Must Knows For First Time Renters
Moving out into your own apartment is exciting and is a sign on freedom. Even the idea of having to pay your own rent and utilities makes a first time renter feel independent and responsible. It gives you the control you need over your life that you cannot get when living with mom and dad or a friend. Here are few important things you need to know as you settle on your own to avoid the usual pains and heartaches of living off your pocket.
Balance your wants and your budget
It is the dream of every person to live in a high end apartment with all the traces of affluence but not all can afford it and more so first time renters. In searching for the ideal apartment, differentiate your needs and wants. Needs are basic but wants vary from person to person. Your plan should be to be able to live in an apartment that is appealing to you and one that is also affordable. Remember, you will incur rent monthly and there will be utilities to pay for. It is advised that you spend not more than 30% of your gross income on rent. This ensures you have enough left for food, savings and emergencies. You can forgo that swimming pool and chrome finishes and still enjoy living on your own.
Understand the Lease
Being a first time renter is a disadvantage as far as knowledge of leases is concerned. This is usually the first time you interact with and sign this very important document. A lease sets all the terms of engagement with your landlord including how to terminate your lease. It sets out the conditions for living in the apartment, rent per month, date due and late payment fines. It also gives guidelines on how to handle disputes and complaints against the landlord. You need to take time before signing to read through and understand or otherwise seek an attorney to do the transaction on your behalf. It might help you avoid fines or surcharges in the future. It could also save you from an unreasonable landlord.
Let the Manager or landlord walk you through
A good number of today’s transactions happen online or through renting agents and it’s not surprising to have a tenant see their apartment for the first time when moving in. Whatever the case, as the renter, you need to take a walk through the apartment together with the property manager or landlord before assuming tenancy. Let them show you everything around including the state of repairs, painting, fixtures, cabinets, bathroom, water, heating system and waste disposal or recycling system. This helps to get you both on the same page as you start living in the apartment. You will be able to notice items that need to be fixed and work with the landlord to fix them. You will also agree on things that cannot be changed and that you will keep them and leave them as they are at the end of the tenancy.
Buy Renters Insurance
Renter’s insurance covers your property while you live in a rented house and first time renters need to factor it in their cost. It is sad to lose your first couch, stove or fridge to a fire or theft. This may look like an unnecessary cost to living on your own but is saves you a lot in case the unfortunate happens.
Know and connect with neighbors
Neighbors are part of every apartment setting. You share many amenities including parking, open and common spaces and driveways. You need to make one or two friends to help you learn the ropes in your new residence and better still caution you on anything to be careful about.
First time renters are usually taken up with excitement to the extent of forgetting important things before settling in their new home. These guidelines will help you settle and live smoothly and you take the bold step to start living on your own.