Searching for your first apartment can be both exciting and stressful. It can be difficult to find the perfect place within your budget and ideal location, but with some diligence, anyone can find the right apartment that fits their needs.
Prepare for Your Search
Before you head out and speak with potential landlords, there are some things you should assess your needs. Make a check-list of all the amenities you need to have in your first place as well as some things you’d like to have. This list will help you narrow down which apartments you will check out first. When you speak with the landlord, be sure to ask as many questions as you can think of. Find out what criteria qualified tenants need to meet, the pet policy, what amenities and services are included in the rent and how much money the landlord expects you to pay upfront. If you have bad credit, are using a co-signer or do not currently have a job, let the landlord know this during the initial meeting. You will want to find out if any of these are a deal breaker for the landlord as soon as possible so that you can continue your search elsewhere.
Conduct a Walk-through
After talking everything over with the landlord, ask to do a walk-through of the apartment. If there is any damage present, make note of this to the landlord and ask if they will repair it before you move in. You will obviously want to steer clear of landlords who refuse to repair the damage. Create a written list of all damage and have the landlord or property manager sign it. This will prevent the landlord from later blaming you for the damage.
Go Over the Lease
Once you have taken a good look at the apartment and decided to take it, look over the lease thoroughly before you sign it. Avoid landlords who do not allow you time to go over the lease thoroughly. If you see something in the lease that is confusing or not clear, ask the landlord or property manager to explain it. You want to make sure there are no policies included in the lease that will prohibit you from doing something that you plan to do, such as have a roommate move in later, paint, have pets or sublet the apartment. It’s a good idea to have a trusted friend or relative also go over the lease with you. If there are repairs that need to be done to the apartment before you move in, have this added to the lease before you sign.
Get Renters Insurance
In order to protect your belongings against damage and theft, you should get renters insurance. If you already have car insurance, you can usually get renters insurance from your current provider for a small monthly charge. Renters insurance can also protect you financially in case you cause damage to the landlord’s property.
Asking the right questions and remaining firm on what you want will ensure that your first apartment search will go smoothly.
About the Author
Edgar is current blogging for murray hill new york apartments and other apartment managers in the area. When he is not working, he loves to watch HGTV and relax with his family.