Getting an apartment can be a stressful endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many things you have to take into consideration when determining what apartment is for you, but if you break it down into a few simple steps it is much easier and much less stressful.
You might be tempted to go out looking at a potential apartment right away, you are apartment hunting right? Well before you start looking at actual apartments there are a few things you need to do first.
First things first, you have to determine your budget. There is no need to look at anything if you’re not sure what you can afford. Step one is looking at your current income and bills and finding a comfortable price range.
Still not out the door yet. It’s smart to gather up some paperwork before you head out just so you won’t be scrambling for it when you do find that perfect apartment. Some of the basics are your last two bank statements and pay stubs, or letter of employment. A letter of recommendation from any previous landlord is also a great thing to have with you.
• Must have list
Take some time to figure out a list of absolute must haves you need in your new apartment. It’s important to be reasonable with your must have’s, remember that nothing is perfect. Some things you might want to consider is laundry, any amenities such as a pool or gym that might be included, local amenities such as shops and restaurants, and yard or patio space. Everyone’s must have list will be different depending on your need, your situation and personality. Now remember that budget you set out earlier? It is a good thing to remember that depending on your budget you may not be able to afford everything on your must have list so it’s helpful to list everything in order of importance, from most important to less important.
This step is optional but it does have some advantages. For one a broker will usually have more knowledge of the area so they may find places you would otherwise never known about. A broker will go through the many available places and narrow down the choices for you saving you hours of running around town to see places that don’t meet your needs.
• Visit Properties
Now you can finally get out and see some potential new apartments. Remember to take your time and see as many properties as it takes. Make sure you have your must have your must have list on hand for easy reference. Try not to look at too many properties in one day, the more you look at the more they all start to look-alike.
• Sign on the line
Now all you have to do is sign the lease. Be sure to look it over carefully before you agree to it and remember you have the ability to negotiate. Things to check include the types of cosmetic changes you can make and the ones you can’t.