April 9, 2013 3:48 am
Set a budget and stay in it. It's crucially important to control your finances and spend no more than 30 percent of your monthly pay on rent and other housing needs. Be prepared to pay a security deposit along with the first month's rent up front, and don't neglect to factor in the cost of utilities, cable, Internet and renter's insurance. Ask all landlords for an estimated cost of utilities and if there are any extra fees for pets, parking or any other additive you may require. If the cost of everything combined seems overwhelming, picking up a roommate might not be such a bad idea.
Research various areas before signing a lease. Budget alone is one great way to narrow down neighborhoods. Craigslist and Apartments.com are only a few of the various resources you can use for further information. Make sure that all wanted amenities (laundry, parking, pool, etc.) are either included or close by. If you have any doubts, talk to a few residents for an unbiased opinion. The more you know, the better educated your decision will be.
Be sure to read the fine print carefully. Read the lease carefully and make sure you understand all of its terms. The landlord may want to run a background check and may request a proof of employment from your employer. Be prepared to turn this information over in a timely fashion. It's crucially important that you understand the policies for penalties, including early termination of the lease or damages. If you read something you don't understand, always ask for clarification.
Once the lease is signed, you should take a few precautions before calling your friends to beg them for moving help. Keep the following in mind:
• Check the apartment for smoke detectors. If any of them are missing, be sure to tell the landlord before moving all of your belongings in.
• Ask about installing a deadbolt on any exterior doors.
• Is the entire place clean and ready to be moved into?
• Is there any damage to the apartment, including chipped paint or damaged walls? Be sure to take pictures before you move in and alert the landlord of anything you find.
• Make sure the water works in all of the apartment's faucets.
• Test the outlets. How many are there and do they all work?
Having a plan for your next move will keep you organized and help the process run more smoothly. After the job is finished, all of your preparation will certainly pay off once you are sitting comfortably in your new apartment.
Sources: beaumontenterprise.com, Relocation.com
Published with permission from RISMedia.