Apartment Hunting Tips:
Before scheduling a bunch of open houses and diving full-force into apartment hunting, it’s important to punch some numbers and have a realistic range. Typically, a good rule of thumb for rent is 30% of income (before taxes). This can vary based on circumstances, cost of living, etc. Take the time to budget out the first month, including application fees, rent, moving fees, and decide whether or not utilities, parking, or other deal breakers are included in that big number.
Be picky with the apartment hunting websites you use. PadMapper, Lovely, Rent.com, are all a good place to start. Regardless, no matter what apartment hunting sites you end up deciding to use, make sure to stay on top of listings because those gems or good deals come and go so quickly –set those reminders on your phone and check your email regularly.
If you didn’t know your inner-excel spreadsheet nerd existed, make sure to get well-acquainted with each other during the apartment hunting process -– price, lease length, amenities, location, vibe, availability. additional notes, confirmed (information is correct & availability). Fill out this spreadsheet as much as possible, then try to block out all your apartment visits over a weekend or a fixed amount of time. This will make it easier logistically and your mind will be apartment-hunting focused. It might be helpful to have this accessible on your phone, so you can just plug in the rest of the information once you begin your apartment visits.
Be prepared. Your time is valuable and there are plenty of people in the same situation, trying to find their new home. Come with a list of questions.
1. Income requirements / co-signer
2. Are utilities included? If not, the average monthly cost of utilities?
3, Security or other safety measures?
4. Storage space in the building? If so, is there an extra cost?
5. Pet policy?
6. Guest policy?
8.Can temporary or permanent changes to unit be made?
9.Biggest perk and the biggest drawback of the facility (from renters perspective)
Come with your paperwork:
1. Bring W-2, recent pay stubs, or a bank statement with date on it (would recommend bringing all three, just in case a landlord prefers a specific one)
2. ID & SSN
3. Form of payment for application
Happy apartment hunting! Time to find your home sweet home (besides TBC, of course).