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There are quite a few things to consider before you decide to rent your first apartment:
Cost of rent
Cost of utilities
Proximity to work
Features of the building
Lease renewal process
When you decide it is time to move and you begin apartment hunting you need to take into consideration all of the costs that come along with moving out for the first time. You will be responsible for a monthly rent and most landlords and rental companies will require a deposit. Besides your monthly rent you will be responsible for some utilities.
Some buildings do come with free gas, water and wi-fi but in most cases you will still be responsible for your cable bill and your electric bill. You’ll want to make sure you do not over pay for any services such as cable or electric and do a thorough apples to apples comparison to ensure you are getting the same service at a reduced rate by shopping around.
Once you have gone over your budget to include your deposit, any parking fees, rent and utilities you will have a better grasp of other features you will want in your first apartment.
Some apartments are in large complexes, some are in high rise buildings and others are two or three story buildings in urban or residential areas. Location is important. You will want to decide whether you may want to pay a bit more to live closer to work or if you are willing to travel a bit for work if it will save you money each month on your rent.
Additionally, if you rely on public transportation to get to and from work, you will need to ensure there is a but or train route near your apartment to make commuting feasible. If you have your own car you’ll need to make sure you have a parking spot and inquire about any additional parking fees that may come with your rental agreement.
After narrowing down the neighborhood you want to rent in you can then begin you actual search. Landlords often post on local rental social media groups and sometimes they’ll even put a sign out on the building to advertise a rental. If you know of an area that you want to rent in, drive around and look for signs, do not solely rely on social media as your way of finding a rental apartment.
Additionally, reach out to local property management and rental management companies, they will often have a list of available apartments that they maintain within your search area. Be open to different amenities within your building. Some buildings come with pools, gyms, door attendants and on site maintenance, other smaller buildings may simply be only the apartment units and no extra bells and whistles.
Do’s and Don’ts Of Moving Into Your First Apartment
When it comes to moving into your first apartment there are a few do’s and don’ts that you’ll want to adhere to.
Move in within just 1 day to not inconvenience neighbors
Make sure to pay your rent on time each month
Remember to empty your mail box daily
Remain considerate of neighbors with noise and late night visitors
Your neighbors will really appreciate it if you can limit your move in process to just one day. Often moving trucks can take up valuable parking spots and furniture being moved in can clog up stairwells and hallways. Neighbors are often understanding and willing to work around it but they also must work and carry on with daily activities so if you can keep it to one day they’ll definitely be appreciative. Apartment mail boxes are often very small and only hold enough mail for one day so you’ll want to be courteous to your mail carrier and check your mail box daily.
Do not take other peoples parking spots
Don’t throw parties without letting your neighbors know first
Don’t expect everyone in the building to get along
Just because it is your first apartment does not mean everyone will love you and you will love everyone in the building. Sometimes people just don’t get along so make sure you keep things neighborly and don’t take offense if someone isn’t thrilled that you moved in.
It is also important to remember you are new to the building and you should inquire about your parking spot before you take someone else’s just as you should let neighbors know if you are having a party and they share common walls with you. This is especially helpful for anyone who may work from home or have small children near you.
By following these recommendations you’ll enjoy your experience with your first rental apartment.