Searching for the perfect apartment can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be stressful if you know where to look.

If you’re searching for a new apartment, there are lots of things you need to consider so you can secure the right place for you.

Read on for a list of eight helpful tips for apartment hunters that will make your next move easier than ever.

  1. Determine What You Can Afford

Your monthly rent is a major part of your total expenses, which is why you need to know how much you can afford in advance. Figure out what your total takehome pay is, and then factor around half of that to go toward rent and utilities.

When you plan ahead, it will be easier to rule out places you know you just can’t afford. You’ll also be able to start apartment hunting confidently since you will already know which places will work for your current budget.

  1. Apartment Hunters: Make a List

Most apartments require you to sign at least a one-year lease, so you want to be sure you choose a place you’ll love to live in. Start making a list of the features you want and ones that you don’t so you can rule out apartments you just won’t want to move into.

Explore the different apartments in your area and look for these reasons and others that will encourage you to sign a lease. When you have a firm idea of what you want, the selection process will be much easier.

  1. Ask Questions

Seasoned apartment hunters know to ask questions before they commit to a lease. When you get accurate information, you can make a smart decision as to whether or not you want to rent from a specific place.

Ask about things like amenities, pet deposit policies, and rules regarding guests and noise. The more you know ahead of the time, the better prepared you’ll be if you decide to move in. Most landlords have no problem giving you a sample lease to look over, so take advantage if you can.

  1. Gather Your Info Together

Renting isn’t quite as complex as applying for a mortgage, but you’ll still need to provide some important information before you sign a lease. Start getting important paperwork together now so you can submit it quickly when the time comes.

Most apartments and landlords require a current paystub, your most recent W2, and a copy of your ID. Some may also ask for rental references, so be prepared to give them that information, too. When you have what you need, the application process will be much smoother.

  1. Decide on the Best Location 

If you live in a major city, it might be easy to choose from several apartments that are within a reasonable distance from work. However, if you live in an area that’s more spread out, make sure you select an apartment that has a decent location.

You may not want to rent from a place that requires you to make a long daily commute. Consider the location of the apartments you’re interested in since it plays a major role in your day-to-day life. Apartments that are close to shopping and other activities are usually more appealing than those located in a remote part of town.

  1. Figure Out Your Layout

Depending on the size of your new apartment, you may need to plan ahead for things like furniture placement. Ask if you can get a copy of the floorplan so you can start to determine how you’ll want to lay everything out.

Small apartments might feel a bit tight, and you could have to get rid of some old furniture. If your new apartment is large, you should have plenty of space to play with. Draw out a few different layouts so it will be easy to put everything in place on move-in day.

  1. Do You Need a Roommate?

If you want to make things affordable, consider getting a roommate when you move. Ask people you know who may also be looking for an apartment first since it’s almost always easier to live with someone you’re already familiar with.

Make a post and search online or reach out to local businesses and ask if you can put up a “roommate wanted” sign. Just make sure that your new roommate is gainfully employed and that they can handle their share of the rent. One perk of having a roommate is that you can split the costs, and you can also get a larger apartment.

  1. Visit at Night

Some apartments may be louder than others, which can be a serious cause for concern. In order to accurately gauge the neighborhood, you should pay the apartments a visit during the nighttime hours.

If the parking lot looks busy or you notice loud music and partying, the apartment might not be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if it all seems quiet and secure, you’ve likely chosen a great place to live.

Enjoy the Apartment Life

From the big city to a small town, apartment hunters everywhere can use these helpful tips to find the perfect place. Plan ahead and get your budget prepped, and make a list of must-haves before you move in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get a roommate if it makes life easier. The goal is to rent an apartment you will enjoy living in for at least the next year (or more).

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