Whether you're a recent college graduate about to live on your own for the first time or you just sold your house and looking for a maintenance free living in a new area, you need to be prepared before starting your apartment hunt. Finding the right apartment is no easy task, but it doesn't have to be too overwhelming. After you determine what you can afford and what your requirements are, it's simply a matter of finding the right apartment, agreeing to the lease terms, and signing on the dotted line.
To help find your ideal apartment - and to make the search be as painless as possible - there are a number of steps you can take to ease the stress of searching and making it a fun process. Below are a few of those steps as a starter to help you in your journey!
1. Determine your Price Point - This is probably the most important part to consider when you start your apartment search. The U.S. Census Bureau suggests that your monthly rent should not exceed 20% of your monthly income. For example, if your monthly take home is around $4,000 per month, you should cap your search at around $1,200 rental amount per month. Avoid looking at apartments outside of your budget. Property Managers/Landlords are extremely unlikely to lower the rental amount just due to the prospect of you signing a lease. You could set yourself up for either overspending or being disappointed when you can't afford the apartment of your dreams. Instead, set a firm number and only look for places that fall within your budget.
2. Convenience - Choosing an apartment that is conveniently located can make your life a lot easier in more than one way. Look for a place that's close to work, shopping, transportation, and amenities such as laundry. This can help cut down on the amount of money you are currently spending on gas as well as travel time each day.
3. Safety - Make sure the apartment is within a neighborhood that you feel safe and comfortable in. Ensure the Apartment building/door(s) have proper locks and ask questions regarding security measures during your tour of the property.
Finding a new apartment can be overwhelming if your let it be. Being prepared prior to the start of your search is the best way to ensure you have a stress free experience to find the perfect apartment for your lifestyle!