If you are searching for your new place for living (finally without roommates), renting an apartment can be actually more expensive than you have imagined. If you are not so good with research, continue reading because we have created a mini tutorial which will help you to professionally sign your next lease. You won’t have any more misunderstandings with security deposits, broker’s fees and charges and so on. Let’s start!
Deal-breakers. The first thing you should definitely think about is what is important to you and what you are ready to compromise on. Where do you want to live? In the heart of the city? Or do you prefer the suburb more? Write down what really matters to you, and compromise on the other things.
Living downtown. The truth is how busy city is only ”affordable” if you live with roommates. Keep in mind that your budget needs to cover more than just home rent. It should be higher than your 35% of monthly income. So, if you are bringing home $5,000 a month, that means your rent as well as utilities and any extras, like parking, should add up between $1620 to $1,850. Of course, you must calculate some accidental situations which may appear (you know which those may be). You must have at least 23% of money put on ”the side” for such purposes.
Getting your stuff in order. Once you finally find your new beloved home, I am pretty sure that you know how there is a lot of paperwork to be done. The truth is how requirements may vary from the location, yet, there are some things everyone must complete. Take a look at the list below:
-letter of employment or offer letter stating your salary, position or even opportunity for bonuses;
-last two tax returns;
-last two pay stubs;
-a letter from your last landlord (which verifies that you have paid everything on time and never caused any problems);
-the amount of your income (the best would be to have someone to co-sign if you don’t have a high income-mostly important for some ”heart of the city” locations);
-first and last month rent;
-a security deposit which is equal to one month’s rent;
-a broker’s fee (optional, mostly needed if you are in the city).
Reading the fine print. If you have passed the paperwork’s phase, you can finally take a deep breath and calm down. This is a little bit easier than the previous ”chapter”. All you need to do here is to get familiar with the rules of your beloved home. That may be, for example,-no smoking allowed. You may also come up to some fees no one has mentioned before. That is exactly why you should read the fine print. A utility fee? Some other setup fee? If you notice these or some similar surprising rules, be sure that you negotiate (yes, you have the right to do that).
Maintenance. What is the regular upkeep you need to know about and be responsible for? Be sure that you honestly talk about that. Ask about the smoke detectors or yard work, for example.
Lease agreements. I want to talk about automatic lease renewal here. It also depends on the city or a state. Some of them have an automatic renewal clause, also known as enforceable. It is important to check this because you may want to leave that place, but you won’t be able if it is automatically renewed.
Alterations. You have dreamed about your new home for so long, yet, you are maybe not able to do any changes in that beautiful apartment. Be sure that you talk about that with your landlord before you spend so much money and end up paying even more.
Keys. Who will pay for the new door locks if they need to be installed? This one may seem like a detail, but don’t miss anything.
Are you ready to move into a new home?
Do you have some more advice on this topic?