Of course, looking for the right apartment can be a very challenging job to do, especially when you can’t determine your budget. This job can even be much more difficult if you are looking for your very first apartment.
One apartment may be too expensive for you when it actually has everything that you want while another option is within your price range but is too far from your workplace. You can actually find an apartment of your dream that you can afford if you are well-prepared.
In this article, we share with you a complete guide on how to find the right apartment for your ultimate reference.
Check your budget
The very first point that you should refer to is your own budget. How much are you willing to spend your money to pay the rent? Keep in mind that your rent shouldn’t drain your salary, you still have to share the money with other needs, even as simple as going out to a nice club or restaurant.
The safest rule is that you should maximally spend 30% of your salary on your rent, not more than that. We are talking about your net income after the money is reduced by the taxes and other deductions. The basic 50 – 30 – 20 rule should work for most of you in which 50% for bills (including rent), 30% for fun stuff (night out, gorgeous dresses), and 20% for savings.
Commit to the amount of money that you are willing enough to spend for the rent once you have determined it. Don’t get tempted by apartments that are over your comfortable budget, unless you can find someone that you can share the cost with.
Learn your credit score
Knowing your credit score will make you more prepared when you are looking for a new apartment. There are some websites that offer features to get your credit report for free like https://annualcreditreport.com/. One important tip is that you should avoid websites that ask for your credit card information.
Compare the renters insurance
A lot of apartment communities and private landlords will ask you for the renters insurance. Keep in mind that renters insurance can be so expensive which can cost around $15 up to $30 each month.
Their policies mostly cover your belongings when they are damaged by particular events (like a fire) or stolen. You can also find the insurance that offers to cover the hotel cost when your property is uninhabitable. That’s why you need to compare each option to find the one that suits you best.
Determine your location
Looking for the specific location where you’d like to live is definitely a complicated thing that requires a lot of consideration. You might want to ask the questions below to help narrow down the options:
How do you want to go to work? By walk, bike, or other ways?
Do you prefer a quiet suburban or an urban neighborhood?
Do you want to stay close to your family and friends?
Are fun places like clubs or restaurants important to you?
You can refer to your personal answers and compare each location that you have in mind. Think about the pros and cons of each location until you get the best one.
To find the best apartment in your desired area, you can visit some trusted websites that offer you a lot of options. For instance, if you are looking for apartments for rent in Deer Park, you can just browse the best ones from the tip of your fingers.
Select the facilities
Of course, the facilities that each apartment has are the essential considerations. If you have an extra budget, you might be able to get an apartment of your dream which has everything that you want.
For you are not really that lucky, you need to write down the facilities that you are looking for. Select them based on the level of the priorities. For instance, if you have a dog or cat, a pet-friendly apartment is way more important than the one with a tennis court, swimming pool, or granite flooring.
Create your favorite list
Once you have determined the points above, you must have some favorite apartments in mind and it’s time to add them to your top list. These should be the ones which have your must-have facilities but are still within your suitable price range. Some websites allow you to create this list by simply liking or loving the units of your dream.
You can also find some websites which offer an online tour in which you can ‘walk through’ the apartment in 3D view so you can kinda feel how to live there virtually. Remove the apartments from the list if they have more cons than the other options until you get at least the top three.
Schedule tours immediately
At this point, you might already have your top three, and it’s time to call the contenders as soon as possible. It’s important since your favorite apartment may have been sold already, especially if you live in the areas where apartments are sold quickly. The units may be still available at the time you start looking for the apartment, but they might be sold even before you call them.
Of course, a virtual tour can’t really replace a real-life tour. You can get a better idea of the building’s layout, functions, sizes, and even the neighborhood in a real-life tour.
Take notes and pictures
On a real-life tour, always bring a notebook to write down the answers to your questions and take as many pictures as you can if you are allowed to do so. Don’t rush yourself, take at least two or three apartment communities to go on tour, so you can make a real comparison.
It might sound cheesy, but you might want to show those notes and pictures to your friends and family. Keeping some different perspectives in mind can help you to find the right one, especially if you are not really familiar with the area where your favorite apartments are located specifically.