First Apartment Tips

Apartment (Blog 3)

So you’re finally out of your parents’ house and/or basement, maybe you decided to live off campus from school. Having your first apartment is exciting, a new stepping stone, and a lot of mistakes can happen with your first place. But it’s okay! You’re not alone there are others who made the same mistakes you had made which is why we have these tips for you!

The Hunt for the First Apartment:

The Hunt (Blog 3)

So you did your web research. You went onto renters.com, apartmentguide.com and so forth. You read through the reviews of different places you consider moving into. Now you have narrowed it down to the complexes you feel as though worth visiting. Rarely if ever, the complex is going to show the apartment that’s available for rent. Most likely, they’re going to show you the showroom. You know the one you saw online with all the pictures, all the new appliances, nice granite counter tops, etc. When this happens that’s when you can ask about the apartment that is available for rent. More than likely they will not be able show it to you since a tenant may still be living in there. You can ask them if the apartment that’s up for rent has been renovated. Some apartment complexes especially with the older ones, only maybe half or less of the apartments are new renovated and are price higher for rent due to its new perks.  The non-renovated apartments are available for cheaper rent. You can also know this by looking at the complex’s website as well, if they do have one.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Know Your Neighborhood (Blog 3)

It’s all peaches and cream during your tour of the apartment complex. No landlord in their right mind is going to tell the bad things of their complex or neighborhood. That’s why it is up to you to find out on your own. There’s no such thing as a perfect neighborhood, but it will be nice to find one that it is close to it or at least comfortable for you. After your tour, if you see tenants running around the complex ask them how they feel about living there and how’s the landlord. If possible make sure you ask more than one person so you can really feel out the place. Another note is to visit the complex at night. Most apartment tours are during the day and during the day the tenants are not at home but at work. At night is when all the tenants are home, this is where you can see how your neighbors may or may not be. Does it get very loud, do people hang outside at night, etc. Also check the crime rates for that neighborhood as well. Just because it looks nice during the day or the area is fairly new, doesn’t mean that the crime rate is non-existent. In other words, you can’t judge a book by its cover. In today’s age, you can do so much research online without even stepping outside. There’s a social network called NextDoor, with NextDoor you can type in the potential address you want to move into. You’ll find postings about the neighborhood from the people who live there. This website is usually good for big metroplexes may not be as useful for a small town.

Season Changes:

4seasons

The summer is known to be the popular season for moves. The downfall for moving in the summer and spring is that everything looks great during those seasons. The grass is green, blue skies, flowers and raising sun. So you don’t think to ask about the heater or how the apartment complex Make sure you ask how the complexes handles harsh weather conditions. The complex may not be able to tell you everything about how the handle harsh weather conditions, some things do not emerge until they happen. Just make sure once you move into your place to check the thermostat, make sure the A/C and heat works.

Rent & Income

Wolf 02(Blog 3)

You now have the job that allowed you to get the penthouse you always dreamed of. Just because you can afford it now does not mean you can afford it later. It’s no surprise people lose their jobs, your roommate moves out,  and when this hits you didn’t save enough to cover rent and the list goes on. One of the best advice while searching for your first apartment is to never rent an apartment that’s more than 1/3 of your income. There’s nothing worse than losing a job, or your roommate breaking the lease and you’re then left scraping up pennies to pay next month’s rent. Make sure you pick a place where if you were to lose your job, you’ll still be able to cover your apartment expenses for the next few months. The same goes for having a roommate, make sure you and your roommate pick a place where if one was short one month or moves out you’ll still be able to survive on your own. In other words, if possible please save for rainy days you never know when that storm might hit.

Read Your Lease! Tenants Have Rights! Really There’s A Handbook About It!

Pesty Landlord (Blog 3)

You’ve searched high and low, visited so many complexes and finally you are ready to sign the lease for your first apartment. But before you just skim through your lease, put your signature by the X’s and agree to give your first born child to your landlord if payments are past due. READ YOUR LEASE CAREFULLY AND THOROUGHLY!!! Why? So just in case you won’t get evicted and your landlord knocks on your door and tells you, “We’re here for the child.” You’re standing there confused not understanding why they would want your first born. Oh that’s right you just signed away not really reading what you had just signed. Of course there’s no such agreement of a landlord wanting your first born if you miss payments. But if you do read your lease agreement you might find things you do not agree with. You can actually make changes or mark things out before you sign and see if management agrees with the changes you made. If they do agree with your changes, make sure they initial by your changes or make a whole new agreement with your changes. MAKE COPIES! By thoroughly reading your lease if problems were to emerge you can cite back to your lease.

Tenant Rights (Blog 3) first apartment

Tenant’s Rights, one of the best kept secrets out there. Unfortunately, when you first move in you are not handed this handbook. A lot of people do not know about this book until things get too out of hand with their landlord. Luckily for you, you’ll know about it firsthand. Just as well you should thoroughly read your lease, you should also read thoroughly through the Tenants’ Rights Handbook.  By doing this or at least having one by your side, you’ll find out the rights you have by being a renter. You can easily find where you can get a Tenants Rights handbook by a google search, just by typing your state and tenants’ rights.  (i.e. Texas’ Attorney General maintains this website)

Deposits, Fees, & TAKE PICTURES!

Take Pictures ( Blog 3)

Make sure you know about the fees, rather its garbage fee, pet fees, what’s included within your rent payment and what’s not etc. While your first apartment is empty before you put your stuff in it, make sure to take pictures! I know it might seem like extra work, but it will be all worth it. There’s nothing like moving out of your first apartment and the management does inspection and claims a stain on the carpet was done by you. Therefore you will not get your deposit back because of that stain. You knew that stain was there long before you were there, but do you have evidence to back you up? No. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Landlord and Mortage (Blog 3) first apartment

These tips will not be able to protect you from everything when renting your first apartment, but they will be helpful in the long run! There are a lot of more things to talk about when it comes to renting an apartment, but it will be impossible to finish.

Are you moving into your first apartment or a new home? Contact Garrett’s Moving and Storage! You can visit our website at www.garrettsmovinginc.com or call us at 972-487-5843.

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