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How to Get an Apartment: A Guide

Ready to move out on your own? Not sure how to get started? Check out this beginner’s guide on how to get an apartment.

If you’re apartment hunting for the first time, you may feel a little overwhelmed. How do you even get started? 

It’s important not to rush into anything. After signing a lease on an apartment, you’ll be financially accountable for paying rent for the entirety of that lease. It doesn’t matter if you fall on hard times or have other financial emergencies. 

That being said, getting your first apartment is a liberating experience. There’s nothing better than having your own place. But before you get too excited, let’s go over the basics of how to get an apartment.

Keep reading for a quick guide.

1. Know Your Financial Situation

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First, you need to get your finances in order. How much rent can you comfortably afford each month?

Almost 80% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck because they bite off more than they can chew financially. Don’t join their ranks by opting for an apartment you can barely afford.

You also need to consider down payments required to get into the apartment. Often, you must provide the first month’s rent and a security deposit (typically equal to one month’s rent).

Finally, be aware of your credit score. If you have poor credit and zero rent history, it may be difficult to find a landlord willing to take a chance on you. 

2. Collect the Necessary Documentation

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When getting an apartment, you’ll be asked to provide certain documents for the landlord to verify your identity and credibility. It’s best to collect this stuff in advance to avoid hiccups during the application process.

Here is a list of things you’ll need:

  • Bank statements
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Pay stubs
  • And more, depending on the landlord

If you work independently or have a remote job, you may need a fake pay stub template to annotate your income in an official way. Finally, be aware that you’ll also need to pay a rental application fee, which is typically between 25 and 50 dollars.

3. Search for Right Apartment

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Now, let’s focus on finding an apartment that’s right for your lifestyle and budget. Where would you like to live? Do you want to be close to work and downtown areas? Is it a safe neighborhood? Does the apartment have door access control? Who has access to the community facilities? Those types of questions should be thought of before hand.

More importantly, learning how to get an apartment means finding one that falls within your price range. You may also want to look into the accommodations of apartments, such as on-site laundry, a community pool, etc. 

4. Contact the Landlord and Fill Out an Application

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Once you find the right place, contact the landlord or apartment agency, and fill out an application. You may be able to do this online. 

Be prepared to provide contact information for references, emergency contact information, employment history, and rental history.  

5. Thoroughly Read the Terms and Conditions Before Signing the Contract

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Finally, learning how to get an apartment that you won’t regret means taking the time to read and understand the lease agreement. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek clarifications, especially as a first-time renter.

Be aware of their policies pertaining to:

  • Early lease termination
  • Lease renewal
  • Pets
  • Damages
  • Deposits and deposit returns
  • Noise
  • Guests
  • Common area maintenance fees
  • Complaints
  • Repair and maintenance responsibilities
  • Parking
  • And more

Most apartment agencies are pretty straight forward about what they expect from their tenants. Just make sure you don’t unintentionally break any rules.

Are You Looking for More Tech-Savvy Tips On How to Get an Apartment?

Learning how to get an apartment isn’t incredibly difficult. However, there are some small things that may get in your way, like not having genuine pay stubs. However, there are solutions to problems like those and many others. 

If you’re looking for more tech-savvy tips to help you reach your goals or get ahead in life, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog is dedicated to keeping people like you stay informed about all the latest and greatest technology.

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