What to know when renting your first apartment!

The day has finally come for when it is time for you to move out on your own. Before you take the plunge there are a few things that you need to know before you open the door to your new home and begin your journey.

Planning Your Budget

Make a realistic budget of what you can afford. Your rent should not exceed more than 35% of your total income. Utilities are often for pushed to the side when looking at your budget. Gas, electric, cable, internet, trash, and water if are not included in your rent will make a huge difference in your rental budget. Also, be sure to set aside a move-in budget. Often many landlords will charge an application fee to process a credit and background check, a lease processing fee, a security deposit, and pet fee. (All of those fees add up quickly!!!)

Do you need a roommate?

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make when planning for your first apartment is whether or not you want to live with someone. If you decide that having a roommate is the best decision for you to make sure that you have a committed roommate before you sign your lease if you are unable to afford the apartment alone.

Getting Approved

Often being a first-time renter there is a high probability that you have not established a strong credit history yet. In this case be prepared to show proof of income and well as a work and personal reference. You make also be asked to have a co-signer back your approval.

Before You Sign the Lease

A lease is a legally binding document that protects not only the landlord but you as well! Make sure that you completely understand what you are signing, because once you have signed that piece of paper, you are legally bound to follow what it says. If you are unsure of any points be sure to ask the landlord to clarify.

It’s Move-In Day

The big day has finally come, and you are excited to start moving all of your furniture in, start decorating, and making your new apartment feel like a home. Before you start unloading the Uhaul be sure to take good quality pictures to show the condition of the carpet, if there is any damage to the walls, or if there is anything that needs to be repaired. Once you have compiled a list make sure to submit the condition of your apartment in writing to your landlord as well as keeping a keeping a copy for yourself. Remember having things in writing is extremely important to protect you from being liable for any damages once you move out of the apartment.

Congratulations on your first apartment and welcome to apartment living!

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