6 Things to Consider When Renting an Apartment

After my third year of college, I finally made the decision to move off campus into an apartment. It was time, and I was excited to live on my own for the first time. I couldn’t wait to start apartment hunting. When I sat down and started searching for places online, I didn’t realize how many factors could influence my final decision. These are just a few of the things I took into consideration when I decided to rent an apartment.

  1. Price. Since I was still in college with a full-time class schedule and a part-time job, I needed to be financially savvy. I set a budget and explored the areas I could see myself living in. I compared prices for a handful of apartments that I thought looked the best and determined which would be the most worthy of rent each month. Once I set a budget, I didn’t feel tempted to pay more than that.
  2. Location. There are so many desirable neighborhoods in and around my city, so I started narrowing them down based on proximity to my school, my part-time job and the best running and biking routes. I also made sure to choose locations I would feel the most safe in if I ever got home from work after dark.
  3. Utilities. I didn’t research this one very deeply, and I paid for it. I realized a little too late that none of my utilities were included in my rent (sometimes water, sewer and garbage pick up is included). Since I workout every day – and Florida is very hot in the summertime – I used much more water than I expected. Always make sure to ask about utilities and if anything is included in your rent.
  4. The Landlord. You will rely heavily on this person to perform timely maintenance, return your security deposit and be available in case of emergencies. Take a good look at your lease – there should be a page in there stating the landlord’s responsibilities.
  5. Amenities. Amenities include things such as a washer and dryer, dishwasher, pool and a fitness center. My first apartment had none of these, but that’s because I paid a much lower monthly rent. I decided that paying a gym membership each month was less expensive than paying a higher rent to live somewhere with a smaller fitness center with only a few pieces of equipment. Do your research and crunch the numbers to get the best price and value.
  6. Parking. A private lot for residents is always nice, but most times, off-street parking is available. Be careful of hidden fees here – don’t get trapped into paying a steep parking permit fee. This could push your monthly rent out of your budget range.

I ended up finding a great place for me based on all the things I was looking for. Although taking the time to crunch the numbers and compare and visit different places, it is worth it to find a place you love at a price you love.

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