8 Keys to Finding the Perfect Apartment

Finding a rental apartment could be easy or difficult depending on your approach and certain factors that must be considered if you want to get the best.

The Perfect Guide

Before you plunge into the apartment search, here are some things to consider making the process easier and productive.

  1. Budget – The first factor you must consider is your budget, because your rent should not exceed your income. If this means you have to move to a less popular neighborhood to find an affordable apartment, you should do so.

    [ Related: Get to Know Your Rights as an Apartment Renter in D.C. ]

  2. Convenience – Another thing you should think about is convenience. If you work in the downtown area and do not drive, it is a good idea to choose an apartment that is near your job and public transportation.

  3. The Area – Another thing you should do is visit the apartments you’re interested in. This will give you an idea of the area you would live in. Ask the realtor about the community and the average price for apartments in the area. While you’re in the apartments, check for any potential problems such as a faulty meter, leaky faucets or a malfunctioning smoke detector. Look at how spacious the apartments are and see if the amenities match your needs.

  4. Credit History – Most landlords are going to check your credit history, so before you search for an apartment, it would be a good idea to go over your credit report. If there are outstanding debts that need to be paid, pay as much of them as possible. Landlords want to know that you’re financially stable enough to pay rent on time each month.

    [ Search: Find Apartments for Rent in Northwest ]

  5. Paying bills (Wonderlane via Flickr)

    By the numbers: It’s a good idea to check your credit score before applying for an apartment. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com. (Wonderlane via Flickr)

  6. The Amenities – Maintain realistic expectations when seeking certain amenities in an apartment. You may want an apartment with four bedrooms for your good friends when they visit, but your budget may only allow for a two-bedroom apartment. Or you may want central heating and air, but the apartment you’re interested in may have other amenities you need such as a spacious closet, a functional kitchen and a wide dining room area.

  7. The Terms and Conditions – You should read the lease agreement thoroughly before signing it and always ask questions if you’re not sure of certain terms mentioned within the lease. This is important, because when problems arise with the apartment or your landlord, you can look at your copy of the lease to see what your rights are as the tenant.

    [ Related: 5 Space-Saving Tips That Will Transform Your Apartment ]

  8. Your Income – If you have a relatively low income, you may qualify for local housing assistance. Visit the local housing authority and inquire about Section 8 housing. Section 8 is a program where you receive a voucher to assist you in paying rent. The local government pays for part of your rent, and you pay the rest.

  9. Use of Professionals – Finding the apartment yourself could be very tough, and this is why the use of real estate agents could be a very good thing. The use of professionals takes away the burden of scheduling, filling out paperwork and many other things.

Finding the best apartment could be a daunting task, but if you research apartments carefully and use the tips discussed above, you will succeed in locating a great place to live. Get to know the neighbors and drive around the area when you move in so that you will know the community better. If you need a roommate, it is better to rent with a trusted friend or relative who has a steady income and who is responsible.

Find your next apartment in the area with Apartment Showcase.

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