For first-time renters, moving into your new apartment is an exciting time. Not only is there the overwhelming feeling of independence, but you finally have a space to call your own — and, along with this new-found freedom comes new responsibilities. Renting an apartment is a natural step in life, but can also present a lot of new challenges if you aren’t prepared. Follow these tips to make sure your first-time renter transition is a smooth one.
Set Aside a Budget
Like many things in life, unexpected expenses can arise. Setting aside a budget for emergencies, moving costs, and deposits and fees will help you stay on track financially. By saving for these costs ahead of time, you can avoid late fees and the possibility of putting yourself in debt.
Consider Renters Insurance
Though it’s not required by law, renters insurance is required by many landlords in and around the Boston area. Having renters insurance will keep your mind at ease knowing that you’ll be protected in the event of an incident. Though it is not a one-size-fits-all plan, theft, damage, and liability are all covered under many renters insurance policies. A Quincy Mutual agent can help explain your coverage options and find the right policy for you and your needs.
Ask About Safety
This includes not only the residence itself but the neighborhood as well. Check to make sure all doors and windows have appropriate locks and security gates if needed. A landlord may be able to provide information on the safety of the neighborhood itself, but there are also many additional resources you can use to help determine any risk in the area.
Visit the Property Ahead of Moving In
Today, there are hundreds of resources online to view and rent apartments. Most of them have photos and some even have videos, but the best way to get an idea of the state of the apartment is to take a tour. By doing so, you’ll be able to see first-hand if the photos are accurate and updated and if there will need to be repairs done ahead of your move-in. At this time, you can also check to ensure appliances and faucets work, as well as take measurements for furniture to make sure it will fit on your move-in day.
Know What Your Utilities Will Be
Some apartments offer heat and hot water or other utilities to be included in the rent, while others do not. When you sign your lease, be sure to double-check what you will be financially responsible for and if there are any guidelines you will need to follow when it comes to utilities. By having these costs written in a contract, you’ll avoid having a surprise expense pop up and can budget your finances accordingly.
Understand the Application Process
For first-time renters, you may not have a lengthy credit history and your past addresses may simply be your childhood home or a college dorm. Many landlords and leasing agencies require background checks, previous proof of address and may require a cosigner if you don’t have substantial credit. You may also want to inquire about real-estate agent commission and deposits upfront so you don’t encounter any hidden fees.
We hope these tips help you start your renters journey smoothly. Renting your first apartment is such an exciting time and by being prepared you can help make it the most enjoyable experience possible!
If you have more questions, however, we work with over 500 independent agents who are ready to help. Visit our website to find a local agent near you: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent