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renting an apartment


Most people cannot afford to buy an apartment. If you are one of these people, then another alternative is leasing. There are several attributes to consider before deciding to sign a lease on an apartment. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you rent an apartment.

Is it in Your Budget?

Piggy Bank

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Of course renting an apartment can be exciting and the monthly rent fee may not initially seem like a lot, but there are several other things to take into account other than the monthly rent. Make sure you assess all costs upfront before signing any lease.

  • If utilities are not included you will need to estimate the monthly costs of those.
  • If you are required to pay your first and last months rent or a security deposit upfront it may provide an unexpected burden.
  • If the place does not come furnished you will have to purchase all the appliances and furnishings.

Another Tip: A general rule of thumb is that your monthly rent and utilities fee should not exceed one weeks worth of income. If you abide by this rule you are likely to find a reasonable apartment that compliments your current financial situation.

Is it Accommodating to Your Needs?

Crib 08

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This is a tricky question because many people struggle with needs and wants. Yes, you may want a bay window or walk-in closet but what you need is a functional living arrangement. Make sure to assess measurements of rooms that you will need specific sized furniture in. This is most commonly the living room or bedroom. If the bedroom is 10 x 10 you are not going to want to try fitting your king size bed into it.

Take notes of light placements, ceiling fans, cable hookups, and outlets as these will help you get a better image for how each room will fit your lifestyle. The most important element of accommodation is that the apartment satisfies your general needs. Another Tip: Make a conscious effort to foresee future issues. For instance, if you are anticipating having kids, in the near future, look for a space that you can turn into a nursery.

What About the Location?

clear wimax Chicago map

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Many people do not take the apartments location as serious as the other attributes, but it is one of the most important aspects. How close is the grocery store? Is it near your work? Is it a safe neighborhood? These are all very important questions that need to be answered when determining if you should choose one apartment over another. Convenience can greatly increase the value inof an apartment, so be sure to assess the location of your potential places. Another Tip: Print out a map and mark frequent places that you visit (gym, restaurants, work, etc.) and then mark your potential rent options so that you can visually assess the difference in distances.

Are There Any Stipulations?

Reading paper work

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This is the nitty-gritty part of the renting process. It is vital that you read every aspect of your lease before you sign anything.

  • Be sure to understand the length of the agreement
  • Find out if there are any penalties (late rent, damages, contract breach, etc.)
  • Spell out whether you or your landlord is responsible for various repairs, lawn care, or other possible expenditures
  • If you are signing with multiple roommates, make sure that the lease is for each individual so if someone leaves the lease early it is not your responsibility to make up their portion of the rent

Another Tip: If you are a pet owner make sure to disclose this before signing the lease. Many contracts have a pet deposit requirement or will not allow them altogether.

 What About the Little Things?

Memories Apartments Pool Bar, Stalis, Crete, Greece

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Do not overlook the little attributes of an apartment that you will be interacting with on a day to day basis if you decide to lease the place. Flush all the toilets and check all the faucets for water pressure and any leaks. This may seem small but if you are dealing with this every morning it could become frustrating.

Check cabinets and storage to see if it can hold your belongings. Ask about all the included amenities (laundry, pool, gym, club house, etc.). If you spend the time on the front in then you are likely to enjoy the living arrangement much more than if you neglect the small things.

Choosing an apartment to rent can be one of the more stressful decisions in your life. It is a commitment and can often be one of regret if the time is not invested in weighing out various options. Take heed of these 5 questions before you decide to rent your next place.