What Every First-Timer Should Know Before Renting an Apartment

renting an apartment

There are more renters in today’s housing market than at any time in the last 50 years. Although the number of households in the US has grown, the number of homeowners hasn’t.

More people are renting, which means you have more competition for your first place.

Whether you’re leaving your parents’ house or are moving to a new city, apartment hunting can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be if you’re organized.

Preparing for your first apartment hunt? Keep reading for the most important tips for renting an apartment.

Prioritize Before Hunting

Before you even do a Google search of local listings, decide what you want. What are your priorities for your first apartment?

If you drive to work or school, you’ll need a parking spot. If you take transit, you need to be close to a stop or station.

How many bedrooms do you need? Are you living alone or moving with roommates? What are your roommate’s priorities?

The most important priority to decide is your budget. Remember you’ll likely have to pay first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit. You may need to save up for the initial costs of renting an apartment.

Consider reviewing your rights as a tenant in North Carolina. The legalities of renting will impact the lease you sign.

Get Your Documents Ready

With all the competition for apartments in NC, it’s best to have your documents prepared. Take the following documents with you to each viewing:

  • Pay stubs and proof of employment
  • Print out of your bank statement
  • Print out of your credit score

You should also bring contact information for references. Since you don’t have a previous landlord to contact, use a job or school reference.

If you’ll be using a co-signer, bring them to the apartment tour as well. Have a co-signing agreement ready to go.

Inspect Everything on Tours

Nothing is off-limits during an apartment tour. Open every closet, drawer, and cabinet.

You want to look for damage, mold, and evidence of rodents or pests. You also want to check that everything works.

Turn on all the tap faucets and check that there’s cold and hot water. You may want to check the shower water pressure. Flush the toilet.

Take lots of pictures as you tour the apartment. If there’s damage, document it with a photo. Consider bringing a measuring tape to record measurements.

Ask All the Questions

Avoid future stress and challenges by asking all your questions up front.

If you can, talk to other residents of the building. Ask them how responsive the landlord or property manager is. Ask about the loudness of the building and if it feels safe.

The landlord should be able to answer all your questions. Is it a month-to-month lease? Can you pay online, or do you need checks?

Would you have a storage unit or parking space? Are pets allowed? Get all your questions answered before you sign the lease.

Interesting in Renting an Apartment in Durham, NC?

The Seven Oaks Townhomes are perfect for first-time renters. Not only do you get more space than in an apartment building, but the amenities are endless.

Enjoy an on-site fitness center, dog park, pool, and much more. Each unit even has its own private patio!

Renting an apartment has never been so easy. Contact us today to book a viewing.