A lot of things go into picking your first apartment, and in most cases, making that decision can be quite challenging. There are near-countless options out there, which is a good thing because it gives you more freedom to choose. But what’s a good way to do it without losing your sanity?
Know what you want and what you need.
Before you begin searching for apartments, create a list of your expectations, what you want, and of course, the necessities. Number of bedrooms, amenities, square footage – knowing all of these details makes it easier for you to find an apartment that you’ll be happy to have later on. Very importantly, it will help you decide which areas are negotiable and how your budget will be affected.
Know your timing.
In most cases, move-ins are on the first day of the month, but there are times when this is happens halfway through. Take note that the busiest time for rentals is from May to August, so you might want to begin searching a month ahead or you might show up and not have an apartment in time for a new job. Anyhow, don’t go looking unless you’re all set to make a decision.
Be prepared for anything.
So you’ve found your dream apartment – don’t make it wait. Don’t forget that the market is particularly competitive so dilly-dallying is surely not an option. So many young people just like you are hunting for their first ever apartment. In short, you have to act fast. That goes without saying that you should also have everything you might need to lock the place down, such as recent pay stubs and bank statements, your Social Security number, etc.
Find yourself a guarantor.
Typically, a landlord will require a guarantor, also called a co-signer, for potential tenants without a solid financial background, such as when you’ve only begun working or if you don’t have any credit history. Parents are the usual guarantors for new grads, and they have to prove their own financial abilities as well.
Examine the fine print.
Lastly, before you decide to get a certain apartment, ask the landlord to give you a photocopy of your lease agreement so you can study it beforehand. Definitely, you should hold your signature until you’ve read and understood every item on it, the lease riders most especially. Add-ons such as a cleaning fee after you move out has become quite common these days. If you enter into any spoken agreements with the landlord, put them on paper as well. Once you have moved in, make a report with pictures reflecting the current state of the property, and forward it to your landlord. You don’t want to be liable for damage that came before you.