Searching for an apartment and moving in can be an exciting experience, particularly if it’s your first. Looking for a place, paying a deposit, purchasing furniture, and perhaps choosing a roommate are all important tasks that need to be done with care and patience. However, this experience can feel stressful when you’re a first-time renter as you’re still unfamiliar with all the ins and outs of renting. Fortunately, renting your first apartment doesn’t have to be so overwhelming if you consider these pieces of advice for first-time apartment renters in Texas.
Start by establishing your budget
Before beginning to search for an apartment, the first step you have to take is establishing your current budget in order to determine how much you could afford to spend. Begin by writing down your income and establishing how much money is left after all the current bills and regular expenses are paid. Moreover, make sure to involve all important factors like future apartment costs, potential rent, and daily life necessities. Determining the approximate amount of your spending on the apartment will aid you in narrowing down your search, particularly in terms of neighborhood and apartment size. In case you’re unsure of your finances, keep in mind that the usual recommended percentage of monthly income to spend on housing is around 30%.
Pick a suitable location
When looking for your first apartment, you have to think about what’s essential in a location. In order to decide on the most suitable location for your personal needs, you need to consider several factors such as whether you have access to public transportation, how close your apartment is to places you regularly visit like your work or school, and how safe the neighborhood is. In fact, today, almost one in five people living in Texas are renting the place they live in and as long as you pick the most suitable location that works for you, you won’t have a problem having a fun and diverse lifestyle. Fortunately, if you’re looking for the best apartments for rent in Abilene, options abound. Whether you choose the city center or you opt for a more remote area of the city, you’ll find appealing apartment complexes, most of which will provide extra amenities like pools, business centers, and fitness centers.
Take into account the length of the lease
When finding their first apartment, many new renters choose to sign shorter leases due to their fear of commitment. Since you’re committing to live there during the length of your lease, it can be intimidating to sign a 12-month lease. Keep in mind that shorter leases typically come with higher rental rates. By signing a longer lease term, not only will you get a cheaper rate, but you might also get offered free rent in certain communities when signing a lease longer than 12 months. Additionally, you won’t be bothered with frequent moving, which is why many people would sign a 6-month lease and renew later at a higher rate. Since rates are firmly increasing in Texas, by signing a longer lease, you’ll also be given more housing security.
Prepare relevant documents in advance and know the commitment
You should keep in mind that some landlords and leasing companies can require certain documents such as letters of reference, pay stubs, bank statements, and credit checks to name a few. So, it’s highly recommended you prepare all the required documents before you meet with the landlord. Not only are they needed to verify your identity but also to make sure you’re a responsible tenant in terms of providing payments, maintaining the apartment, and respecting your neighbors. Another thing to have in mind is to know what you’re committing to when signing a lease, which is why it’s important to read it carefully to become familiar with all the terms and obligations of the document. In case there’s anything vague in the document, don’t hesitate to ask a legal professional for help before signing anything.
Establish good relationships
By moving to a new apartment, you don’t only change your neighborhood but also your community. That’s why it’s important to establish good relationships not only with your landlord but with your neighbors as well. Since people in Texas have strong relationships within their communities, you should make sure to work on building good relationships with new people you meet, particularly your close neighbors. Also, if there’s management in the building, be sure to create a healthy relationship with them as well, in order to set yourself up for a more pleasant experience.
Finding the perfect apartment for rent may often seem challenging, particularly if you’re a first-time renter. Thankfully, you can make this process a bit easier to manage as long as you’re informed and follow these helpful pieces of advice mentioned above.