What to Expect when moving into an Apartment
Not everyone can afford to move into a house, and not everyone wants to. With an apartment there are pros and cons that you must know, but many of those that choose to live in them are there because they either can’t afford a house, or don’t want to. An apartment means you will pay more rent each year, but it also means all your repairs are taken care of for you. There are also amenities in apartment complexes that you would have to pay extra for in a house.
Besides having an interview with the leasing agent or the manager, letting them know what you are looking for in an apartment, there are some things you are going to need before you get your keys. The manager will give you a list of these things if you put a deposit down and pay the application fees. All of this takes place after you have inspected the place to see if it is something you might want.
There is a lot of paperwork involved in getting into a new apartment. First there is the application which will go into detail and want to know information such as employment and pay, current address and how long you have lived there. It will ask questions such as children and pets, vehicles you own and their plates, references, emergency contact and credit and background check approval. This is just to get into the place. Once there you will need the following items:
Copies of Identification
Copies of most recent paystubs for those on the lease
The place you are living might want the account numbers for your electric and gas company or proof that you have it turned on.
They may want to know your cable provider.
If you have a pet for medical reasons (which waives a monthly pet fee), you will need documentation for that as well.
They may want registration on your vehicles.
Proof of renter’s insurance.
Then you will want to read and sign the lease which can be as few as 18 pages and as much as 40 pages. Be sure and read all of it, as it will contain rules for the place. What pets are allowed, and addendums to past policies regarding the grounds and your unit.
They say that good credit is what you need to accomplish anything. The better your credit, the more doors will open for you. You will typically want a credit score of 650 or higher to get into a good apartment. Keep your bills paid on time, especially credit cards, loans, car payments and utilities to keep a good score. The lower your debt the better of course, but it doesn’t mean all your cards or debts need to be paid off. Credit is based on several criteria not just the amount of debt. It is also based on your longest running debt or creditor, how many credit checks you go through, how much available credit you have versus your debt, and whether or not there are any leans or unpaid/overdue payments.
Application fees are the first thing that is required. Depending on how the place is run you might be able to apply for the place and set down a deposit online, through their website. Application fees range between $30 and $50 per adult and a deposit runs between $300 and $500. Your deposit is usually refundable within 7 days if you change your mind, but your application fees are non-refundable. If there is a pet deposit and you have pets, then it is a one-time fee payable when the first month’s rent is due.
Your rent of course is the next major part of what you are going to pay, and as discussed above it will be rated from your credit report. If you did not put down a deposit already you will need to pay all deposits and rent the day you first move in. Some apartments check your income which is why you need to have proof of your pay stubs. They require you to make 2.7 times what the rent is so they are sure to get their rent.
Questions to Ask
If you read through the entire lease as you are signing it, you might have some questions that come up, while others will be answered in the lease. Be sure you ask any questions you might have as you are signing the lease, so that if changes need to be made, they can be. Pets are a great question as most places tell you that pets are allowed but don’t say up front how many are allowed. You might have two dogs or cats, but if you wanted to get a bird or fish tank it might not be allowed. Fish tanks and aquariums are limited in size on what you are allowed to have in the house, usually no bigger than 20 gallons.
Ask about amenities such as times the pool or gym is opened. Are there fees to use them, or recreation rooms and what the pricing is. Some places charge to rent the room by the hour or by the day, based on a first come first serve basis.