How to Choose Your First Apartment

    If you have just recently graduated from college and are looking for your first apartment, you need to know how to choose the perfect one. Here are some tips that will come in handy when looking for apartments for rent in Manhattan, for example:

    Decide the Features that Matter

    Before you start apartment hunting, you should create a list of everything that you need. This should include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. If you want to live in a particular neighborhood, you should start looking at houses in that area. Make sure that you prioritize your list into three categories:

    –          Must-haves

    –          Would be nice to have but you can do without

    –          Dream apartment features

    According to, you should consider living in areas that are off the beaten path if you want to get the right size apartment for your money. Such apartments are cheaper than the ones in urban areas.

    Timing is Everything

    You should start hunting for an apartment depending on when you want to move into it. For instance, most move-in dates are usually on the first day of the month. However, a few landlords allow tenants to move in mid-month. You should start looking for an apartment a month earlier if you want to find one in time.

    Do not make the mistake of assuming that you can move in several days before the start of your lease without incurring extra costs. Before you recruit friends to help you move or hire a moving truck, you should speak to your landlord. Moreover, moving companies are busiest on the first day of the month, which means that you should make your reservations early.

    Make Sure You Can Afford Rent

    You do not want to work then pay rent with your whole salary. To make living in an apartment more affordable, you should consider living with a roommate. You should factor in other living expenses when looking for a place to live. These expenses include:

    –          Storage

    –          Pet fees

    –          Gas

    –          Parking

    –          Internet

    When applying for an apartment, you might need to pay a credit check or processing fee. Moreover, you should not forget the security deposit, which some landlords require tenants to pay. You might also have to pay renters insurance, which protects all your belongings in case of a catastrophe.

    Landlords need to know your financial status before they allow you to move in. To avoid nasty surprises, you should get a free copy of your credit report.

    Do You Need Guarantors?

    If you do not have apartment history or credit history, your landlord might ask you to get a cosigner for your lease. The role of a guarantor or cosigner is to take on your monetary obligations if you cannot. For people who have just graduated, parents are the most obvious cosigners.

    Your guarantor’s income should be eighty times your monthly rent to ensure that he can pay your rent as well as his. You should have the person’s documentation ready when applying for a house.

    Be Prepared to Take the Jump

    When you find your dream apartment and can afford to pay the rent, you should be ready to jump on it before somebody else does. Before you visit an apartment, you should have all the documents you need ready.

    –          Social security number

    –          Recent pay stubs that validate your salary

    –          Photo ID

    –          Recent bank statements

    –          Contact information for your references

    If your application requires a reference from a previous landlord and this is your first apartment, you should tell the landlord.

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