eli5: a step-by-step guide on getting your first apartment.

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I am not at that point yet financially, but I’m 26 and I would like to move out of my family’s home soon. I would just like a simple overview for what I should do and plan for.

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Anonymous 0 Comments

I would start by figuring out a budget. How much can you spend on rent per month. Traditionally, this would ideally be no more than 25% of your income, but that’s become increasingly unrealistic for a lot of people.

Then you can start looking at places. Go to apartments . com or some similar website and see what‘s in your area. Once you have some places in mind, you can arrange tours and go see some units, so you can see if they’ll work for your needs. You’ll also see some of the other features the apartment might have like the gym, pool or common area. Be sure to ask about what things are included in the rent. Is there parking? Does it include any utilities, or are those separate.

Once you’ve settled on a place, let the apartment know and they can start the process of leasing you a place. They’ll probably run a credit check and collect a deposit. When you move out, they’ll return the deposit, minus the cost of any damages you might have caused(or if they’re unscrupulous, they’ll claim you broke something and try to keep all the money). You’ll sign a lease, which will probably be for a year. At the end of the year, you can renew the lease or go month to month(which raises your rent by a lot).

Once it’s time to move in, you’ll get your keys. The apartment people should give you a form for you to mark any damages, like if the doors have scuff marks on them or something. This is what they’ll refer to when you move out to see what damages you caused.

Edit: one more thing. This bugs me, but you may not care. Ask about how you get packages. Are they left at the front office, or in package lockers, or something. My last apartment used a service called Fetch, that I hated. You have your packages mailed to some warehouse and they bring it to your door(unless they forget or don’t feel like doing it that day).