It’s finally time to start looking for your first apartment and we’ve gove some tips for first time renters! It’s a strange, yet new and exciting time with newly found freedom with a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year. Before you get completely settled into the first new place you think you want to call home, remember that renting an apartment is a major responsibility, especially when it’s a new one. Being sure that you can pay rent each month is a must, because a couple late payments and your credit will be sunk for years, and may lead to eviction and losing the option to rent another apartment. Your rental history can follow you the rest of your life.
So, how do you make the responsible decision, while still enjoying the perks of being on your own as an adult in your new apartment life? Our apartment locators at Apartment Locating Specialists have put together a list of tips that will help guide you in making an intelligent rental decision that you can come back to each time you decide to find a new apartment.
Tips for First Time Renters in Dallas / Fort Worth, TX
Tip #1: Setting a Budget
While the general rule for apartment renting requires that your gross income should be 2.5 – 3 times the cost of rent, financial experts such as Dave Ramsey advise that your rent should be less than or equal to 25% of your income. This means that in order to rent an apartment that costs $1000 per month (not including utilities), then your income should be equal to or exceed $4000 per month.
The reason for setting a budget is so that not only can you afford to make the rental payments, but you can actually have enough money after other normal expenses to have a life outside of your apartment. So, if you want to do more than sit at home watching television and reading or playing video games, then be sure to do the math before signing a lease.
Tip #2: Plan for Deposits
Every time you rent an apartment, there’s a deposit on the lease. These can range from $150 all the way up to 2 months rent, depending upon your credit score and credit history. There’s also an application fee of $25 – $100 per person over 18 on the lease. Keep that in mind if you’re married or moving in with a friend. Be sure to look over a written transcript before you agree to sign for a lease.
Tip #3: Avoid Credit Cards
Credit is a must in renting an apartment. You may make $100,000 a year, but if you don’t have a credit history, then you will be hard pressed to find an apartment complex willing to lease you an apartment. There are many ways to build up credit, and while they all mean debt, credit cards are the worst. Be sure to keep $0 balances on any debts you may have to reduce your the cost of your security deposit.
Tip #4: Determine Your Apartment Needs
Needs and wants are quite different. We would all love to have a gym, pool, movie theater, and easy access to everything nearby, but since this is your first apartment think carefully over what you actually need versus what you simply want. Remember you can always upgrade next year. We’ll be here to help you find your next apartment or upgrade then too.
Tip #5: Get Trusted Advice By People That Have Seen The Apartments in Person
Our apartment locator specialists have networked with and visited many of the apartment complexes in the area to better understand the true appearance, surroundings, and the majority population of the renters in each area. We’re here to offer our advice and personal experiences to direct you to the best new apartment that fits your needs at a price that works for you. Once we’ve narrowed down the list of places that will work best for you, go check them out and verify for yourself! It’s always great to see and decide for yourself if that’s the right place for you.
Tip #6: Read the Leasing Packet (Seriously)
Don’t feel pressured to sign a lease, even if they say there “most likely won’t be any openings left if you don’t sign up today.” Apartment companies sometimes try to slip extra costs into the price that aren’t included online or even when they speak to you in person. Check the lease packet carefully before you agree and sign anything. It can save you hundreds each month by looking for additional fee’s and requirements listed within the paperwork.
Tip #7: Get Renters Insurance
Most apartments require renters insurance, but it doesn’t generally cover much, unless you pay for your own policy. Take the time and get the coverage you need to properly insure your belongings as well as protect you from paying for any possible damages to the property in case of a disaster.
Tip #8: Plan for Utility Costs
Electric, water, internet, and television costs may be added into your costs after the rental cost. Check for and plan for these added expenses as well as any other you might need so that you’re prepared for your monthly bills.