less of a home.
Whether it’s for six months or six years, your apartment needs to be a place you can call home. It needs to be a sanctuary for you after a long day at work, a bad date, or when you’re feeling down. It has to be a safe place.
However, if you settle for an apartment you don’t want in any area you don’t want to be in, it may be difficult to ever feel at home there. You need to know how to rent an apartment perfect for you.
However, renting the perfect apartment takes patience and know-how. Keep reading and we will light the way!
How to Rent an Apartment You Can Call Home
To know how to rent an apartment perfect for you, you must wrap your mind around a difficult concept. You need to learn how to respect your own standards while being able to compromise in certain areas.
It also means you need to be realistic. If your budget is $600 a month, you can’t expect to get a three or four-bedroom apartment in the best part of town.
Check out these five key points to learn how to rent an apartment that meets all your needs and falls within your budget!
1. Determine Your Budget
Most people have a hard time deciding if they want to rent or buy. It usually comes down to finances. However, renting doesn’t necessarily make budgeting any easier.
Before you even begin apartment shopping or worrying about how to rent an apartment, you need to figure out your finances. However, affording an apartment is about more than just paying rent. There are other costs involved such as renters insurance, utilities, extra commute costs, etc.
Keep those extra costs in mind while determining how much you want to budget each month for rent.
Figure out the maximum amount of rent you can afford each month. Once you have that number, consider backing it off a couple of hundred dollars. It’s never a good idea to be maxed out on your budget every month.
Too many people live paycheck to paycheck, in a never-ending cycle of trying to catch up. However, that doesn’t leave room for emergencies or extra finances for fun or vacations. Additionally, it is a major cause of being in debt.
After you determine your monthly rent allowance, you need to save up twice that amount. The common requirement for moving into an apartment is a deposit equal to the rent as well as the first month’s rent upfront.
Make sure you budget these upfront costs into your calculations.
2. Determine Your Standards
Now that you have your budget figured out, you need to make a list of priorities to figure out how to rent an apartment that meets your needs. Depending on your budget, you may or may not be able to hit every item on your list. Otherwise, you need to know where you can compromise.
The location of an apartment carries varying levels of importance with people. People with children often choose their homes based on schools, playgrounds, safety, etc.
Other people look at the location based on how close it is to work, certain parts of town, etc.
Size may be an area you have to compromise your standards. Most of us like big open spaces and lots of room in our homes. However, most people only use portions of their home on a regular basis.
We really don’t need as much house as we think we do, and keeping your apartment small may make life much easier.
Apartment features are another area you may be able to afford a little compromise. While a pool area would be nice, finding one in a limited price range may be difficult.
However, some features such as an in-room washer and dryer, certain appliances, and extra storage may be essential.
3. Shop Around
Learning how to rent an apartment that’s perfect for your needs means learning how to shop around. You don’t necessarily want to jump in on the first apartment you walk through. You may be missing out on better apartments, better prices, etc.
Online pictures can be deceptive. While the internet makes it super easy to scope out apartments, you don’t always get an accurate depiction. If you’re seriously considering an apartment, make sure you do a thorough walk-through.
Do Your Research
When learning how to rent an apartment that meets your needs, you have to do your research. If you can, ask other tenants about the complex and the apartment company you’ll be renting from.
Check out some reviews online, but keep a level head. Remember those poor tenants who get kicked out or don’t get their deposit back will always leave a bad review.
4. Be Ready to Act
Part of learning how to rent an apartment that meets all of your requirements means knowing when to act. That means jumping on a hot deal or walking away. Trust your gut, but don’t betray your budget.
Sometimes, an apartment is perfect in every way. If it meets your budget and most of the items on your list of priorities, it may be necessary to jump on it. This is especially true if it’s in a hot location and will be eaten up quickly.
It’s easy to get excited while you’re standing in a fabulous apartment and want to jump in headfirst. However, if jumping in headfirst means compromising too many of your priorities, take a second to think about it.
Know when to walk away.
5. Know the Terms
Finally, learning how to rent an apartment you can remain happy with means knowing the terms and conditions of the lease. You need to read through the rental agreement thoroughly before you sign anything.
What are the policies about pets, repairs, damages, etc.?
You need to know these things, especially if you plan on staying there for a while. You may want a pet down the road, but if the apartment doesn’t allow it, there’s nothing you can do.
You also need to know what to do if something breaks down, starts leaking, etc. Who’s responsible for what repairs?
Lastly, you need to understand the terms of the lease and the landlord’s ability to raise the rent. If the rent raises significantly after the first six months, you may not be happy there anymore. If it does raise, will they give you notice?
These are important things to know.
If you have questions, we’ve got answers! Knowing what to look for in a home isn’t always easy.
Sometimes, learning how to rent an apartment that perfect for you and your needs means learning how to ask for help! Contact us for help in renting your next home!