First Time Renter’s Checklist

September 19,2018 | By Hillel Realty Group

First Time Renter’s Checklist

Moving out on your own for the first time is exciting and a bit scary. From making sure you choose the right first apartment to mastering your new freedom, there is a lot to learn as a first-time renter. Avoid some serious mistakes by reviewing your options, knowing your budget, and doing your research before renting an apartment.

Here is a first-time renter’s checklist to make the transition a smooth one. It just might help you avoid any potential bumpy moments.

Pre Apartment Hunting

Before you start looking at apartments in the city, it is important that you understand what you can afford based on your current income and savings.

  • Establish a Budget
    A big mistake first-time renters make is signing a lease on a stellar apartment only to discover a few months in that they can’t afford the rent. Be realistic about what you can afford based on your income and what activities you are willing to cut out to be able to afford more.
  • Save for Deposits
    Every apartment requires security deposits in addition to application fees, and sometimes last month’s rent is also a requirement before moving in. Set money aside for these fees weekly, so your savings account doesn’t take such a big hit when you find the perfect apartment.
  • Review your Credit
    Many landlords run a credit check on potential tenants before accepting their application. Know what your credit is before you start looking for an apartment. This way if your credit score is low, you can take steps to improve it.
  • Create a List of Requirements
    What do you need in your new apartment besides four walls and running water? Create a list of everything you want in an apartment and then prioritize these items into those you can’t live without and those that you can.

Finding an Apartment

  • Contact a Reliable Real Estate Company
    Navigating the long list of available properties can be hard. By connecting with a reliable company, you have a better chance of finding a quality apartment that you are happy with.
  • Look at Pictures
    Look at pictures or virtual tours online before touring apartments. This way you can cross the ones that don’t meet your requirements off your list.
  • Ask Questions
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions about fees, rules, and expectations of the available apartments. Not every landlord will be inclined to match your needs. It is better to know that upfront than be stuck in a lease for a year.
  • Read the Lease
    Before you sign the lease, make sure you read it. If you are unsure about wording or expectations, ask for a more in-depth description. The lease is where you will also find additional fees charged as well as requirements, like renter’s insurance, outlined.

Move-In Time

  • Create a List of Necessities
    As you move into your apartment, decide what items you need to buy to be able to live comfortably from day to day. Before you head to the store to make your purchases, check local thrift shops and second-hand stores for items in good condition that won’t break your budget.
  • Create a Wishlist
    There will also be a list of items you wish you had, but you may not need immediately. Once you settle in, you’ll be able to address this list and reward yourself for a successful move.

If you need help finding an apartment in New York, contact the Hillel Realty Group today at 718-417-7000. Our team of realtors is ready to help you find an apartment that meets your needs and expectations.