Renting an apartment is a big decision. There are a lot of things to consider when you are looking for a place to live. Finding an apartment within your budget with the amenities you want and a good location is key. It would be best if you also were sure that you are comfortable with the landlord and the other tenants. However, even with all of this planning, there are still ways that you can make a mistake.
Here are seven common first apartment mistakes new renters make and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Budgeting Properly
One mistake first-time renters make is not considering their budget. Finding an apartment within your budget is essential so you don’t struggle to pay your monthly rent.
Standard renting costs include the following:
- Maintenance Fees
- Renters Insurance
- Utilities such as cable, internet, water, sewer, and trash
- Pet Fees
Some of these fees are included in your rental price, so ask your leasing agent about these expenses upfront.
Aside from this, you could be prepared to pay the following expenses upfront:
- Application fee
- Security deposit
- Cleaning supplies
Consider creating a checklist of essential items to understand how much you will spend.
Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Location
When it comes to finding an apartment, location is everything. After all, you want to be close to the things that matter most to you – your job, your favorite restaurant, or your gym. But there are a few things to remember when narrowing down your search, or you might regret your decision.
Here are a few apartment mistakes to avoid when it comes to location:
- Not checking the crime rates. When looking at apartments, it’s essential to research the crime rates in the area. No one wants to live in a neighborhood known for being unsafe.
- Ignoring the commute. How far is the apartment from your job or school? If you’re dealing with a long commute every day, it might not be worth it – even if the rent is cheap.
- Not considering parking and noise level. If you have a car, you’ll want to ensure adequate parking. And if you’re looking for a quiet place to live, you might want to avoid apartments on a busy street.
Mistake #3: Not Checking the Lease Carefully
It is essential to read the lease carefully before you sign it. You need to be certain you understand the lease’s terms and conditions. It would help if you also were sure that you are comfortable with the lease terms. If you have any questions, be sure to ask the landlord before you sign the lease.
Pay close attention to the agreement’s details, such as the length of the lease, the monthly rent amount, and any rules and regulations in place. By reading the lease agreement carefully, you can avoid any potential problems down the road.
Mistake #4: Not Getting Renter’s Insurance
If you are renting an apartment, you need to get renters insurance. This will protect your belongings in case of any damage or theft.
Here are some things to consider when choosing apartment insurance:
- Ensure you are covered for the value of your belongings. If you have valuable items in your apartment, you will want to ensure they are fully covered in a fire, theft, or other disasters.
- Get liability coverage. This will protect you if someone is injured in your apartment.
- Be sure to understand your policy deductible. This is the amount you will need to pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in.
- Keep up with your payments. If you miss a payment, your policy may be canceled.
- Review your policy regularly. As your needs change, so too should your insurance coverage.
Mistake #5: Insufficient Research
One of the most frequent first apartment mistakes new renters often make is not doing enough research on the apartment complex or landlord before signing a lease. Be sure to read online reviews and talk to other tenants to get an idea of the living situation. You don’t want to end up in a noisy, dirty, or unsafe place.
Mistake #6: Not Checking the Apartment Thoroughly
Before you move into an apartment, you should do a thorough walk-through with the landlord. This will allow you to see if there are any problems with the unit. It would be best if you also took pictures of the apartment so that you have a record of its condition.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Take your time. Don’t feel rushed by the landlord or management company. This is your chance to make sure the apartment is in good condition and that you understand what you’re responsible for.
- Pay attention to detail. Take note of any damage, no matter how small. This includes scratches on the walls, stains on the carpet, or cracks in the tile. If anything looks damaged, make sure to point it out to the landlord or management company.
- Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to ask the landlord or management company if you’re unsure about anything. This is your chance to get clarification on the lease agreement, the building’s policies, or anything else that’s unclear.
Mistake #7: Not Negotiating
Finally, don’t mistake thinking you can’t negotiate the rent price. In many cases, you can, so it’s worth a try. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower monthly rent, especially if the apartment complex is not fully booked. If you have a good credit score and a steady income, you may be able to get a lower monthly rate.
With so many different apartments out there, choosing the first one you come across can be tempting. However, it’s critical to take the time to research other apartments and find one that’s right for you.
Following these tips can help you avoid making first apartment mistakes as a new renter. Just remember to be prepared and do your research, and you’ll be well on to finding a great place to live. If you take the time to consider budget, insurance, location, and your lease, you’ll be much happier with your apartment decision.
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Erika Marie is a fashion and beauty writer as well as a hardcore vintage clothing enthusiast. In her free time, she can be found thrifting for hidden gems to add to her collection.