If you are looking into moving into your first apartment, there are several aspects to consider before taking the leap and signing the lease. Make sure you feel ready to move out of your parent's place and be on your own. It’s likely that you’ve considered location, furnishings and the possibility of a roommate or two. This is a guide to walk you through everything you should consider before signing the lease for your first apartment.
Budget Planning for Apartment Living
Planning your budget and determining what you can afford is very important when looking for an apartment. Heers Management Company offers a guide for planning your budget. It is suggested that your monthly rent should not be more than 30 percent of your monthly income. This is important because it allows room in the budget for utilities, car payment, every day expenses and savings.
After you determine what you can afford in rent each month, it is best to do some research and estimate utility costs like power, water, and renter’s insurance. It’s important to remember that some of these bills can fluctuate from month to month, especially the electric bill during the scorching Phoenix summers. Having an idea of these bills can help you plan your finances as best as possible for the term of your lease.
Planning for security deposit, application fee and the first month’s rent is another very important thing to do before you apply for your first apartment. These can add up, so saving to be prepared can help make sure you’re ready when you are approved for your first apartment.
Who to Rent From
There is a big difference between renting from a private landlord or a management company. While a private landlord might seem ideal, it is much harder to research information from previous tenants, and often it can take a while before they can get someone into the apartment for repairs.
Management companies like Heers Management Company have a history in their community and can easily be reviewed for quality. Management companies also have dedicated maintenance staff to handle repairs and issues as quickly as possible.
Are you hoping to bring your beloved dog or cat with you? Many apartments are pet-friendly and simply require an additional deposit as protection from accidental damage caused by your pet. However, you should note that there are often weight and age requirements, as well as limits as to the number of pets you can have.
This is for the benefit of the apartment community as a whole. If your neighbor had three puppies that barked and played at all hours, it might limit your ability to relax in your own home.
Selecting the Right Apartment
You should look for an apartment that is conveniently located for your day-to-day activities and is in a neighborhood you enjoy. Moving into an apartment in Mesa when you work in the West Valley only commits you to a long daily commute.
Another thing to consider is size. If you are planning on a roommate, then you should look into a two-bedroom at the smallest so you can each have your personal space away from the common areas.
Also consider layout. With a roommate, you probably don’t want bedrooms right next to each other, and you each probably want your own bathroom. If you’re going to live alone, then a one-bedroom is likely to be perfect for you.
Apartment and community amenities are should also be given thoughtful consideration. An apartment with an in-unit washer and dryer saves you time and money by skipping regular trips to the laundromat. A fitness center cuts a monthly gym membership out of your budget.
Here in Phoenix you almost need a community with a swimming pool to help you cool off in our summer months. Amenities are not limited to convenience, however. A gated community and onsite patrols provide safety and security for the community’s residents.
Applying, Lease and Moving in
By this point, you’ve picked your apartment community. Before you apply, make sure to take some time to talk with the management company’s staff about the community and amenities, and do a walk-through of the floor plans you are interested in. This helps you confirm that this community is the right one for you.
After you selected your apartment, you will need to complete an application and pay a non-refundable application fee, as well as a deposit to hold the apartment for you. The application will ask information pertaining to employment, income, identity and previous rental history. Since this will be your first rental, you’ll just disclose that you don’t have a rental history.
Once the application is approved, you set a move-in date. On that date you will sign the lease. Read this lease in detail before you sign; it covers acceptable and unacceptable conduct, your rights as tenant and the management company’s rights as landlord.
You will also be required to pay any additional deposits, such as security or pet deposits at this time. Then you get your keys and you're able to start moving in.
If for whatever reason you need to move out, make sure to let your landlord know you're moving out as soon as possible.
Find your first apartment even quicker and check out the conveniently located communities that Heers Management has to offer. Once you’ve found your dream apartment, contact us today and schedule your tour.