How to rent your first apartment?

  1. First you find a place you'd like to rent, complete an application and they'll review your credit report and references and probably verify employment. Some places charge an application fee. Leasing means you sign an agreement to rent the place for a set amount of time for a set price, at the end of the lease you can renew the lease for another set period of time or move; at the time of lease renewal they may change the monthly rent price for the new lease period. Otherwise your would be renting month-to-month, there would be no contract for any period of time and you could move out whenever you want, although the rent price is usually more subject to change.

  2. Start with a budget, figure out what your expenses will look like and set a price for what you’re able to afford. That will help narrow down your search. If you have a general sense of areas you’d be interested in living, figure out what your commute will look like. Living farther away may save you money in rent but you may not want a long commute. If you’re looking to find roommates, join the school or city’s housing, roommates Facebook page. Living with more people generally costs less than living alone, but of course be cautious and do your due diligence on strangers you will be living with. I’m sure going to school you’ll find others in your same position. Most, if not all, newer/expensive apartment buildings are listed on apartments.com, Zillow, etc. If you’re able to visit beforehand you might be able to scope out other options!

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, most places/agents are more than happy to provide all the information you need. Just say, this is my first time doing this, can you outline what the process would be? Just To get a quick overview. I still do this if it’s my first time calling for something (getting a furnace serviced or asking for a moving quote etc). Don’t forget to budget utilities I don’t know why a lot of people forget, ask what is covered in lease (water, electric, heat (gas or electric) and cable/internet. If you’re moving for school also ask if other students live there/the commute to class,etc. most places you should be able to call and set up a tour, then proceed with the application if you like it and get your questions answered then. Good luck!

  4. Overall, the most important thing that you need to know is research is your best friend during this process. The more information and data you can gather before you move the better you can plan and budget. When the plan and budget are well thought out apartment hunting and the move itself become easier.

  5. I've moved so many times at this point... the process is mostly the same. I usually search for apartments on

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