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 How To Find The Right Apartment

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Before we jump into the size and location of your next apartment, we need to consider a few things beforehand.

Self Evaluation

Oftentimes when we are ready to move the first thing we consider is when and where. However, the first thing to do when considering moving is to do a self examination. A self examination will help you see what you can afford, what you need vs. what you want, your income, bills etc. Never jump into something not knowing how it will affect or be affected by your current status. There are three main categories you should consider no matter who you are: budget, renter status and situations and circumstances. No matter where you move you have to be able to remain financially stable, meet renter qualifications and be able to not let whatever situations or circumstances negatively affect your chances of renting.


Whether you are renting on your own or with another tenant, managing your finances is crucial to paying your rent, and other pressing expenses, on time.
Start by jotting down your monthly income, then list your monthly expenses. Once you have deducted your expenses from your income, the next step is to break down general living costs and savings for a rainy day.
Pressing expenses would include rent, groceries, insurance, utilities, and internet services. Ensure your budget can comfortably cover these each month, even in the event of an unexpected expense.
In addition, some leases come with additional fees for amenities or services such as garden maintenance and/or administration fees can quickly add to your bills. Include your security deposit and costs for moving your goods to ensure the budget is intact and upfront expenses covered.

The Formula

  1. Calculate your total net income over the last six months. Your net income is going to be what you bring home after taxes. However, take into account any check stubs that may have overtime, because that may not always be income that you have. Also any income you are considering to count for the six month term needs to be steady income, not something that you do off and on because once again you want to calculate your honest amount of disposable income. 

  2. A good rule of thumb is making sure that your rent is no more than 40% of your net income. This means the remaining 60% of your income can be distributed for any bills, insurance, groceries and other expenses.

  3. Last, but not least add up your net income for one month. Divide this amount by at least 2.5 and this will be your rent budget. We actually recommend  that you divide if by 3 so that you are on the safe side and then have a little additional wiggle room for any unexpected circumstances or situations that may occur.

Do You Know Your Renter Status?

A renters status is based on his own track record or lack thereof. You could be a first-time renter with little to no credit and no rental history which has it’s own plus and minuses. There are veteran renters, who are people who have rented for a while and generally maintained a good standing. In addition, veteran renters have little to no problems securing housing that falls within their means. Last, but not least we have second-chance renters. Second-chance renters are those who have some negative marks on their track record. Negative marks could be late payments, evictions, rental collections, bankruptcies, and/or some criminal occurrences. It’s always best to know how to classify yourself so you can choose places that are more susceptible to accept you and/or those that you can still qualify for if your track record is not the cleanest.

First-Time Renters

  1. Make sure you calculate your budget and have been at your current job for at least six months.

  2. Try to start building your credit six months in advance. Any line of credit that you do utilize be sure to make all payments timely.

Second-Chance Renters

  1. Make sure you are applying at a property that specifically accepts second-chance renters. 

  2. Try to build your rental history because bad rental history can ultimately affect the approval decision and  will make the approval odds slimmer. Also, if you know that you have rental collections on your background try to pay those off or make payments and bring a copy of the ledger or copies of the receipt to show the potential landlord you are attempting to make a step in the right direction. 

Don’t Let Your Life Stand in The Way

Everyone has a different life. We all have our own ups and downs and plus and minuses. However, when it comes to handling business, a lot of times we are just additional pieces of paperwork. What this means is that, as pieces of paperwork in a big system of people trying to accomplish the same task, we have to make sure all of our ducks are in a row. Your rental situation may be different than other peoples, but if that is the case you need to have all information to support same. If maybe you don’t work but receive some sort of government assistance, you need proof of this. If you were in the military and receive that type of funding you need to have a way to show this as well. A good rule of thumb is always to call and ask questions if your situation is case specific. 

Situations and Circumstances

  1. If you have any situations or circumstances that may make the application process harder be sure to bring any necessary documentation or letters to reference or support that instance. 

  2. Remember that apartment leasing offices deal with a lot of people and paperwork and not having the necessary information to support your situation could result in denial for a technical situation.

Take Care of Business

Remember when handling any business that it is a transaction. You are giving something to receive something from someone else. Always be polite, respectful and considerate when calling to discuss anything with your prospective landlord. Make sure that you meet the requirements before you go to do the application - no one's time wants to be wasted, including yours. The type of renter you are will always affect the outcome of the application so be sure to be financially responsible and periodically do self examinations to make sure you are operating in a way that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Learn more about:

How to be approved for and apartment

How to pass a background check

Application Evaluation

Poor credit and application approval

First time renter

Have questions? just check out our Housing application FAQ page

Disclaimer: This is being provided as a general service for the public and not specifically relevant to the properties associated with this website. This is only for common knowledge and does not assume any responsibility.

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