Moving out for the first time from home can be a back and forth experience. On one hand, it's a bit scary and sad at the same time, as you can no longer count on your mother's delicious homemade cooking to cheer you up on a bad day. On the other hand moving out and living your own is an exciting and exhilarating prospect you can't wait to experience. There's a lot of emotions riding in this moment of your life.
Then comes apartment renting...
1. Apartment renting is a headache and it will take you for a spin if you don't know what you're doing, which chances are since this is your first time moving out of the house. To help, here are some tips for the beginner apartment hunter:
2. First things first, look at your budget. Find out how much you can afford to pay rent every month. Apartment owners can be picky, too. Most prefer that their asking price is no more than 25% of your gross income or 33% of your net income. Depending on your other responsibilities, you might want to spend even less than 25% on rent.
3. Ask a well-off friend or your parents to act as your cosigner. You're probably not going to need a cosigner anyway, but it's good to be prepare and plus most apartment owners prefer having a cosigner anyway for security.
4. Make a list of things to ask the apartment owner during the inspection. For example, if you have a pet, you might want to make it clear during the inspection if he or she allows pets inside the building. You could also ask which utilities are paid for in the rent, which aren't. You might also want to consider waving a lease instead of a monthly payment option, but that's something you'll have to discuss with the apartment owner personally.
5. The next step is finding an apartment. Check the newspaper or search online for apartment rentals in your preferred location. Drive around the neighborhood and see if the area is a safe place to live in.
6. Compile a list of apartments you're interested in, and then take a day off and call each apartment owner and ask for an inspection. During the inspection, know what to look out for, from mold formations under the sink to the sturdiness of the front door of the apartment.
7. Don't casually fill out application forms especially when you're undecided on the apartment. Some apartment owners charge an non-refundable fee, and you don't want to pay for this unless you're absolutely sure you want the apartment.
8. Reorder your list of apartment from best to worst, and make a decision from there. After all this preparation, it should be much easier decided on an apartment compared to if you haven't prepared for anything at all.
Moving out for the first time can be a bipolar experience. Reduce the stress of apartment hunting for the first time by following this strategies and tips. Take it from me, you'll benefit in the long run.