Renting Your First Apartment: Things to Know

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Shopping for your first apartment can be a blast from picking out furniture to painting and setting up your new pad, there are plenty of memorable moments to be had. If you are ready to leave the nest and begin shopping for a pad of your own, here are a few things you will want to take into consideration during your search.

Location, Location, Location

When you are young and trying to learn how to live on your own, it's important that you think about location. Ask yourself:

  • How mobile are you?
  • How much do you depend on your parents?
  • Are you able to find an apartment near your school or job?

All of these things play a huge part in choosing the perfect first apartment to rent. Your needs could also include access to local convenience stores and emergency facilities. Try to choose a central location until you get a bit more stable. When you are searching for your new place, its important to remember to put on your professional hat when meeting potential landlords. They are looking for responsible and reliable people who are going to pay rent on time. If you don't present a respectable appearance, you likely won't get further than the front door.

Prepare for Initial Expenses

Be fully prepared to have first and last months rent ready for a security deposit, as well as application fees and credit check fees. Renting an apartment for the first time begins with spending money on things you will need. Hopefully, you took the time to save cash during your stay at home. Finding a cheap apartment is great, but be careful to take into account extra expenses that will play a huge part in your budget.

It's also not a bad idea to look into renting a storage space. When moving to a new place, sometimes it's hard to determine how your belongings will fit, and if you don't have basement or garage storage, you might need to rent an off-site unit. Determining the size of the unit can be a challenge, so some storage companies like SmartStop Self Storage have online calculators that help you estimate the size of your unit and, then, the monthly rental fee.

Set a Budget

Never spend more than you have. Think of all the other expenses you will incur, such as utility bills, recreational bills and renter's insurance.
Depending on the place you choose, you might have the option to include renter's insurance in your monthly rent. If not, shop around for the best option. If you're unsure how to best protect your pad, start by researching the best renter's insurance for your situation. It may sound like just another bill, but in actuality, good insurance can save you tons of money.

Clean Up Your Credit

Unless you are an elite rich kid, having good credit is highly important when trying to rent an apartment. It will make the process run a lot more smoothly. It will also create a pathway to better and more affordable renters insurance.

The situation gets a bit more "grown up" now that bills and credit checks come into play. Taking the time to plan the details of renting your first apartment is the first step towards financial maturity. Accomplishing something so important can be extremely rewarding.



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