Posted on: 21 December 2015Share
If you reside in an area where competition is high for apartments or you are relocating and have to find a rental quickly, it can be tempting to just pick the first place you look at. Try not to do this. Typically, a lease lasts for at least one year, so you don't want to end up regretting your next move. Here are three tips to help you choose your next apartment wisely.
Make Sure You Can Afford It
Add the cost of the rent plus any utilities you would be responsible for. You can call the different utility companies and provide the address. They will give you the average monthly operating costs. Next, add on miscellaneous expenses, like association or garbage service fees as well as the cost of renter's insurance. The monthly total shouldn't comprise more than one-third of your monthly income, but this figure can vary. The less you spend on housing, the more disposable income you have for your other needs and savings, so unless the city you are in has extremely expensive housing, play it safe and aim for about one-third.
Consider The Amenities Carefully
If you are torn between two properties that cost about the same, compare what each apartment has to offer in terms of the extras. If one complex offers free Wi-Fi or has a pool, this could save you on a monthly internet bill and gym membership. Also, consider if you are willing to pay for convenience features. It may be worth it to pay an extra fifty dollars a month for an apartment that includes a washer and dryer in the unit rather than having to lug your dirty duds to the laundromat and plug quarters in the machine.
Location Is Everything
There is a fine balance when it comes to which location you choose. You don't want to live in a dangerous part of town just to save a few bucks, but you also don't want to stretch yourself above your means just to have the swankiest address in town, either. Explore the different locations that are available in your price range with your real estate agent and narrow it down from there.
Also, consider where your work location is. While it may cost more to live downtown by your place of employment, if you could walk to work each day, you would save on transportation costs. It would also likely save you a lengthy commute every day, and the time saved may prove a much better option for you in the end. If you work with a real estate agent on your apartment search, they can help you define what is and isn't important to you in housing and what would fit best with your lifestyle. They are even more invaluable if you are moving to an unfamiliar area.