Looking for an apartment isn’t something that’s particularly easy, no matter how many you’ve lived in before. If you’re apartment hunting for a first place though, the search can feel downright overwhelming.
Try not to stress out too much! While it can seem rough, there are certain things you can do to make finding a place to live a whole lot easier. Use these tips for apartment hunting to find the apartment of your dreams – or at least the one that’s right for you right now.
Know Your Budget
Before you start apartment hunting, you need to figure out how much money you can really afford to spend on rent each month. For the most part, you should try to limit your rental payments to about one-third of your monthly income. That’s also the percentage that most rental agents are comfortable with.
However, in some areas, like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, you might need to up that to 30% or 35% of your income. Just make sure you’ll have enough money for other bills and to take care of any other surprises that might come your way, like car repairs and medical emergencies.
If you’re moving in with roommates, you’ll also need to discuss how you’ll be splitting the rent and what everyone can afford individually.
Check Your Credit Score
When you’re young, chances are your credit score isn’t going to be perfect. Still, the better your score is, the more likely you are to get the apartment that you really want instead of losing it to somebody with a better credit history.
The main reason you need to check your score is to get rid of any inaccuracies. They do occur, and if your report says you owe money for something you’ve paid, a fraudulent charge, or a bill that never should have been yours in the first place, your score won’t be as high as it should.
It also helps to let the person showing you the apartment know you have an exemplary score even if they do a check on their own later. They’ll be more likely to consider you early on if you tell them you’ve got a 750, for example.
Bring Financial Information
Young people often feel like they aren’t taken seriously when apartment hunting. To make sure you are taken seriously, bring some information with you that shows you earn enough to pay for the apartment. You have a few options when it comes to what to bring. Pay stubs, checking account information and even a tax return can come in handy.
The rental agent may want to check on your provided information, but bringing your own documentation shows a lot of initiative and may make a landlord put your application on the top of the pile.
Consider a Co-Signer Early
Paying rent, especially if you’re still going to school or building a career, can be tough. Sometimes you might not have the right documentation or a credit score that’s acceptable for a landlord or rental agent.
In that case, you may want to consider a parental co-signer. You can pay the rent on your own or get help from family, but the landlord will have a guarantee on getting their money.
Having a co-signer can help you get you an apartment that might otherwise be out of your reach.
Contact Heers Management Company for more tips that will help you when apartment hunting. Whether you’re looking for your first apartment, or you’re simply looking for a new place to call home, Heers Management can help.