7 Things Every First Time Renter Needs to Consider

Moving out on your own is a big deal, but it is important not to get ahead of yourself. Becoming a first time renter comes with some serious responsibilities, and any mistakes could have significant long-term consequences.
If you want your first renting experience to go well, you need to plan for success. It’s important to do research and cover your bases. Doing so will show you how something as simple as an apartment insurance plan can protect you for a wide range of costly damages. Renters insurance may cover mold, water damage, and theft. The following are a few tips to help first time renters find their footing as they transition to living on their own.

Prioritize Your Needs

You need to be able to separate your needs from your wants when you start looking for your first apartment. A lot of rental communities try to attract new tenants with features like pools and gyms. While these features are nice to have, they are not necessities. Don’t let the amenities distract you from the things you really need out of an apartment.
When you go apartment hunting, you have to prioritize things like your finances and the location. Think about your commute to work and whether the apartment is suitable for your living situation. If you don’t drive, you have to consider whether there is good access to public transportation. The amenities can be a bonus, but you have to be practical when choosing your first apartment.

Research Apartment Communities Online

The internet can provide you with opportunities to learn about rental communities without having to go to them in person. Before you go do a walkthrough and see the community firsthand, take the time to gather some information online.
You can even find virtual tours that allow you to experience some of the communities and apartments in a way that is similar to seeing them in person. This can be especially helpful if you’re moving to a new city and are unable to visit before moving.

Stick to What You Can Afford

Being able to afford your rent is one of the most important considerations when looking for an apartment. Before you start looking at apartments, you need to total up your monthly budget and determine what you can afford to pay in rent. If you sign a lease only to find that you cannot pay the rent, you might end up getting evicted. This could have a long-lasting negative effect on your credit rating.

Plan for a Security Deposit

A security deposit is a common part of most rental agreements. The cost of the deposit can vary, but you should plan for it to be the equivalent of one month’s rent. If you are bringing a pet with you, the landlord may require an additional deposit for the pet. Securing an apartment can often come with a range of fees beyond just rent and the deposit, so it is important to budget some extra money to cover these costs.

Read the Lease

The lease is an agreement between you and your landlord, so it is important to know what you are agreeing to.
Read the lease in full before signing your name to make sure you understand all of the terms. If you have any concerns, talk to the landlord about them before signing. Additionally, if the landlord makes any verbal promises, make sure they appear in writing.

Consider Renters Insurance

Some landlords may require renters insurance, but it is a smart thing to consider even if it is not a requirement. As mentioned earlier, renters insurance is an affordable form of protection that can cover your possessions if they are damaged. It can also protect you against liability if a visitor is ever injured while at your apartment.

Don’t Rely on Credit Cards

Starting out on your own can be difficult, and credit cards can be helpful when you find yourself needing a little extra money. However, credit cards should be for emergencies rather than as a regular way to meet your budget. Don’t use credit cards to buy things you can’t afford, and when you do use your credit cards, make an effort to pay the balance as soon as possible.

By keeping these tips in mind, first time renters will be able to make a smooth transition to solo-living. While it may seem like a lot of information to consider, paying attention and carefully doing research will help you find the perfect apartment without a hitch.