There are some decisions you can make on the fly—but renting apartments isn’t one of them.
As a beginner, the hunt for the perfect apartment that fits your budget and lifestyle can feel overwhelming. Add roommates or family into the mix, and conflicting opinions can make the choice that much more chaotic.
But if you’re looking for a first-time apartment, there are a few critical considerations that can make or break your decision. Here are the five most important factors to keep in mind.
1. Your Budget
Budget is the most critical factor when it comes to comparing apartment costs, but it’s also the factor many of us feel tempted to let slide—especially when you fall in love at first sight with an apartment.
Don’t forget that you should never spend more than 30% of your income on rent, and a little more on your monthly rent will add up over the course of a year. Stick to your budget!
2. Number of Roommates
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but the number of roommates matters beyond the number of bedrooms the apartment offers. With more roommates, you’ll also want to find more living space, whether that means a spacious den or a larger kitchen where everyone can gather.
In addition, the number of roommates matters because that’s the number of people who should see every apartment you consider. A major decision like renting shouldn’t come from a single person, so coordinate schedules to ensure everyone agrees on the place.
3. Distance From Work
The average American spends almost 30 minutes on their commute, which can add up over the course of a week. If you’d like to avoid that statistic, it’s a good idea to factor in driving times during your apartment hunt, even if a seemingly perfect place with all the common apartment amenities lies far outside your usual haunts.
Try these apartment buildings if you’re looking for great places scattered throughout the New York area!
Sure, you could “just fix up” the perfect apartment—but you shouldn’t have to. If you go to a showing and find that the place isn’t even close to move-in ready, it’s a sign that management doesn’t care enough to clean up for you. What else do they not care about?
Beyond this, the last thing you want is to move into an apartment with pre-existing conditions or damages. If you choose to do so, you’ll have to document these things carefully to avoid being held responsible for them when you move out.
5. Last Details
Considering the fine print is a major part of a successful apartment hunt. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect apartment in a great location, the little details can weigh you down in some cases.
Make sure to consider the details of your lease carefully, and reach out to a trusted friend or even an attorney if you need help deciphering any confusing legalese. Don’t forget to also consider the landlord or property manager you’ll be dealing with, as you’ll want reliable support for maintenance and emergencies.
Know Your Plan for Renting Apartments
At the end of the day, following these steps can help anyone renting apartments for the first time—as long as you plan in advance. Consider your opinions and needs for each of the factors above, and let them carry weight in your final decision. With a little effort, you’ll find an apartment you’ll love for years to come!
Want more of the vital tips you need in life? Check out our other posts for more helpful guides.