3 Things To Take Care Of Before You Start Searching For Your First Apartment

Posted on: 29 February 2016

If you have just graduated college and are getting your first apartment, or if you are moving out of the house for the first time, obtaining your first apartment is a very important task. Here are a few things to take care of before you start searching for your first apartment. 

#1 Your Budget

One of the most important things you need to take into consideration is your budget. Before you start even looking at apartments, you need to sit down and look at your budget. Ideally, only about a quarter of your salary should go to your rent. Keep in mind that also includes your utility bills as well. 

As a young adult, more than a quarter of your salary may go towards your budget, but you really don't want it to eat up more than half of your take home pay. If you have any student loans or credit cards, you are also going to have to work on paying those down. You are also going to need money for food, transportation, essentials and, hopefully, a little fun.

If you have a very small salary, you may need to think about finding roommates and splitting the cost of rent. That could open up your rental options. 

Make sure that you know what you an actually afford before you start looking. This will help you look in the right areas to start with. 

#2 Your Roommates 

If you have determined that rooming with other people is the best way to make your first apartment affordable, make sure that you have someone whom you really want to live with. Enjoying have a conservation with someone does not make them into an ideal roommate. 

Sit down and make sure that you have the same expectations. Apartments are small, so having similar schedules so that the apartment is quiet when you both need to rest is really important. Make sure that you have the same viewpoints on handling chores, bills and guests before you start looking at apartments together. 

#3 Your References

Once you have determined your budget and who you want to live with, you need to make sure you know what references you want to put down on your rental application. Most rental communities ask for the reference of your previous landlords. 

Since you don't have any previous landlords, you are going to need to provide quality references. A few examples of quality references are previous roommates from your time in student housing during college or even the resident assistance from your student housing. Another good reference is a former employer from somewhere you worked or volunteered. 

Try to stay away from family references if at all possible; most rental companies want outside references.

Once you know your budget, who you want to live with, and have references prepared, you are ready to begin the search for your first apartment in earnest. Click here for more information about downtown apartments.