According to recent statistics, the typical American renter pays $1,326 monthly. Prices vary based on many factors, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, location, etc. While searching for apartments, there are many options out there. However, from the tried and true, certain apartment hunting mistakes are all too common.
You want to love your next apartment, which will be your new home, and you should. By avoiding these mistakes, you will be blissful because you will find exactly what it is you want.
Not Having a Budget for Apartments
You want to get a handle on your finances and stick to your plan. When you start apartment hunting, apartments that are out of your price range may be tempting, but they go outside your budget.
Try to avoid spending over 30% of your monthly income on rent. You must consider food, transportation, internet, cable, and other bills. Think realistically and stay within your means.
Not Having a Roommate
The tighter your budget is, the more likely a roommate is a good option for you. You can reduce your monthly rent out of pocket because you are splitting it. Sometimes, you may feel it is more challenging than it is worth because you need someone you can live in the same apartment with.
If you want a roommate to help lower the cost of rent, choose the right roommate. You want someone that has similar expectations as you have. Discuss your expectations before moving in together, to make sure you agree and avoid disagreements later.
Not Checking For Pet-Friendly Apartments
Do you have pets, like a dog or a cat? Not every apartment allows pets. Before you even consider investigating an apartment, make sure they are pet-friendly apartments.
You do not want to leave your furry friend behind. Further, there could be a pet fee besides the monthly rent. Again, stick to your budget, so make sure the rent and the pet fee are within your means.
Not Reviewing the Apartment Rental Agreement Before Signing it
Especially when you love the new digs, you could be in such a rush to snag it you do not take the time to read the apartment rental agreement.
Remember, you are entering a contract between you and the landlord. This is a legally binding agreement.
If you do not understand something, just ask your landlord. Do not worry about asking too many questions. This must be the right decision for you.
Not every lease is the same. Make sure the apartment rental agreement clearly states the length of the lease, and that you receive a copy for your records after signing it.
Skipping Over the Fine Print
Make sure you scrutinize important details, including additional features that the landlord may offer. Plus, landlords could impose restrictions on you, and you will want to understand these.
For instance, some apartments have a policy for guests, that they can only stay for a day or two. If you have family coming from out of state and want to crash by you for over a week, is that a problem? You should check the fine print or ask the landlord.
Common inquiries that often are in the fine print include the following.
- How to handle a maintenance request?
- How could you break the lease early?
- How should you pay monthly rent?
- How do you renew the lease?
- Do you require renter’s insurance?
If you are uncomfortable with any of the details in the fine print, you could try to negotiate. Negotiating helps you both embark on a successful relationship.
Forgetting to Get Apartment Renters’ Insurance
A benefit of renting is that the landlord is the one who makes repairs and insures the building. As a tenant, you are not in the clear, though. If your belongings are destroyed or stolen, what happens?
That is why you need apartment renters’ insurance. Plus, insurance will pay for harm to others or their property.
Apartment renters’ insurance covers windstorms, fire, and theft. You can likely add on for valuable jewelry and identity theft, too.
Overlooking Damages Before You Move in
Usually, the landlord will request a deposit, and this covers damages, in case you leave them with any when you move out. What can be tricky is that there could be damage before you move in.
How do you prove the damage is not your fault then when you move out? Otherwise, the landlord could withhold your deposit to pay for the damages.
Before you move in, inspect for damages, both big and small. Take pictures and be clear with your landlord about what is already there. This will help to ensure that you are not the one held liable for them when you move out.
Making Your Final Decision From Online Apartment Listings Alone
Searching online apartment listings is a good thing. Yes, you want to shop online first. However, these images with the online apartment listings could be deceiving.
If you sign a lease before you see the apartment in person, you could end up with massive regrets. Always visit an apartment in person before you sign an apartment rental agreement.
Apartment Hunting Mistakes
There’s good news! You can learn from the many renters who have come before you.
Avoid the trap of typical apartment hunting mistakes. It will help you make the right decision.
Next time you search for rentals, search with Reedy & Company. Across Midsouth, with over 3,500 properties, they can make your next dream apartment a reality.
Click here to see properties with Reedy & Company right now.