Apartment Hunting Checklist


Renting your first apartment certainly can bring a high level of excitement. Maybe you are a seasoned vet and you know the drill. Either way, there  is a right and wrong way to find your next place. Apartments do serve a certain purpose to most renters.

Maybe you want to search for an apartment community near markets, shops, grocery stores, or other entertainment options. Many renters submit their apartment application after the very first apartment tour.  You certainly don’t want to lose the place to somebody else. Seasoned apartment renters realize that can be a huge mistake.  We have put together a list of tips that anyone can use to search for and secure their next apartment home.

Make a proper apartment budget.

To find the apartment complex that best suits your needs you will first need to consider how much you want,  or can afford to spend. The good news is that apartment communities have income requirements in place as a check. Most require that you make anywhere between 3-3.5 times the monthly rent. Any less and you are at risk of your application being denied.

Many renters like to put a budget in place so they can afford to pay for other expenses.

Without a  budget in your mind, you may end up signing a lease for a new apartment that is much more expensive than you can afford.

Here are some tips anybody can follow to budget for their next place.

  • How much can you afford to spend on the rent and other amenities in the community like a parking garage? Will you also have to pay for storage or any other apartment amenities?
  • How much will the cooling and heating bills be in the summer and winter months? Make sure to account for it in your maximum rent.
  • How much cash do you have on hand to pay for a security deposit, first month’s rent?
  • Pet owners will have to pay extra for a pet deposit and monthly pet rent.

Make a list of what you will need in an apartment once you’ve determined your budget. Remember that there are many different apartments available, and knowing what you’re looking for will make your apartment search more effective. Among the items on your list could be:

Overall specifications

  • How many bedrooms do you want?
  • Are you bringing pets with you?
  • What floor of the apartment complex do you want to live on?
  • Do you need a washer and dryer in the unit?
  • Non carpeted floors
  • Extra storage space

Apartment Location

One of the most important factors for any renters will be the location. This usually determines price. Are you commuting to work or school? Be sure to map out and track the length of your drive from your apartment home. Consider a few different neighborhoods that you could live in. Renters need to be flexible. When you start drawing lines in the sand about the location and amenities in your next place, you really begin to lower the amount of apartment options.  So drive around, ask friends, or research the neighborhoods and cities online.

Amenities you Need in Your next Place

Staying organized is our next piece of apartment hunting advice. You’re ready to start the apartment search once you’ve made a list of items that you must have.  It certainly can be tempting to have a lot of  amenities and features you want in your next home. The fewer items you require, the more apartment options you will have. This will make your search less stressful and open up the options.  Make a spreadsheet so you can access your options on your phone whenever you like. Include the following in your apartment options:

  • Listing Name
  • Address
  • Rent rate
  • Amenities
  • Extra Notes about the community

Then, as you start visiting apartments, you can add information and cross out the ones you don’t want. Highlight apartments that you’re seriously considering, and cross out options that don’t meet your requirements.

Apartment Lease Terms

Before applying, you should review the terms of your lease to see if it provides you with the flexibility and security that you require. The following leases are available typically:

  • 6 months
  • 12 months
  • Month to month

Remember most apartment communities will require that you give a 30 or 60 day move out notice. This means that you simply don’t move out after your apartment lease expires. You must notify the apartment manager in writing. This can be done via email, or dropping off a note.

Therefore these are the few tips that will provide you with the best methods to find your next place.  Remember, don’t exceed your budget, and make sure you have a few different neighborhoods that satisfy your needs. The more flexible you are in your search, the less stress you will have.

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