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Prospective Tenants
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Renting Your First Apartment

imagesYou have your first job out of college and are moving out of your parents house and/or college housing. You are looking to rent your first apartment – a definite rite of passage, but renting an apartment is different when you are not in a college setting and living on mom & dad’s dime.

Apartment hunting is definitely easier if you arm your self with a little knowledge. These tips will help make the process less daunting.

Set a budget before you start your search.  The general rule of thumb is that you should be paying no more then 30% of your monthly income on your housing.  Remember to include utilities and parking costs into that equation.

Location is always important in real estate – even when searching for an apartment. Is the location convenient to where you will be working?  Close to public transportation or expressways? (Just as an fyi – Oak Park meets those requirements)  

Search for an apartment that meets your requirements through the web.

Decide if you want a roommate.

Set up appointments to look at several apartments that meet your requirements.  Make sure to make a list of questions to ask during the appointment.  “Are utilities included in the price of the rent?,  What are the qualifications for a tenant?. What are your rules on pets?” “What are parking rules and regulations?” are just a few questions to have at the ready.

Take notes on each apartment to help you make that final decision easier.images

Once you have decided, complete a rental application.  You will need to provide contact information, social security number, drivers license number, income information, etc… a credit check will be completed.  

Once an application is accepted you will be asked to sign a lease – which is a binding twelve month contract.  Make sure to read, understand and ultimately sign your lease to guarantee that they apartment you want to rent will become your home.  

A security deposit is a required part of any lease agreement.  Know the cost.

Get renter’s insurance.  This is an inexpensive way to protect your valuables from a multitude of mishaps. 

Following these tips and knowing what to expect throughout your first post-college renting experience will help to prevent any costly mistakes or surprises.

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35 Chicago Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

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