There are many considerations when finding housing, including cost, location, apartment size, and potential roommates. Living on your own or with a roommate requires budgeting and planning. Rent and utilities should be your highest priority when it comes to spending your money.
WHERE TO FIND AN APARTMENT:
- Realty websites
- Local newspapers
- City/county websites
Email or call the Property Management Company or landlord. When meeting with a landlord, remember this is your first impression. Similar to a job, you want to make the best first impression possible. Be clean and well-groomed, and show up on time.
Here are the things to take with you while you look:
- Proof of income and employment (check stub/W2 statement)
- Bank account information
- Name/phone number of personal or professional references
- Co-signer info, if you are not able to use your own credit
When looking at an apartment, be sure to ask questions like:
- How old is the building?
- Have there been any known problems such as mold or asbestos?
- What is the pet policy?
- What is the parking situation?
- Can I paint, or use nails in the walls?
- Who pays garbage and utilities?
- What do I do if something goes wrong or breaks?
Once you have all your questions answered and have decided on an apartment/ house, you must fill out an application and pay an application fee. This is a one-time fee, and usually non-refundable. Always get a receipt for any fees, deposits, or rent you pay. When you are approved for a lease, you will have to pay a security deposit and/or the first month’s rent before you move in. You will sign the lease and receive the keys. Read the lease very carefully. Ask your landlord questions before signing a lease especially what happens if you break the lease.