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Part of adulting is moving out and finding your own place to live. Here are some important apartment hunting tips for your first place.

Are you looking for simple apartment hunting tips on the dos and don’ts of renting your first apartment? While this time in your life can be stressful, make certain that you’re relaxing and having fun!

Going apartment hunting can be such a good time if you know what you’re looking for. And in this post, you’ll get some great tips about how to find the best first apartment for you possible!

Apartment Hunting Tips: What To Look For In Your First Apartment

first apartment tips

What do I need to do when I rent my first apartment?

Renting your first apartment is awesome but there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Make certain that you’re educating yourself on the location and costs to be certain that it’s a safe area to live and a place that you can ultimately afford.

Doing your research as a potential tenant is one of the best things that you can do. If you fail to do your own research, you’re taking the risk of renting an apartment that you’re going to be unhappy with down the road.

Can you rent an apartment without credit?

While it might not be a tip, per se, it’s important to note that you’ll want to make certain that you have good credit to be able to rent your first apartment. Most places will require a credit check once you apply because it shows that you’re responsible and pay your bills on time.

If you don’t have any credit, this would be something to be upfront with the apartment manager about to make certain that you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

What is a good price for a first apartment?

This really just depends on where you live and what you can afford. It’s hard to put a price point on it because every town and state are different. Some towns may offer rentals for $500 a month while others are in the thousands.

A good price to pay for your first apartment is a price that you can afford. Some financial experts say your monthly housing costs should be 20-30 percent of your take-home income.

Now that you know a little bit about renting your first apartment, check out these items that need to be on your apartment checklist.

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First Apartment Hunt Checklist

Here’s a list of what to look for when you’re searching for your first place on your own.

1. Location

Make certain you think about how far your apartment is from work or school. You’ll appreciate having a place to go that doesn’t take long to get to. Is the neighborhood nice? Is it convenient to stores or businesses? Wouldn’t ordering food delivery or an Uber/Lyft ride be an issue? Is there a lot of traffic noise by the apartment?

2. Size

Only rent for the space that you’re going to need because while you might be able to afford the monthly rent on a bigger place, that also means that all your utilities are going to be much higher as well.

3. Affordability

How far are you willing to stretch your budget to have the apartment of your dreams? If you can’t afford it, don’t stretch yourself too thin and make yourself afford it. This will create a stressful situation that will have you end up hating your apartment after a while.

RELATED: Apartment Hunting Tips: 10 Things To Look For In Your First Place

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4. Accessibility

Think about where your apartment unit will be. First floor means it’s easy access from ground level but does that have any safety concerns for you? You might also consider the noise level coming from above you. Second floor or above may be a hassle to get to but the safety concerns decrease. Higher floors may come with a view. However the higher the floor, the more time it takes to get down to ground level, which could mean more time added to your commute or errand time (taking out the trash can be even more cumbersome).

5. Appliances

Consider the must-have appliances to have in your first apartment. With most modern apartments, a refrigerator and stovetop/oven are standard. If you need things heated up quickly, does it come with a microwave? If you don’t like washing things by hand, does it come with a dishwasher?

One important thing to note is if it has laundry facilities on-site. Having laundry machines inside your own apartment is the most convenient. Having them on the same floor is second-most convenient. Having them on-site in the complex or building is thee third most. If there are no laundry facilities offered, you may want to look into where the closest one is.

6. Amenities

Make certain that you find an apartment that comes with amenities. There are many out there that have a pool, tennis courts, fitness room, golf course, and more. The more amenities that your apartment complex has, the more bang for your buck that you’re going to get.

This means that you need to be certain that you’re going to use them or you’ll be overpaying for items that are worked into the monthly price.

7. Safety

How is the safety of your neighborhood. Is there a lot of non-violent or violent crime that occurs? Have you driven by the apartment during the day and at night to see “what it’s really like”? Is there a lot of loud riff-raff that goes on during the evening?

Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable walking around at night or would one of your guests feel comfortable parking and walking to your apartment? Gated complexes or one that have security often cost more money but they may be worth it for peace of mind.

Consider the inside safety too. Are there carbon monoxide and smoke detector alarms? Are the fire escape routes easily accessible?

apartment search tips

8. Reviews

The internet has made such a great way to understand what you’re getting into before signing a lease. Read the reviews of other tenants and make your best judgment call based off of them.

Online reviews will be very honest and will give you a good idea of how the apartment complex functions. Finding out about how management reacts to issues and maintenance requests should be something that is on your mind. Since you’re paying for the convenience of living in an apartment where someone else takes care of issues, you want to be certain that you’re living at a place that it happens that way.

9. Parking*

If you don’t have a car or are planning on public transportation, this is a non-issue. If you do have a car, you’ll need to know if the rent include parking. Is it covered parking? Is it reserved parking? How far is the parking spot? All of these are important to know when you’re carrying a load of groceries back from the car.

10. Lease Terms

You’ll want to read over the lease terms with a fine-toothed comb to see what the property manager’s rules are. If you feel like you can accommodate them, great! If they are entirely too strict or nit-picky, it may be time to move on. How long would the lease term be? What would be the consequences of breaking the lease early? (in case things don’t work out)

When you’re apartment hunting for your brand new apartment, have fun in the process. These simple checklist will have you making certain that you’re thinking of everything possible to get the apartment of your dreams.

Once you sign that lease, enjoy it! You can rest easy knowing that you made the best-educated choice possible!


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