What to Know When Renting Your First Apartment

Whether you’re still in college or out on your own for the first time trying making a living, getting your first apartment is a memorable experience. Chances are before you made this step to independence, you either lived at home with your parents or in a dorm room at school.

Getting your own apartment is a large fiscal responsibility. It’s an action that can set the tone for how you manage money later. Nonetheless, if this is your first time renting this type of dwelling, there are a few things you need to think about and understand.

House Rental- forthefirsttimer.com
Credit: architectureartdesigns.com

Upfront Fees
Even if you make enough money to pay the monthly rent, there are numerous charges and fees you need to pay for and should be worked into your budget. The first is the upfront costs associated with renting an apartment. These are normally paid even before you sign your lease. It’s best to plan ahead to avoid sticker-shock later on. Some of these costs include:
  • Security Deposit: This is usually equivalent to one-month’s rent, and it protects the landlord if something structurally happens to your apartment and you skip town instead of paying for it. When you move out and the apartment is in the same shape it was when you moved in, you will more than likely get your security deposit back.
  • Application Fees: This typically includes a cost for your landlord to run a credit and/or background check on you, as well as a reference check.

Long-Term Fees
You will also need to factor into your budget the cost of utilities. Most landlords will cover the water bill; however, your lease will state exactly which utilities for which you are responsible. You will need to contact each company and set up accounts. Some may ask for a deposit especially if you credit is not so stellar.

Another fee to remember is parking. For instance, if you are moving into an apartment in New York City and own a car, you will be required to park it somewhere every night. Unless you can find some free parking spaces along your street or if your apartment comes with a garage, you may be forced to pay to park your car each day.  Some other long-term items to consider include:
·       Electricity
·       Gas
·       Cable or Satellite Television
·       Landline or Cellular Phone
·       Internet
·       Streaming Services

Renter’s Insurance
Much like homeowner’s or even automobile policies, you may be required by your landlord to obtain renter’s insurance. Even if you are not mandated, you should still consider it because it will protect you in case of a disaster, theft, or accidental damage. It’s typically pretty cheap to get this type of insurance too.

Terms of Your Lease
Besides filling out a college or job application, an apartment lease is one of the first legal documents a young adult has to sign. Your lease is a legally binding contract. It may come with complicated jargon and terms, but as a tenant, it’s your responsibility to read it in full and ask any question that may arise or if it’s something you don’t understand. To be extra careful, especially if this is your first lease, and ask your landlord you’d like a few days to look it over. You can then have a friend, parent, or even an attorney help you understand all the clauses.

When you venture out looking for your first apartment, consider its location very carefully. For example, if you are searching for apartments for rent in Round Rock TX, then you may need to check out the local real estate listings, contact local property management companies, or explore online rental platforms for available options.Ideally, you will need it close to stores, restaurants, place of employment, or your school. A lot depends on your lifestyle and your means of transportation. If you like driving and have a reliable vehicle, the by all means, move a bit further away. However, if you prefer to walk everywhere or don’t have a car, then it’s probably in your best interest to move closer to where you need to be.

What You Will Need to Move In
Furnishing your first apartment can be quite costly, especially if you are buying all new items like furniture, décor, and household goods. However, before you charge up your credit card, make sure you have some of the basics in place. You can purchase most of these items pretty cheap second hand at yard sales, thrift stores, or your parents’ basement. You want to make sure whatever you buy or have fits into your apartment without overcrowding it. This includes:
     Bed and Bedding
·       Couch or Love Seat
·       Table and Chairs
·       Dresser and Nightstand
·       Cookware, Utensils, and Dishes
·       Microwave
·       Towels and Dish Clothes

The Little Things
You can always think about decorating schemes and organizing your stuff after all the big stuff is done and moved in. Chances are you won’t be allowed to paint your apartment or change the color of your flooring or carpets, so you will have to work around those colors.
Author: Jordan Davis 

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