Many of us contemplate renting an apartment at some point in our lives. Perhaps you’re moving out of your parents’ home, you’re taking a job in a new city, or you need a short-term rental until your home remodeling project has been completed. What are some of the most important considerations when renting an apartment?
The following comprehensive guide is designed to teach you most everything you need to know about fast-tracking your apartment search, and securing the right home for your needs.
Price. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, or where you come from, price is the first consideration for almost everyone searching for an apartment rental. Of course, pricing varies wildly from dirt cheap to outrageously expensive — depending on where you plan to live. You typically get what you pay for, except if you are planning to live in areas like San Francisco, New York City, or other bustling metropolitan areas. Consider living just outside of the expensive zones; close enough to the action to save yourself a bundle every month.
Roommates. Many young people starting their lives, or careers find it incredibly difficult to rent an apartment on their starting salary. It makes more sense to team up with other people you get along with and share expenses with them. Assuming the $1200 to $1700 apartment rental price range, and two or three roommates, you can expect the following: three people pay approximately $600 each top end, two people pay approximately $850 top end, the one person pays $1700 top end. The more people you share with, the lower your apartment rental fees, but the less personal freedoms and comforts you are likely to enjoy.
Location. Ask any realtor about the three most important aspects of a property, and they’ll invariably say: Location, location, location. You can change virtually everything about a property including what it looks like and how much it ultimately sells for, but you can never change a property’s location. It’s always better to get the cheapest house in the best neighborhood, than the best house in the cheapest neighborhood.
Renter’s Insurance. Even if you’re not moving into your own home, you’ll be required by the property company to purchase insurance covering the building in the event of damage during your stay. However, you may wish to consider additional renter’s insurance to protect your personal belongings and possessions. Did you know that renters are 25% more likely to suffer a burglary than homeowners? If you’re wondering how to get renters insurance, consider consulting expert resources. Renters insurance typically covers loss through perils from $10,000 up to $30,000, and it insures everything that you bring into the apartment with you. You can also get additional coverage for roommates and/or other tenants in the apartment with you.
Timeframe. It’s important that you don’t end up paying double rent for overlapping periods. For example, if your current lease ends in July, but the new lease is available in June of the same year, you’ll have a 1-month period where double rent must be paid. Some property landlords will make accommodations for the overlap, with one-month free rent if you sign a 12-month to 18-month contract, or a discounted first month rental for the new tenant. Ask your current landlord about the fees for breaking a contract early; it may be more beneficial to pay the fee than to pay another month’s rent.
Searching. When searching for an apartment rental, there are several channels you can use to fast-track your search. These include popular rental sites on the Internet, word-of-mouth, magazines and newspapers. Whatever options you choose, be sure to go and check out the apartment complex, meet the management team, and read online reviews. It’s also a good idea to drive around the area to see what’s available, the state of the buildings, whether they allow pets or not. You can also check out the crime statistics in the area by running a Google search. This will certainly assist you when searching for the right property in the right area at the right price.
Once you’ve got your shortlist, compare the candidates’ pros and cons. Not every apartment rental will meet your needs in every department. It’s imperative that you will feel comfortable in your new apartment and be able to afford your monthly expenses. For example, there are out-of-pocket expenses that you may be required to pay such as garbage and waste removal, valet services, pet fees, Internet fees, HOA fees, non-refundable application fees, background check fees, and so forth. You may also be required to put down a substantial deposit upfront.
Now that you know what to expect, you can confidently go out there and start searching for the ideal apartment rental!
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