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5 Things To Think About When Renting Your First Apartment

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Renting your first apartment can tend to seem a bit overwhelming.  Where do you start?  At Schottenstein Real Estate Group, we would like to provide you with six tips that we think will help make your move a little easier.

Stay Within Your Budget – Normally you want to spend about 30% of your annual income on housing.  With entry level salaries tending to be a bit lower, you may want to budget a little more.  Splitting rent with a roommate can definitely help lower costs.  But be careful whom you live with.  Just because you enjoyed hanging out with someone in college doesn’t mean that they will make a good roommate.  Make sure you have a plan set for chores, bills, and other issues before you sign the lease.

Extra Housing Expenses – Don’t forget about the other expenses that come with renting an apartment.  You need to keep in mind that you will also need to pay for utility bills, pet fees if you have a pet, and other expenses that may come with signing your lease.

Be A Desired Tenant – Apartment rentals move pretty quickly in such a tight market, so be sure that you have your money and references ready to go before you start searching.  In some rentals, you will be required to pay a security deposit, as well as the first months rent upon signing.  If you can, have your parents co-sign on the lease.  This will help give landlords peace of mind about renting to you, especially if you don’t have along credit history or unemployment.  Having a letter from your employer will also help.

Check Out The Surrounding Area – A common real estate saying is “location, location, location.”  Don’t choose an apartment based strictly on the interior, or you may wind up in a place that is really far from work, friends, or groceries.  If you are relocating for work, ask your employer what some of the desirable neighborhoods are.  Also, make sure you check out the rental community to see if it is maintained, if the hallways are lighted, and how they handle security.

Schedule a Walk-Through – Some people will find places on Craigslist or other online resources, and rent them without ever seeing the place.  This can lead to many future problems.  Before you sign your lease, ask your landlord if they can take you through the apartment that you are about to rent to make sure everything is in good condition.