Renting your first apartment can be an exciting experience. But it’s also a big life decision and should not be taken lightly. First-time renters often let excitement get in the way of rationality, thereby avoiding important steps in the process. You should carefully consider your options before choosing an apartment and document existing problems when you move in. Below are some mistakes to avoid when moving into your first place.
Not Visiting In Person
Online pictures posted by management will only show the best features of the apartment complex. In order to get a real sense of what a place is like, you need to visit in person if possible. Visit at various times of the day to see how much activity and noise there is, in addition to what the surrounding neighborhood is like.
Not Visiting Enough Places
One thing you should do when searching for your first apartment is to visit many different places. It will help you compare features, prices, and neighborhoods. Jumping on the first apartment you tour can lead to regret later on.
Not Reading Online Reviews
Online reviews can be very helpful in learning the problems experienced at various complexes and can save time by allowing you to cross some places off of your list immediately. Be sure to check a variety of review sites to get a wide range of opinions. And be wary of overly positive reviews as management sometimes posts fake reviews to improve their images.
[wpedon id=”11354″ align=”center”]
Not Getting a Tour of Your Potential Unit
When touring complexes, ask to view the actual unit you would be renting as many apartment complexes have different layouts and other features. You don’t want to tour a an upgraded unit only to find out you’ll actually be renting a unit without the upgrades. If management does not allow you to tour your potential unit, it’s probably best to cross it off your list.
Not Reading The Rules and Regulations Before Signing a Lease Agreement
Before signing your lease, carefully go through the rules and regulations. By not reading and abiding by these rules, you could face eviction or hefty fees upon move out. If you aren’t sure you can abide by all of the rules, don’t sign.
Not Getting to Know Your Neighbors
Knowing your neighbors offers a wide range of benefits. Not only will you feel like part of the community, but you’ll have someone to keep an eye on your place if you go out of town. Long-time residents can also give you insider information about the complex to help you transition to your new environment.
Not Taking Pictures Upon Move-in/Move-Out
Probably the most important thing you can do when moving in is to take pictures of the apartment as it is when you arrive. Document any damages or repairs that need to be made and present them to management immediately. When you move out you should also take pictures to ensure you are not charged for damages you did not cause.
Moving out on your own is an exciting first step into adulthood. It can also be a scary time and you should take the necessary steps to ensure that you’ll have a great experience in your first apartment. For ideas on what to buy for your first place, read our Checklist for Your First Apartment.