Did you just graduate? Perhaps you finally got a decent paying job and now you’re ready to look for your first apartment? Whatever it is, one thing’s for certain: the day has come you set off on your own and move out of your parents’ home.

Looking for your first apartment can be both daunting and exciting. However, as you find yourself struggling and adjusting to the weight of responsibilities you have, you might find yourself burdened and clueless.

Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa

No worries; just take a deep breath and relax. Here are some of the most important steps to look into when looking for your first apartment.

Consider the upfront and long-term costs

First-time renters, here’s one thing you should know and prepare for before you decide to raise your deal with the apartment you like—prepare for the upfront and long-term expenses.

Aside from the monthly rent cost, you’ll also have to keep in mind and get ready for the upfront costs of renting a place such as security deposit before you move in as well as application fees, one month advanced rent payment and other expenses beforehand.

And for the long-term costs, here includes the expenses you’ll have to settle monthly such as bills payments, utilities, and the works. Apartments have their own policies on which expenses are covered and which are not. If you need it, you have to set it up and pay it for yourself. In addition, don’t forget your renter’s insurance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

You can’t choose a landlord
Hey, if you like a place, you don’t have the power to choose the landlord. Yes, it’s frightening in terms of you might get a bad one but there are ways to know whether a landlord is good or bad; one or a few calls would work.

After deciding that you like the apartment, be sure to meet the landlord face to face to get a grasp of how well they are. You’ll be dealing with them for the rest of the days you stay in that apartment so you better get to know them prior to avert any potential conflicts.

And neighbors either

This isn’t a no-brainer: you can’t choose your neighbors as well so be sure that before you sign the contract, you take the time to knock on the other tenant’s doors and ask them a few questions politely. Figure out if there could be any potential issues regarding noise and behavior, as we know you wouldn’t want that.

Location, location, location

Have you wandered around your potential apartment’s neighborhood? If not, you have to. The proximity of the place from your work, public transport, market, and the likes is extremely important to consider. Moreover, your utmost safety and security depends on which are you’ll be living in.

You don’t want to live in a nice apartment but is situated a hundred of kilometers far from your work and with little to no accessible places, do you? Don’t just look for something nice, you have to consider other factors as well such as location. If it fits your standard and is close to your work and other places, that’s good enough reason to make you sign the lease.

Pet policy

Well, you have got to check on their pet policy so you can bring your furry friend on board with your new home (if you have one), don’t you think? You need to ask the landlord regarding this because some doesn’t allow pets in their premises. So be sure to check on that so you don’t leave a fur baby behind.

Home decor and design restrictions

One of the major concerns you lay in the table when looking for an apartment and ask the landlord is regarding their decor restrictions. Some wouldn’t allow tenants to repaint, re tile, and do other works in the space so be sure to clear that up.

When you move into your first apartment, one of the first things you’ll want to do is make the space feel like your own. Some leases have specific clauses stating that landlords need to give tenants their written permission before painting or decorating. If you’re someone who loves to personalize your room, make sure to check the apartment’s decorating policy to avoid losing your security deposit.

Read the fine print

We can’t stress enough how important it is to always read the lease; not just glance at it but actually read it. You’ll never know if there’s as “no pet” policy in there until after the landlord sees you bringing your dog or cat in. also, who knows there could be a mandatory birthday celebration treat from the landlord stated in the contract. You’ll never know.


About the Author: Chie Suarez is a passionate writer for PAAL Kit Homes, a company that manufactures and supplies steel-framed kit homes that help Australian families build their dream home. Chie has a deep interest in home design and decoration.