Home Rental 101

If you’re renting for the first time, you might wonder what your criteria should be when you’re looking at apartments, houses, or other types of rental properties. Many young people look for their first apartment right after college or leaving their parents’ place. Couples might also be interested in downsizing because they no longer need the space of a large house as they used to when their children were younger. Whatever your reason for needing to rent, if you’ve never done it before or it’s been a long time, you should look into some of the basic steps of renting.

Set Your Budget
When you’re going to rent from someone, you’ll need to know exactly how much you have to spend on housing every month. To determine the amount that you can afford for your monthly rent, you’ll also need to know which utilities are included. For instance, some apartments might include water, but other apartments will require you to pay your own water bill. If a utility isn’t included, then you need to figure the amount of money that you will pay for that utility bill into the total amount that you can afford to spend on housing.

Choose a Location
When you’re picking a location, you need to determine what is going to be most convenient and cost-effective for you. For instance, is the apartment close to where you work or go to school? Also, you might like a certain location, but the housing in that area might be out of your price range. Conversely, you might be able to pay less for an apartment farther away from where you typically have business, but you need to determine if the extra time and gas money will actually cost you more than what you’re saving by renting farther away.

Get Renter’s Insurance
You might feel that since you’re renting, you don’t need insurance. But renter’s insurance is so inexpensive it still makes absolute sense to get it. And insurance can protect your property in a lot of situations, such as in a fire or flood. Some people think that their possessions would be covered under their landlord’s insurance, but this simply isn’t true. Your landlord’s insurance covers the property that they own, not yours.

If you’re a younger person getting your first apartment, it’s an exciting time in which you have newfound freedom. And if you’re older, you might be excited to let someone else take care of the yard work and maintenance. If this is your first time renting or it’s been a long time, don’t be afraid to take your time to look at all of the options available to you. After all, you’ll be living in your apartment for, under most rental agreements, at least a year.

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