Cost is a major factor for almost anyone looking at an apartment. While cost is a bottom line for most renters, we want to remind you that there are many other factors to keep in mind when determining if a potential rental is “worth it”. You can get yourself into trouble if you start looking at apartments based solely on the price. But, by reading through our guide below, we can help reduce the chance of you making this mistake!
Know Your Budget.
In order to be sure that you don’t get in over your head or overspend on rent, it is a good idea to develop a price range before you start your search. You will need to have a grasp on the overall view of your finances before looking, including any moving costs you may incur. Next, choose an amount that you are comfortable spending each month. For most renters, this totals between 25-35% of their gross income. When calculating this cost, remember that apartment complexes may total things differently – near Universities where there is a high population of students, many complexes offer all-inclusive rent. Other communities may not include anything but the rental of space, leaving you to acquire electricity, water, cable, and Internet on your own.
Know Your Needs.
Do you really need that extra bathroom? Or a townhouse as opposed to a single story? Keep in mind that extra space means extra money spent. If you are living with a roommate, you should sit down together and decide what you both agree on. You can even start by using our detailed apartment search before you actually decide what rentals to visit. Looking at searches, you will find that a great number of communities include the square footages of their floor plans. This can be confusing – do you need 600 square feet? 1,000? The easiest way to get an idea of what you want can be by comparing it to your current living area. This way, you are able to gauge if you’d like to have more space or less space. Often, we think we need more space than we really do.
Know What is Included.
As we mentioned above, different rentals include different amenities. Places may include water, rent, electricity, cable and Internet, and even have a great pool! Be weary of places that may seem like a better deal because they are cheaper, but in reality may not be because they don’t include as much. Often, renters don’t buy items such as a Washer & Dryer and they are included with the rent. However, older apartments may not come equipped with this amenity, so be sure to ask what is included with the rent. Generally, if a community does not offer washer and dryer inside the rental, they may have laundry on site. Items to look for would be washer, dryer, laundry on site, microwave, refrigerator, and a dishwasher.
Take Your Time.
Although the leasing personnel from a rental community can be incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, it is difficult to relay all the information you will need verbally. Lease Agreements may be upwards of 20 pages of information pertaining to your rental period, so be sure to read over it carefully. Many apartment complexes will be leery of allowing someone to take a copy of the lease home, so don’t be afraid to sit and read carefully in the leasing office. Feel free to ask the staff questions regarding any legal terms, as well as any of the conditions of the lease. Be sure you understand what you are signing before putting your signature on anything!
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