Hunting for your first apartment isn't easy. If you have to sign a year's lease, you may think a year is a long time to be tied down. That makes it more important than ever to find a place you love. Here are a few tips for finding an apartment and some things to find out before you sign a lease.
Choose a Neighborhood
Consider the type of neighborhood you want to live in. You might need a place close to your college campus or your place of employment. On the other hand, if the location doesn't matter, decide if you want to live downtown where you can walk to stores and restaurants, or if you want a complex away from the hustle and bustle so you have solitude. You can then narrow your search to the neighborhood you want so you can find a place faster.
Know the Type of Apartment You Want
You might want to live in a complex that has a pool and gym so you can work out. You might prefer a more cozy atmosphere of an apartment in a large home that's been divided. You also need to know the number of bedrooms you want and other important features you need such as a laundromat in the complex or laundry machines in your apartment. Just like when you buy a house, have a list of things your new place has to have so your search is laser-focused.
Know Your Budget
The most important step in renting your first apartment is to rent something you can easily afford. You might put up with a complex in a boring neighborhood or a place that's not as attractive as you like, but you'll be miserable if you sign a lease that stretches your budget too tight.
Learn the Rules
Apartments come with all types of rules. A complex may be stricter than if you rent from an individual in a house, but there will still be rules and it's important to understand them before you sign. For instance, know what happens if your rent is late and what the procedure is if you want a roommate someday. Also, ask if you can sublet the apartment if you need to move.
Know what you're responsible for too when it comes to a broken air conditioner or clogged toilet. You'll also want to know about additional charges such as the deposit, late payment fee, pet deposit, and any other fees that affect you moving in or while you live in your new place.