Whether you’re leaving the nest for the first time or you’re finally finished with college and ready to move out of the dorms and get an apartment, the whole process can be downright exciting. Living on your own, even if you can’t afford the apartment equivalent of the Taj Mahal, is an exhilarating prospect for most young people.
If you live in a competitive market though, finding any apartment at all can be a bit nerve-wracking. When you’re trying to get the same apartment as somebody twice your age with a longer employment history and a better credit score, it can be hard to think you’ll find the place of your dreams.
Preparation is the key to finding the right apartment when you’re looking. Use this guide to make sure you have everything on hand before your potential new landlord or property manager asks for it.
When you’re young and trying to get an apartment, the first thing the property manager will want to know is whether or not you can really afford it. That’s going to be especially true if you’re looking at upscale apartments.
Bring pay stubs with you that show several months of employment. If you want to look really prepared and together, gather six months of pay stubs and keep them all together to show your prospective landlord or rental agent.
Remember, your maximum rent should only be about 30% of your income. Applying to places where it’s obvious that you’ll have to spend half your money on rent is a great way to simply waste application fees.
Your Credit Score
Any landlord or property manager seriously considering you as a tenant will check your credit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off a great score when you first meet them. Services like Equifax offer free credit scores to consumers a few times per year.
If you have a good credit score go ahead and mention it straight away. Show them your printout and tell them you’ll be happy to let them verify on their own.
Your credit score and confidence, along with appropriate pay stubs, could put you at the head of the pack in a crowded renter market.
There are some instances when a young, prospective tenant who doesn’t have a job will still be ready to cover their rent. If you have money, either through a trust or inheritance, showing that you regularly get deposits via bank statements is a wise move. Landlords and property managers don’t care where you get your income – they just want to know that you’ll pay the rent on time.
Be honest about how you get your money, if the person you’re dealing with seems skeptical. There’s nothing wrong with drawing from a trust or using money from an inheritance.
Even if you make money and have a decent credit score, some rental agents are not going to want to rent to first-time tenants without a guarantee of payment. That’s where a parental co-signer can really come in handy.
Let the property manager or rental agent you meet know that you have a qualified co-signer who is happy to work with them to get you into the apartment you want. You can even provide contact information for your co-signer when touring the unit you want.
Contact Heers Management to learn more about finding the perfect apartment. Whether you’re 18 or 81, Heers Management can help you through the process.