Real Estate Resources and Advice For Growing Families

Apartment Rentals, Questions, And Your First Home

Are you ready to rent your first apartment? Whether you scored a dream job in another city or you're just ready to move out of your parents' home, take a look at what you need to know about apartment rentals.

How Should a First-Time Renter Set a Budget?

Before you start your first apartment search, you need to set a budget. This number (or range of numbers) will guide your search and help you to decide which rentals you can or can't reasonably afford. 

Traditionally, renters often use the 30 percent rule. This guideline states that renters should spend no more than 30 percent of their annual income on housing-related costs. Even though the 30 percent rule can help some new renters to set a budget, it isn't a requirement. This means you may have the financial ability to afford more than 30 percent or you may need to save some of your extra income and spend less than 30 percent.

To set a realistic rental budget, calculate all of your potential costs. These include more than just rent. Along with rent, you may need to pay for utilities (such as water, natural gas, and electricity), food, and possibly renter's insurance. You also need to budget money for other expenses that aren't apartment-related, such as transportation and entertainment.

How Can a First-Time Renter Find New Apartments?

There isn't one way to find a new rental. Some first-time renters prefer to drive around their would-be future neighborhood and look for "for rent" signs or larger apartment complexes. If this sounds like too much work for you, a real estate agent who works with renters is an easy option. An agent can help you to decide what is important in a rental and connect you with open apartments in your local area. Other ways to find apartments include word of mouth (from friends, family, or co-workers) and online rental sites.

How Should You Decide What Type of Apartment to Rent?

Should you look at luxury apartments, one-bedrooms, a studio, or another type of rental? Again, your budget will define how much you can spend on monthly rent and what type of apartment you can afford. Luxury apartment rentals typically cost more than other options. Even though a luxury rental may fall at the top end of your housing budget, this type of apartment often comes with amenities that may outweigh the monthly price you will pay.

For more information, contact a local apartment service, such as Flats at Springhurst, near you.