Searching for an apartment requires diligence and a good plan. Before you hit the Internet or the streets in search of a new apartment, take the time to get your plan in place so you will find the right one. Here are some tips to make it just a little easier.
1. Know What You Can Spend
Set a clear budget range that is within reason for your income. Make sure you realize that your rent won’t be your only living expense. You may also need to pay for some utilities, and you will want money to do some fun things from time to time. Remember to consider a range for your budget, too, as some factors, like the amount you’ll be spending on gas, can impact how much you can afford for rent.
2. Narrow Down Your Geographic Area
Know specifically where you want to live. If you can limit your search to one or two neighborhoods, you will have an easier time zeroing in on the right apartment. Keep in mind that your lifestyle, work location and school location should be considered, as well as the vibe of the neighborhood, when making this determination.
3. List Your Top Three “Must Haves”
Next, make a list of the top three things you “must have” in your new apartment. These are the things that you simply can’t live without. If you have a dog, then “pet friendly” would be one of those. Your list will be unique to you, but these will be the factors that guide your search.
4. Be Organized
If you’re in an area with many apartments to choose from, you’re going to find that you quickly become overwhelmed with the many options available to you. You will need to stay organized in your search to ensure you don’t end up getting confused between one apartment and the next. Keep a spreadsheet or folder that holds all of your apartment information.
5. Be Financially Ready
Finally, make sure you’re financially ready for your new apartment. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect apartment home, only to realize you afford those initial costs. Make sure you’re ready with the money necessary for a security deposit, which is often equal to the first month’s rent, as well as that first rent payment, before you start your search.
If you keep these tips in mind as you start the search for an apartment, you will be well prepared to find the right one, with minimal stress and maybe even a bit of fun.