If you are looking for an apartment to rent, you are probably getting a lot of advice about how to do it. But apartment hunting in 2023 may not always follow the same rules that people relied upon in the past.
At Anderson Communities, we are in the business of matching people with their dream homes, so we have walked through this process many times. Here are some of our top tips on how to make your apartment hunt easier and more successful.
1. Set Your Budget
You have probably already calculated how much you can afford to spend on rent, but you may want to look closer at that number. People often suggest that you should plan to spend no more than 30% of your income on rent. This is a good place to start your calculations. However, you should also factor in other important expenses.
Many experts recommend that you build your budget around expenses that make up 50% of your budget. In this approach, you should budget to spend half of your income on utilities, transportation, and rent, meaning that you will need to look a little more closely at what you spend. Do you have a long, expensive commute? You may need to cut back on the other categories, so you should opt for an apartment with a lower rent.
On the other hand, if your new home cuts your commute or includes some utilities, it will give you a little more money to spend on rent.
2. Have Needed Paperwork Ready
When you are ready to put in an application, you don’t want to waste any time. Make sure you don’t lose your dream home to a faster applicant by having your documents ready.
These will likely include proof of income, such as W2s or paystubs, bank statements, or an offer letter if you are starting a new job. You’ll also need your previous landlord’s ID and a recommendation letter or contact information.
3. Check Out the Neighborhood
The apartment could be perfect, but you won’t be very happy there if the neighborhood isn’t a good fit. Take a look around to see if the community offers what you want, including the following:
Recreation may not top your list of important features, but many people report that having outdoor space to play increases their satisfaction with their home. Take some time to look around the neighborhood of your prospective home to see if there are welcoming open spaces and trails to enjoy.
Ideally, your neighborhood should have businesses that match your interests. Look for places like restaurants, shopping venues, or theaters, depending on what matters to you. It’s a huge bonus if those amenities are easy to get to, especially if the community is easy to walk around. The right neighborhood should feel enticing, not just useful.
4. Read the Lease
Reading through the legal language in a lease may not be fun, but there are good reasons to give it more attention than just a quick skim. Your lease contains important information about the property owner’s expectations, what they promise you, and whom to contact in emergencies.
Your lease may also have details about fees that could go unmentioned, which brings us to our next point.
5. Work with a Property Management Company with No Hidden Fees
Unfortunately, some property management companies slip in fees they don’t disclose beforehand. You can’t prepare your budget appropriately if you are not expecting an extra cost. Finding a company whose policy promises no hidden fees is worth your time.
Anderson Communities is Here to Connect You with Your New Home
At Anderson Communities, we are excited to help prospective renters find apartments they will love. Our communities are created to provide residents with a home that meets all their needs, inside and out. You will find walkable neighborhoods with vibrant social opportunities. We also promise transparency throughout the rental process, so you’ll never be blindsided by unexpected charges.
We invite you to look at the properties we have to rent. When you are ready to start the process of finding an apartment that feels like home, we are ready to help you every step of the way.
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