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A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Apartment Hunters

Young Woman Apartment Hunting on Her PhoneIf you’re about to rent your first Middleton apartment, you might be equally excited and nervous. It’s reasonable to feel this way: even so, there are a lot of things to sort out, from finding the right place to ensuring you can afford it and everything in between. Facilitate the apartment hunting by planning some important things in advance. By taking these steps now, you may be able to find and rent your first apartment like a pro right away.

Crunch the Numbers

Before you start your apartment search, you need to understand how much you can afford. To do this, you’ll need to create a monthly budget that shows all of your income and expenses. Then you can calculate how much rent you can afford. A common guideline is to keep your apartment rent at about 30% of your income after taxes. Estimate the exact dollar amount. Then look at your budget. Do you have sufficient money left over after your other expenses to cover that amount? Otherwise, you may need to take some additional steps before you are able to begin apartment hunting.

Look Beyond the Rent

Knowing how much monthly rent you can afford is an excellent first move, but there are other costs involved that you need to be prepared for. Most of the time, you are required to pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month’s rent. The amount of this security deposit will change, but it is regularly the same amount as the rental payment.

There may also be other deposits and fees, containing credit check fees, utility deposits, and additional expenses. Apart from that, you’ll need to find out whether utilities are covered in the rent or if you will be responsible for paying for everything. Internet, cable, electricity, gas, water, and trash disposal are all typical utilities that you would need to have sufficient money to get set up if they are not covered in the rent. To simplify, you might think about it this way: you’ll need to have at least 2 – 3 months of rental payments saved up to guarantee that you have something with you before moving into your first apartment.

Application Basics

Once you’ve got your finances covered, it’s best to start searching and applying for your first apartment. It would be helpful to organize your application materials before you start so that when you’ve found a place you want, you’re ready to get that application done quickly. To rent an apartment, you’ll need a list of documents and information.

While this list may change from state to state, it’s recommended to prepare the following available:

  • Your last two pay stubs or a bank statement
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Credit report
  • Contact information for at least two references

Read the Lease

As you’re experiencing the rental process, carefully read through all of your lease documents – including the fine print. A lease is a binding legal contract, which means that after you sign it, you will be on the hook for everything in it. Have a clear understanding of your responsibilities, what your landlord will provide, how things like maintenance and repairs will work, and so forth. Also, confirm that the rental payment amount, security deposit amount, and other numbers are correct.

At last, inspect for any unusual or unexpected rules or clauses to guarantee that you are comfortable following the rules stated in the lease. If you have inquiries about something you find in your lease, make sure to contact someone you know. In fact, the more information you gain about the apartment, the neighborhood, and your landlord before you rent from them, the better off you will be.


Are you looking for your first rental home in Middleton? Contact us online today or call us at 208-960-0660.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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