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A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Apartment Hunters

Young Woman Apartment Hunting on Her PhoneIf you’re thinking about renting your first Richland apartment, you might be equally excited and nervous. It’s okay to feel like that: nonetheless, there are several things to figure out, from finding the right place to guaranteeing you can afford it and everything in between. Simplify apartment hunting by preparing some essential things in advance. By implementing these helpful tips now, you may be able to discover and rent your first apartment like a pro instantly.

Crunch the Numbers

Before you continue your apartment search, you need to calculate how much you can afford. To make this happen, you’ll need to establish a monthly budget that indicates all of your income and expenses. Then you can calculate how much rent you can afford. A standard guideline is to keep your apartment rent at approximately 30% of your income after taxes. Estimate the exact dollar amount. Now get a look at your budget. Do you have that much money left over after your other expenses to cover that sum? Otherwise, you may need to take some supplementary actions until you’re prepared to resume apartment hunting.

Look Beyond the Rent

Figuring out how much monthly rent you can afford is a great first step, but there are other costs involved that you should be prepared for. Usually, you will need to pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month’s rent. The amount of this security deposit will change, but it is commonly the same amount as the rental payment.

There may also be other deposits and fees, like credit check fees, utility deposits, and extra charges. Also, you’ll need to find out whether utilities are incorporated in the rent or if you will be responsible for paying for yourself. Internet, cable, electricity, gas, water, and trash disposal are all standard utilities that need sufficient money to get set up if they are not incorporated in the rent. To make the story short, you can say that: you’ll need to have at least 2 – 3 months of rental payments saved up to guarantee that you have everything you need to get your first apartment.

Application Basics

Once you’ve finished computing your finances, it’s essential to start searching and applying for your first apartment. It is recommended to prepare your application materials before you start so that when you locate a place you want, you’re able to get that application done immediately. To rent an apartment, you’ll need a list of documents and information.

Although this list may change from time to time, it is advisable to prepare the following:

  • Your last two pay stubs or a bank statement
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Credit report
  • Contact information for at least two references

Read the Lease

As you’re going through the rental process, carefully read through all of your lease documents – and also the fine print. A lease is a binding legal contract, which indicates that after you sign it, you will be on the hook for all the things that it includes. Get a clear understanding of your responsibilities, what your landlord will provide, how things like maintenance and repairs will work, and so forth. Additionally, validate that the rental payment amount, security deposit amount, and other numbers are correct.

Ultimately, look for any unusual or unexpected rules or clauses to guarantee that you are comfortable following the rules stated in the lease. If you have questions about anything you find in your lease, be sure to ask someone you trust. In fact, the more you know about the apartment, the neighborhood, and your landlord before you rent from them, the more satisfied you will be.


Are you looking for your first rental home in Richland? Contact us online today or call us at 509-572-5440.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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