Are you getting ready to rent your first apartment? I bet there are lots of things you hadn’t even considered, that you should really become familiar with before you make your move into an apartment.
- Getting approved for an apartment
- Setting up your utilities
- Getting renter’s insurance
- Coming up with the deposit
If you’re moving into your first apartment, it’s a likely possibility you haven’t established much credit thus far, and your application could be denied for a variety of reasons. If you’re new to apartment living, you may need to consider getting a cosigner, specifically from a parent, sibling, or relative that you know well, and who knows you well. If you cosigner is approved, then in many cases, you are approved. If you fail to pay your rent on-time, your cosigner would be responsible, but this is a great way to move out for the first time into your very own apartment, and is something that most first time renters should consider.
Do you know how to set up your utilities? In most apartment communities, you’re required to pay for everything. This means water, trash, sewer, gas, electricity, cable, and internet. Most apartment communities will provide you with the relevant utility companies so you can set up your own utilities prior to moving in. How nice would it be to move in and have no hot water? Not very, so making sure they’re set up is crucial to your enjoyment of the apartment, not to mention, many communities will not even allow you to move in until they’re set up. You can usually set up the gas and electricity over the phone, and then receive your first bill after you’ve already moved in, which makes it easy. The water, trash, and sewer is more likely something that your apartment community manager will set up for you, then bill you automatically each time he/she bills you for your monthly rent.
If you haven’t ever lived in an apartment before, you’re probably not aware of all the things that going on in a rental community. Cars could be broken into, apartments could be burglarized, or personal belongings could be destroyed during a natural disaster. A renter’s insurance policy will insure you and your personal belongings while living in an apartment. The great news is that if you’re a first time renter and have little funds for additional costs, renter’s insurance policies will likely only cost you about $10-$15 to cover what you require, and in many cases is even cheaper than that. Also, if you pay for your own car insurance, you can bundle your renter’s insurance policy with that auto policy, and save money on your auto policy for having the bundled policy.
Once you’re approved and have your move-in date set, you need to pay a deposit. A lot of communities offer a discounted deposit on approved credit if you move into their community, but you need to be careful. If you get a deal such as $99 deposit to move in, set aside a few hundred dollars to protect you from under budgeting your move out costs. Move out costs are deducted directly from your initial deposit, but if your deposit was a move in special and doesn’t cover your move out total, then you likely would owe the community money, which is never fun. Plan on having about one month’s rent on average set aside for a deposit, because most communities don’t run deposit specials and charge you the first and last month to move in.