While there are plenty of homeowners out there who are looking to move from time to time, there are probably many more apartment hunters who need help as well.
There are any one of a number of reasons why someone would need a new apartment, including a new addition to the family, a new job, looking for a new neighborhood, wanting to downsize and more.
Just like with house hunting, apartment hunting can end up being a real hassle and even a confusing process , but it doesn’t have to be, and with these tips your apartment hunting process should go very smoothly.
Know Exactly Where You Want to Be
There are a ton of factors to keep in mind when figuring out where to start your apartment hunt. But the first is to figure out where you want to end up living.
To help get started, answer some of the more important questions. Do you prefer to live in the heart of the city, or do you need to be near a good school district? Do you want a bit of backyard space, or do you want to be a short walk from public transport?
Figure out what your must haves should be in terms of your location, and then narrow down your search to just a few neighborhoods that meet your requirements. This will help keep you focused only on apartments that are going to be a right fit for you.
Determine Your Budget
One of the great things about living in an apartment is that the costs are pretty much fixed. If something does happen unexpectedly, like a burst pipe or a leaky roof, it’s the landlord who was to pay, not you.
Because of that, it’s a bit easier to figure out your monthly expenses when starting your apartment hunting. A good rule of thumb is to keep your housing approximately a quarter to one third of your monthly salary.
Also keep in mind some other hidden costs. If you have a car and require a parking space,
that could end up running you a few hundred extra bucks a month in parking fees. If you move out to a more suburban area, and take the train, likely the ticket will cost more each trip, so remember those.
Have Your Paperwork Ready
Just as with a mortgage, an apartment hunt does require a lot of paperwork. If you are have been a consistent apartment dweller for a few years, this may be old hat to you, if you’ve never done it before there are some things you want to keep in mind.
Most landlords at the very least are going to require you fill out a rental application at first, and then sign a lease once you decide you want the apartment. Also realize that some landlords will want to run credit checks, references and even background checks.
If this is the case, make the process easier by having that information available. Print out a couple of copies of your credit score to have on hand, have you references lined up, and know exactly how much money is due to complete the process.
These simple steps are going to be able to help you go a long way in making the apartment hunting process a breeze! Do you have any of your own tips from apartment searches? We’d love to hear, let us know in the comments!
- Three Apartment Hunting Tips to Help Find Your New Home - February 26, 2014