Four Top Tips to Keep in Mind as You Search for Apartments

Apartments for rent

“Apartment living is tough action. Just the whole idea that you share a washer and dryer always freaked me out,” Joe Rogan, the stand-up comedian, once joked. In reality, a shared washer and dryer with the rest of your apartment is actually a bonus for many apartment dwellers!

If you’re looking for an apartment this season, you might find yourself up against increased competition. As the economy bounces back, more people are looking to live on their own and away from parents and former roommates. For many, home ownership is still out of reach, putting apartments at a premium and vacancies lower than ever.

About 54% of Americans agree that renting has becoming more appealing over recent years. Here are four top tips for getting a great apartment to rent.

1. Set a Realistic Budget, and Account for Extras

Conventional wisdom says to spend about 30% of your annual income on housing. If, however, you’re in a high-cost area, or if you are starting out at an entry-level job, you may want to adjust this benchmark a bit. The key to finding the right apartment to rent depends on being realistic, and also considering the cost of “additionals.” If electricity, internet, etc. isn’t included, the price might be $100 higher per month than it initially appears.

2. Look at Two Bedroom Apartments if You Know a Suitable Candidate

Some of the worst experiences people recall having in their former apartments weren’t with landlords or bad sinks — they’re with roommates who never clean, forget to pay the rent, or who have strange bouts of rage. Splitting costs is great, but be very cautious about rooming with someone. If you don’t know them, do multi-level screening. Talk in person, and ask to talk to previous roommates. You don’t want to find yourself in a great apartment, but leaving because the living situation became too much to bear.

3. Learn to Read Between the Lines

Do some of the apartments for rent seem too good to be true? Some of them might be legitimately great, while others have hidden problems. Always check common amenities that you often take for granted as working correctly — showers, dishwashers, laundry machines, and so on. Is the apartment located near bars? It might be less expensive because the space is unsuitable for most families.

4. Be the Tenant You’d be Comfortable Renting To

In many cities, vacancy rates for local apartments are as low as 4% — this means you’ll need to be impressing potential landlords, not the other way around. When looking for rental apartments, be able to pay all the upfront fees. Security deposits, first and last month’s rent, and application fees are all fairly standard. It can help to have a parental co-signer in some situations as well. Some landlords will run credit checks, so double-check beforehand to make sure there won’t be any red flags on your report.

Are you interested in finding an apartment to rent? Do you have tips for apartment renting? Let us know in the comments. See this link for more references.

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