You 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.
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.