Wednesday, January 27, 2021

6 Important Things to Think About Before Renting Your First Apartment

You did it! You are finally moving out of your parents' house and you have decided to rent your first apartment. 

Where do you begin this process? 

Your journey begins before you have even found your dream home. There are a lot of factors to consider before you have signed any papers, slapped down your money, and hired the moving trucks. I have outlined below six very important things to think about before renting your first apartment. 

With a little preparation and forethought, you can begin to prepare for the adventure you are about to embark on!


In all things real estate, you know what they say – location, location, location. Before you rent your first apartment, you need to scope out the perfect locale for your new abode. Your first order of business when it comes to location: safety.


It is almost as important to see your apartment building at night as it is in the daytime. If you have to make the trek to the market down the street on foot, you want to ensure that you feel safe doing so at night and in the day. When considering location, you must also factor in the distance to work and proximity to public transportation, shopping necessities, and the fun things you might want to do.


When possible, you want to arrange a full-scale walkthrough of the apartment building or complex to gauge a feel for management.

  • Is the lighting kept up?
  • Have any blemishes in the infrastructure been patched up?
  • How is the security managed?
Each of these factors should culminate in your final decision.


When moving into an apartment, you might plan on utilizing your own two feet as your mode of transportation. However, if you choose to bring your own car with you, this poses a whole new list of questions.

Is there a parking lot on the facilities? A parking garage? Or is the building street parking accessible only? If you live in a main city, street parking could be dangerous not only for you but for the livelihood of your car also. Maybe the apartment building you are considering has a garage built into it, but some apartment buildings in cities like LA might not have a secured garage with a gate and a lock.


These types of scenarios are something you want to keep at the forefront of your mind when you are looking into renting your first apartment. If your main priority is moving out ASAP, and you are ready to move into that apartment you saw listed on Craigslist immediately, these might not be concerns of yours. However, they might come back to haunt you if you are not careful!


Immediate Costs

When it comes to renting or buying, the price is never as it seems. When you create your budget for finding an apartment – rent is not the only cost you have to consider while budgeting. After you have found your dream apartment and you are ready to get the process going, you are expected to pay certain costs up front.


Most property managers will require an application fee to process your application – including a credit score check and a background check – which is approximately $25 per applicant. At this point in the process, you might require a cosigner to even lease the apartment if your credit score is not up to par, or this is your first moving into a new home. The roommate you plan on living with might be able to help with that!


Next, a security deposit is required to secure the space and to cover any damages or clean-ups when you move out. In most cases, the security deposit is somewhere between $1000 USD to $2000 USD, with the first month’s rent on top of it. Sometimes, some property managers will actually ask for up to the first three month’s rent. You might want to avoid properties like this if you have noticed signs of property mismanagement.


Thankfully, so long as you have been a model tenant, you will get this security deposit back at the end of your lease. Other fees might include a pet deposit, a parking fee, and eventually moving fees.


Long-Term Costs

It ranges based on the property which utilities are covered – but the majority of places require you to at least pay for water, gas, air conditioning, and internet on top of your rent and personal expenses. However, you could end up paying a pet fee, trash and sewer services, and additional amenities which adds up in additional costs.


However, apartments are a competitive piece of real estate, especially when living in the city.


If you haven’t found the right financial combination yet, stay persistent and keep looking. The next-door neighbor to your dream apartment building might have better coverage for utilities, or cheaper rent with better amenities.


All of these expenses need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right apartment for yourself and to keep your budget happy!

Get Everything in Writing

There’s a ton of paperwork involved in renting or owning an apartment – paperwork from you like verification of your identity, employment and financial stability, and paperwork on the side of the property manager. You’ll want everything in writing, from the lease terms (make sure to read this carefully and clarify whatever you are unsure of), to the rules and regulations you must abide by.


When you finish discussing the lease agreement with your new property manager, you should have in writing when your lease is terminated, how much notification is necessary before moving out, how much you paid into your security deposit and each roommate of yours should have a copy.


To save yourself some trouble in the future, try to refrain from making any large messes in your new apartment. Keep your space as clean as possible, scour any immediate spills, report any leaks and refrain from putting any major holes in your walls. If you and your roommates adhere to these tips, you should get most of your security deposit back at the end of your lease!



The fun part of apartment living – all of the amenities that come built into your rental! There are some properties like Setapak Ria Condominiums that boast amenities like a swimming pool, squash courts, and 24 hours security (including many more). These are incredible perks that turn your apartment life into a small community.


You’ll want to start by making a list of your priorities.

  • Do you require a washer-dryer unit in your apartment, or would you prefer a laundry room?
  • Would you like a gym on-site to stop by after work?
  • Does your ideal space include an elevator?


Many apartment properties are raising the bar on the amenities they offer, and these are major selling points for their apartment units. If you do some research and have the budget, you might be able to find exactly what you are looking for!

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