Apartment hunting should be fun, especially if this is your first time living on your own. There are lots of factors to consider, though, including budgeting, packing and moving.
So, we compiled these tips to help make your experience a good one.
Define Your Wants and Needs
What are some features your first apartment must have, and what can you live without? Creating a list will give you a clearer picture of what you’re looking for in an apartment and help you narrow your search.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Which amenities do you need to feel comfortable? Do you want to live in a community with a pool or fitness center?
- Do you prefer surface or covered parking?
- Has the unit you’re considering been renovated recently?
- Are there new appliances?
- Does the apartment include a washer and dryer?
Scope the Perfect Location
The location of an apartment often affects its cost, as well as your access to stores, restaurants and entertainment. If you have a vehicle, consider your travel time to and from work or school. You’ll have fewer apartment options if you need to be near public transit.
Find out what the community is like around your apartment. What public amenities are nearby? Would you feel safe and at home in your new neighborhood?
Consider Your Expenses
Rent is likely going to be the most influential factor in your search for an apartment. A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your total budget on rent.
Other costs include:
- Utilities such as water, electricity, gas, trash removal
- Application fees
- Security deposit
- Renters insurance
- Moving expenses
You should also try to save extra money to prepare for unexpected costs like car repairs and medical bills.
Decide if You Want a Roommate
Taking in a roommate will offset your total cost of living by splitting your rent and utility expenses in half. It’s essential to select someone you can rely on to pay their share; someone who’s also compatible with your lifestyle to ensure you’re both happy in your living space.
Some questions to ask your potential roommate:
- Do you have pets?
- How often will you have guests?
- Do you like hosting parties?
- How will you handle household chores and maintenance?
- Do you have a steady source of income?
- Do you want your name on the lease or utilities?
Schedule a Tour
Walking through your potential first apartment will give you a sense of the community’s layout and atmosphere that online images can’t. Visiting an apartment complex also allows you to check out the onsite amenities and surrounding neighborhood.
When it’s time to talk with the leasing agent or property manager, come prepared with a list of questions. Review the lease agreement as well to clarify terminology and clauses.
Ardent Communities has more than 20 apartment and townhouse complexes located around Columbus, Ohio. Contact us online for more information and apply online today.