Welcome to the days where studio apartments are $1500, utilities are not included, and for some reason, the walls just keep getting thinner and thinner. Finding a suitable apartment can take some time; this also allows for extra opportunities to find out what you want., and what you need to secure a place.
Before you seriously consider moving into an apartment, you should seriously consider your budget. Knowing your monthly income is a great starting point.
Tip: When hunting, triple the price listed so you have an idea of what's needed for your First, Last, and Security Deposit payment.
We allll know about the show Catfish; it's one of the internet's most infamous character traits. Don't get Apartment'fished!
Be sure to schedule an in-person and/or virtual tour of the space before signing anything. Don't trust the pretty (& probably photoshopped) pics.
What we do not recommend is you Googling "landlord horror stories" because that could be discouraging; however, you will absolutely want to arrange a phone call/meeting with your potential landlord.
They may be different from the leasing agent you meet. Trust your intuition and establish a positive rapport as early as possible.
You may have already decided that roommates aren't your thing, but your bank account might not allow for that cozy 1-bedroom you dreamed of straight out of school. You do not have to be their best friend, but you do have to respect one another.
Arrange meetings with your potential mates to get a feel of their lifestyle and if you're a good fit for space.
While meeting with your (potential) roommate/leasing agent, you might want to ask about your neighbors. Do they have any noticeable habits or consistencies? Is their music loud? Does their dog bark at anything/everything?
The best way to manage your expectations is to ask hella questions.
Closely related to Neighbors, your neighborhood is equally important to inquire about and check out yourself. Take a trip around the block to get an idea of where the nearest grocery store & pharmacy are located. Is your pad nearby a grade school? How's traffic in the AM/PM? All worthy checklist items to consider.
Please read over the lease to make sure it fits your needs. Be sure to also check: whether the lease is a 6-month, one-year, or month-to-month type of lease; what date the rent is due each month (any grace periods?); who is responsible for maintenance? Read it twice or phone a (qualified) friend.
BBK has followers who are lawyers. You better ask somebody! lol
8. Pet Policy
Included in the lease should be your landlord's pet policy. If you have a pet or plan on getting a pet, this small detail is essential. Make sure to check: whether the landlord charges a pet deposit; if the deposit is refundable; the type of pets allowed; and weight limitations on the pet (source: moving.com)
9. Utility Costs
In addition to the monthly rent, you'll likely have to pay for various utilities. These utilities include water, gas, air conditioning, sewer, garbage, and electricity – among others. Your lease should clearly lay out what utilities you are responsible for covering. Some utilities may be included in the rent.
If you have any questions about who pays for what, double-check with your landlord before signing the lease (source: moving.com)
Everyone will have different living expectations. Some of us prefer in-unit laundry, while others can't live without a dishwasher. Chances are, if you're on a tight budget, you'll have to make a few compromises, such as walking to a Laundromat or enduring a longer work commute. Whatever the compromise, make sure you can live with the situation before signing a lease. (source: moving.com)
Maybe we should do some states with reasonable prices cause we already know the states pulling an arm and a leg all for a place with no washer and dryer included!