Moving out, whether it’s off-campus to a shared apartment or into one all on your own can be a nerve-wracking experience. Finding your first apartment requires you to take on new responsibilities, navigate unreasonable landlords or neighbors, negotiate high rents, etc. Hence, it’s a big adjustment to leave behind the comfort and security of your old home or dorm and move into a new place.
Searching and finding the perfect apartment is hard but preparing your move, settling in, planning a budget, and other menial tasks can leave you vexed. Here’s a helpful guide that covers all the things you should know as a first-time apartment tenant.
1. Planning your budget
As a first-time apartment renter, you may overestimate how much you can afford to pay for living expenses, utilities, and decor. Hence, you should plan a budget that will cover all your expenses and help you identify what you can and can’t afford. Don’t forget to include all of your monthly expenses and unexpected costs that may occur in the future while creating your budget.
You can lower expenses by living with a roommate or creating a secondary source of income. It’s a good practice to figure out everything before initiating the rental process.
2. Knowing your landlord and the apartment
The first thing that you should do even before you move in is to get to know your landlord. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s an effective way to build trust and form a connection, which will eventually make it easier for you to settle in.
You should also take a tour of your apartment before signing the lease. It will help you to become aware of problem areas such as low water pressure or dings in the walls.
3. Befriending your neighbors
In an apartment building, good neighbors are a treasure. Sometimes, a cup of coffee, a friendly chat, or a little favor can make all the difference. There is a saying, ” Getting a good home is easy but getting a good neighbor is priceless.” Talk to the potential neighbors and ask them how they like living in that building. They may be able to tell you things that will make your life easier there.
4. Understanding your lease
A lease is a contract intended to protect both the landlord and the renter. Hence, reading all the clauses carefully is mandatory to know what to expect as a tenant. You can find out details pertaining to renewal, cancellation, and other aspects. If you have any questions make sure to ask them before you sign the lease.
5. Furnishing Your Apartment
First-time apartment renters may have to invest in furniture and household items. However, you don’t need to break the bank for it. You can personalize your new apartment with affordable decor and furniture that you can pick up from thrift shops or garage sales. If you like DIY-ing, there is no better opportunity to create a Pinterest-worthy space!
In case, if you are living in an apartment that has old systems and appliances then you should ask your landlord to consider purchasing a home warranty. If your lease agreement holds you liable for repair expenses, home warranties can help save a lot of money. Check out the top home warranty companies that offer services in your area.
You should do some research on your own to make the rental process more accessible as a first-time renter. Be sure to read first-hand reviews from other renters in your building, it can offer you insights into how things work. If you incorporate these effective tips, it can help you to avoid mistakes as a first-time renter.