Getting that first apartment is a dream come true for young singles and couples who are anxious to get out of a dorm room or their parents' house. But signing a lease for an apartment is a serious commitment that can lead to regret and financial stress if the apartment selection process is hurried or not properly thought out.
If you are preparing to search for your first apartment and want to ensure that you will be happy with your choice throughout the months of your lease period, here are some proactive tips that will help you streamline the process.
Establish a comfortable housing budget before beginning to look
The first step in enjoying your apartment throughout your lease period is to ensure that it is and will continue to be easily affordable on your current income. Both the monthly rental amount and all other costs related to living in the apartment — like utilities, internet, and parking fees — should all be considered to ensure that your total housing costs are within a comfortable range.
To begin, make a list of the services and utilities you will need when living in your apartment, including their expected monthly costs. Next, carefully look at these costs in relation to your monthly income and all other expenses, such as credit card, car, or student loan payments, groceries, clothing, transportation, and entertainment.
Choose to focus on your entire financial picture instead of just the monthly rent payment to ensure that you will not be signing a lease for an apartment that ends up being too expensive for you to maintain and enjoy.
Consider all the factors associated with each apartment
Once you have a clear idea of the amount you can afford to pay for rent, you can begin looking at apartments within your rental price range. Before viewing, however, take time to consider all the pertinent factors about each apartment. For instance, you will want to be sure that the complex feels secure, well lit, and well maintained.
Additionally, you should also consider whether you will have convenient access to parking or mass transit options, what type of laundry facilities are available, and whether there is a responsive property manager for tenants to contact with problems or questions.
Choosing the right apartment is the best way to ensure that your first home on your own is comfortable and welcoming. To get additional insight on achieving this goal, contact a real estate agent in your area who works with apartments.