For the first-timers, the entire process might seem a bit daunting at first. Surely, maintaining a home can be challenging, but this doesn’t mean that first-time renters can’t do it.
Nevertheless, renting your first apartment requires both financial and legal responsibility. As you get ready to rent, there’s a variety of considerations you should have in mind, so hopefully, the following tips will help in the process.
Research the best location
When hunting for your rental properties, location is one of the most important considerations. Factors such as the safety of the neighborhood, available amenities, proximity to your school or work, and public transport options will help you to determine the best location that will match your personal needs and preferences.
For instance, if you’re set on finding the best apartments for rent in Abilene, the best option could be quite easy to find. Whether you decide on the most popular and expensive areas or more affordable neighborhoods, you can find beautiful 1 or 2-bedroom apartments in every part of the city, with most of them offering additional amenities such as pools, controlled access, extra storage, and laundry facilities, and fitness centers as well.
Set up your budget
Before you start apartment hunting, it’s imperative you establish your current budget, so you can have a clear picture of exactly how much you can afford to spend. Begin by determining your income and how much money is left after you’ve paid your bills and necessary expenses.
Then, factor in relevant factors such as potential rent, future apartment maintenance costs, and daily life necessities. Once you’ve calculated the amount you can realistically spend on an apartment, you’ll be able to narrow down your options in terms of apartment location and size. In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to allocate around 25% of your income to housing.
Know what costs you need to pay
The rookie mistake most first-time renters make is to think they only need to pay a rent check each month. Renting isn’t usually that straightforward as there are often other costs involved, such as the costs of maintaining the property. You might need to pay electric, water, and other utility bills in addition to your rent.
Once you decide on the property you want to rent, take a closer look at your budget again and ensure you have the finances necessary to cover both your rent and the additional costs involved. This can help you make a better and more informed decision regarding the home you need.
Carefully review your lease
Renting a property typically requires you to sign a lease form with the property owner, which is considered a legally binding contract for all parties involved. Leases usually specify occupancy, payment, and maintenance obligations on the part of the renter.
Make sure you carefully review your lease before you sign it so you can be fully aware of your responsibilities as a renter. You could have a reliable lawyer or realtor review your lease and offer guidance regarding any conflicting clauses in the lease.
Consider the length of the lease
Out of reservations regarding commitment, many first-time renters opt to sign shorter leases. However, this may not be the best choice for everyone, as shorter leases almost always entail higher rental rates.
On the other hand, longer lease terms offer better deals, sometimes even offering free rent in some communities for leases signed longer than 12 months. Not to mention the fact you’ll be eliminating the need for frequent moves. With renting rates steadily increasing in both Texas and many other states, opting for a longer lease will offer greater housing security.
Get renters insurance
Once you become a signed renter, you also take on the risks associated with that property. With that in mind, it’s recommended you consider getting renters insurance which is what many property owners require from their future renters.
As a baseline, renters insurance generally includes personal property coverage that helps with repairs or replacement of your belongings in the rented space, and liability coverage that can help you in case a visitor gets injured on your property as well as with any property damage you cause to a third party.
It’s important you talk to the property owner before moving in as renters insurance might work in conjunction with the property owner’s insurance. Carefully review what their policy covers and see how you can adjust your insurance accordingly. However, don’t renounce certain coverage elements only because the owner has them covered. The renter’s insurance you get applies to you specifically and exists to help you when you need it.
Finding a suitable apartment for rent is often a challenging task, but it can be particularly difficult if you’re renting for the first time. Fortunately, with the help of the tips listed here, your entire experience can be a bit smoother and less stressful to handle.