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Avoid these common mistakes when renting your first apartment

Becoming a first-time renter is exciting, but there’s a good chance you’ll make mistakes and learn along the way. Although everyone loves to live in a beautiful and comfortable apartment, sometimes they tend to forget to calculate some factors beforehand.

Moving into a new apartment can make you get lost in your thoughts and avoid the disadvantages of a long-term commitment. However, things can get messy, especially if you’re young and freshly graduated. That said, there are some common mistakes you should avoid when renting your first apartment.

Renting Online Listings

We’re not saying there’s something wrong with online browsing for your first apartment, but agreeing to rent it without seeing it in person is the first mistake. While there may be plenty of pictures online, you never know what utilities or features might be missing in real life.

According to Statista, online browsing was highly used in the U.S. in the last two years, with approximately 99 percent of people using the internet to find potential apartments and homes. Surely, the internet is a great place to start your search, but it shouldn’t be your last step.

There’s nothing more devastating than discovering your neighbors are loud, your walk-in closet isn’t like in the pictures, or getting a funky smell from the rooms. All these little details are sufficient for you to make a mistake you can’t withdraw from.

Ideally, it’s recommended to have a virtual tour of the apartment to ensure the pictures they used online aren’t pictures of a different unit. Additionally, this step will also help you narrow down your options before deciding on a final property.

Signing the Lease without Reading it Thoroughly

Admit it, we’ve all clicked ‘’I agree’’ to a ‘’terms and conditions’’ part of an agreement at one point in our life. However, in the outside world, skimming through a document, especially an apartment lease, can be dangerous because it’s not the kind of agreement you want to sign without carefully going through it.

Fortunately, many landlords are making the lives of their potential tenants easier by implementing technology in their lease agreements. For example, if you’ve already seen the place virtually, Rentberry is a great tool for signing paperwork or apartment leases online, without having to meet in person. This application is a convenient way for viewing and reading the lease carefully, so you don’t have to skim it.

That said, the actual lease document should include every detail, such as what happens if you need to unexpectedly break your lease or your roommate suddenly moves out. Usually, there’s a notice period and fees you need to follow, but you should always be open to communicating with your landlord or property manager.

Avoiding Renters Insurance

Insurance is always necessary, not to mention when you’re renting an apartment for the first time. However, you should always check whether your operator requires renters insurance because some of them don’t. Regardless if they require insurance or not, you should always opt for it.

Additionally, according to the Insurance Information Institute, only 41 percent of renters obtain insurance, although 95 percent of them have insurance policies. Even if these property owners have insurance, it usually only covers the property and unit.

If you decide to buy renters insurance, you must review the provisions and other requirements. Also, ensure to compare coverage options, so that the policy you’ve selected fits your standards.

Renting During the Busy Seasons

You’d be surprised at how different the rent rates are during the high-season, especially in summer. For example, if you try to hunt for your first apartment in the summer, you’ll realize the prices are increasingly high.

Also, an analysis found that apartments and homes listed in May are expected to lead to a sale in June or July. Undoubtedly, seasonality affects prices, so as a potential buyer, you should be prepared to spend more in the summer. However, if you decide to rent in the off-season, you may be able to find more flexible and lower rent leases.

Not Having Your Deposit Money Ready

One of the most rookie mistakes you can make as a first-time renter is not having your security deposit money on hand when moving in. This is a crucial step as it can make or break your chance of getting the apartment you want. If you don’t have enough money saved up, you can opt for a security deposit option service or make security deposit payments.

Paying More Rent than You Should

Although a bigger apartment in a better part of the area may be exciting to imagine living in, you must ensure you can afford the rent because once you settle for that price, it won’t go away. Additionally, you don’t want to struggle financially every month, especially since you may have a lot on your plate already, and rent is just one of them.

Not Taking Pictures Before Moving In

As a beginner apartment renter, you should always take pictures when you move in because that’s how you can prove the condition of the property. Also, this will act as proof in case any issues or damage come up later. On top of that, some landlords tend to blame other tenants for something a prior tenant did, not to mention that’s essential to getting your deposit back.

So, if there’s visible damage in the apartment or building, ensure to take a picture and show it to the landlord to make them prioritize fixing or inspecting the property.

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