If you’re moving into a new apartment, it’s important to plan ahead and get the process done right. Whether it’s because of financial reasons, an expiring lease in your current home or because you’re relocating for work, finding a place you can afford can be a stressful task.
It’s best to start your apartment search one to two months before your move-in date. This gives you time to properly research the neighborhoods and find listings that fit your criteria.
1. Know Your Budget
A good budget is a vital tool for all individuals and families of all income levels. Whether you’re saving for the down payment on a house, purchasing a car or just planning for a rainy day, it helps you set goals and make sure your hard-earned money is put to its best use.
The first step to developing a good budget is to determine what your monthly expenses are. This includes things like rent, utilities, food and other living expenses.
You can use the 50/30/20 method or create your own budget system. This works by dividing your income into three sections: fifty percent goes toward needs, thirty percent goes to wants, and twenty percent goes toward savings.
Once you’ve determined your budget, it is important to record how you spend your money. This will help you identify any spending leaks and see where you need to make adjustments.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re on a tight budget, it’s okay to say no to some things. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go to a concert or buy baseball tickets; it just means you should save for something else instead.
Before you begin looking for an apartment, it’s important to know how much you can afford to pay each month. A good way to figure this out is with the “rent affordability calculator” on Zillow.
This will give you a clear idea of what you can realistically afford, which is the key to finding an apartment you can afford to live in. You should be conservative when it comes to your budget because missing rent payments or getting evicted can have long-term consequences on your credit.
2. Know Your Needs
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment, upgrading to a larger space or just striking out on your own, there are some things you should consider before you start hunting. These include knowing your budget, knowing your needs and wants, and understanding your time frame.
Your budget should be a complete picture of your financial situation and what you can afford to pay for rent, daily living expenses (groceries, food out, entertainment), debt payments, and other bills. This will help you find a place that fits within your price range and will prevent you from being tempted to spend more than you can afford.
You should also determine what amenities you’ll need, such as a washer and dryer, dishwasher, or storage spaces. You may also want to look into things like security and maintenance.
Once you’ve determined your budget and your must-haves, it’s time to begin apartment hunting. Ideally, you should do this at least 90 days before your target move-in date to give yourself plenty of time to locate the ideal apartment.
It’s best to visit the location you’re thinking of living in and see if it suits your needs. It’s also a good idea to walk around the neighborhood and get a feel for traffic, crime rates, and the area’s walkability before you make your decision.
This will ensure that you’re comfortable with the apartment you choose. It will also make it easier for you to negotiate with the property manager if you have any issues with the unit or the neighborhood.
You should be prepared to visit a potential apartment with all of the required paperwork, including bank statements, pay stubs, scanned photo IDs, and letters of reference from previous landlords. It’s also a good idea for you to bring your vehicle registration and car insurance, as many buildings will have garages or parking spots included in their rental prices.
3. Know Your Wants
Finding the perfect apartment can be a huge challenge, especially if it’s your first time renting. But the process doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems if you know exactly what you’re looking for and how to find it.
When you’re ready to start looking for your next home, the first thing you should do is come up with a checklist of the things that you want in your apartment. This list will help you narrow down your search and make sure that every apartment you look at meets your criteria.
Once you have your checklist, it’s important to start apartment hunting as soon as possible. This way, you can start seeing apartments that fit your needs and your budget before they’re already taken by someone else.
Ideally, you should start looking for an apartment 60 days before your lease expires so that you have plenty of time to find the right place. If you’re not able to start your search this far out, Kaysen recommends checking rental websites at least once a day and using a tool like Google alerts to stay up-to-date on new listings as they become available.
Another great way to find a great apartment is by asking around. Hit up your social media, school alumni sites, or colleagues to see if they have any leads for a room or apartment.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s also a good idea to avoid places that seem too expensive. For example, if an apartment is more than two times your monthly budget, it’s likely not worth the extra money.
Amenities are a major selling point for rental properties. From free wifi to a gym and swimming pool, today’s modern apartment communities are upping the ante with luxurious amenities that make life easier and more fun.
4. Know Your Limits
One of the best ways to find the perfect apartment is to set a budget and stick to it. This will allow you to see more apartments and save money in the long run.
Depending on your needs and the state of the market you live in, you may have to settle for something a little more modest than your average high-rise. This might mean a smaller place with more of your desired amenities.
It’s also a good idea to consider what you can and cannot afford before you embark on your apartment hunt. This will ensure you don’t waste your time on something that you can’t afford and will put you back in the driving seat when you do find the right place.
The best time to start your apartment search is about 30 days prior to your move date. This is the best way to find your dream home and get in before it’s too late. The most important rule of thumb is to avoid looking for the same apartment over and over again.
5. Know Your Time Frame
Whether you are relocating for work, moving out of your current apartment because you are evicted or just looking to upgrade your lifestyle, you need to start apartment hunting at the right time. The right time depends on a number of factors, including your budget and what neighbourhood is most ideal for you.
You should begin your search for an apartment at least 45-60 days before you want to move in so that you have plenty of time to see all of the apartments, do your research, and find a unit that fits your needs. That will ensure you don’t have to rush or make bad decisions when it comes to finding your new home.
Another reason to start your apartment hunt earlier is that most leases expire at the end of each month. This means that you can often lock in a great apartment for less than if you were to wait until the end of the year to look for a new home.
It is also important to note that the rental market tends to be busiest during May through August. This is when many high school graduates are heading off to college and a lot of people are moving into new cities for jobs.
If you are in a high-demand neighborhood, it is a good idea to begin searching for your apartment at the beginning of June or early July. You can usually find a better selection of available apartments during this time, as well as lower rents because the demand for rentals is so high.
If you are not in a high-demand neighborhood, it may be a good idea to start your search for an apartment even earlier. Generally speaking, it is best to begin apartment hunting at least 90 days before you want to move in so that if there is any availability, you can still tour the units and find an ideal spot for your new life.