Moving can be quite the hassle with packing up boxes, throwing things away, renting a truck, and not to mention potentially injuring your back when you try to move a heavy piece of furniture. But there comes a time in everyone's life where they just need to move on, literally.
Maybe you need a change of location for a fresh start? Or depending you have decided that it was finally time to move out of your parent's home. In any case, before you even begin searching for apartments for rent in your area, you need to take a look at your current financial situation in order to determine if moving out is plausible for you. Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:
Can I Afford It?
If you have a stable job and income, then you should be able to estimate how much income you will have left after paying the rent. Keep in mind that rent should be your number one priority when it comes to paying your expenses on time. It should make up less than 30% of your monthly income. Or you should aim to have an income that is three times the amount of your rent.
Can I Afford the Fees That Are Due Upfront?
No, you're not allowed to move in for free. In fact, it might be best to start building up your savings account months in advance before you even decide to move. Although it may vary from state to state, apartments for rent, in general, require that you put down the first month's rent payment and security deposit even before you are allowed to move in. This, coupled with renting a truck and possibly hiring movers, can really put a dent in your wallet.
Do I Have the Required Documentation Required?
If you're a first-time apartment renter, then you should start saving your pay stubs two to three months in advance. This will assist managers in determining if you can afford the apartment or not. The required documentation will vary depending on what complex you're trying to get into, but in general you should be prepared to show proof that you have two banking accounts (checking and savings), employment information and dates, professional references, and a co -signer, if needed.
How Do I Find Apartments for Rent in My Area?
Glad you asked! After your financial situation is evaluated and you have determined that you can afford to move, the apartment hunt will begin. Most people opt to begin their search online if they have no clue where they want to move. Check out websites that have updated listings on apartments for rent, keeping your set budget in mind. However, if you have a set location in mind, then plan a day to drive out and observe the area on your own. Look out for signs on various complexes and take a moment to pause and read the atmosphere of the area. Doing this will help determine if you want to live in that particular neighborhood.