So, you are getting ready to live in an apartment of your own. Congratulations, this is huge! Before you get swept away in all the excitement, make sure to keep the following tips in mind before signing a lease agreement.
Tip #1: Budget
What are you capable of paying per month? It is helpful to go through all of your expenses and income sources to evaluate an accurate view of your financial situation. It can be additionally helpful to create a comfortable budget (more money saved each month) and a tight budget (less money saved) to explore various housing options.
Outside of rent, there are the extras costs to weigh. Consider utility costs and a fee for pets if you will bring your furry family members along. Don’t forget about the down payment, which can include first and last month’s rent, and an application fee.
Tip #2: Co-signer?
If your budget is too limiting, a co-signer or roommate(s) may be necessary. A co-signer is someone willing to take legal and financial responsibility for your lease if you are unable to pay the rent. A co-signer could include a parent or family member. Since this is your first apartment, having roommates can significantly improve your options.
Tip #3: Needs vs. Wants
Before you go exploring different apartments, reflect on your personal needs and wants. We all would like a pool, but including one in the needs column will raise the rent prices and lower your options. Make sure to consider items such as distance from work, amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, laundry facilities, the acceptance of animals, and local attractions.
Tip #4: Take a Tour
See it before you buy it, well rent it in this case. Stop by the location to check it out. If possible, get a staff member to walk you through a space even if it isn’t the floor plan you are hoping to rent. If necessary, take measurements for your larger furniture items.
If you are unable to take a physical tour, at least try to go for a virtual one. There should be pictures and possibly videos available.
Tip #5: Understand the Leasing Agreement
Understanding the leasing agreement means you must first read through it completely. It can be dry, but the details can end up costing you more than you expected, literally. If the technicalities bog you down, have a professional go through the document with you.
Tip #6: Get Renter’s Insurance
There are so many unforeseen problems which can crop up during your lease. It is worth the investment to secure an insurance policy instead of being stuck in a bad situation.
Tip #7: Enjoy the Process!
Moving into your first apartment is a big deal, soak in the excitement. Make sure to take care of the details, but enjoy the excitement of a huge milestone.
Whatever your apartment needs may be, Kaftan Communities has a place that you can call home. Contact us today to set up a tour of one of our apartment communities!