Apartment hunting can be a somewhat stressful yet very exciting time in your life. If you’ve just graduated college and are “leaving the nest” or are maybe finally living off campus as an upperclassman, you will need all the resources you can get your hands on to find an apartment.
About the Apartment Industry: An estimated 35% of Americans rent their living space these days as many people find it difficult to afford a house of their own. Renting allows individuals to enjoy a luxurious, high quality living area for a fraction of the price it costs to maintain a home. Rending allows people to use their own down payment money on other investments which can provide a higher return than real estate.
Before you rent an apartment, understand that you have the upper hand when it comes to living situations. The majority of homeowners receive no annual tax benefits, and while home prices fluctuate, those who rent know exactly what to expect cost wise.
How to Find an Apartment:
- Create a budget for yourself and whoever you plan on living with. A cheap apartment may be very tempting to rent, but you will want to make sure that your aren’t living in a bed bug infested building. Make sure your budget includes monthly utilities costs.
- Shop for apartments and compare prices as well as amenities and features. One house may have offstreet parking but no in-unit laundry, while the other offers both but for a higher price. Using apartment search engines will be very helpful during this step.
- Ask the property manager about recent vacancy rates. If they say that a lot of rooms or apartments are vacant, chances are the place isn’t managed well. However, if the apartment complex is near a university, vacant rooms could fill up quick!
- If the rental company isn’t a reputable one, you should move on to another company. Find a company that doesn’t manage too many apartments or homes because they may have stretched themselves too thin. Make sure they will be able to help you if anything goes wrong.
- Create a “wish list” with you and your new roommates. For example, do you want a large backyard? In-unit laundry? or living near a park? A wish list could help you narrow your search to find an apartment so you won’t feel as overwhelmed by all the choices.
- Use your smartphone when you go apartment hunting! Take pictures or videos — the property manager will not care. These can be used to compare apartments later so you can keep all of the apartments organized on file instead of in your head. You can also use your phone to determine what apartments are nearest your location if you want to stay in the same area.
- When stepping into a potential apartment, make sure you do a thorough search. Look for cracks, water damage, mold, etc. Flush toilets and turn on faucets and check cupboards.
Remember, don’t be nervous about the apartment search process! Instead this is a great time to explore your likes and dislikes. Good refereneces.