Before You Rent…

Maybe you’re studying away from home. Or perhaps you landed your first real job. Or you’re just tired of mom and dad nagging you all the time. Whatever the reason, a first apartment is a huge step to becoming financially independent and a giant leap into adulthood. It’s an exciting time but it can also be incredibly intimidating. Here are five things I wish I knew before I rented my first apartment.

Know your budget

Before you move out, it’s important to consider all the costs of living on your own. Knowing the costs of independent living and planning ahead of time will help prepare a realistic budget that covers your monthly expenses. What kind of fixed costs can you expect? Landlords often require you to pay some fees upfront such as your first month’s rent, last month’s rent, utilities, and a security deposit. Security deposits (up to a full month’s rent) are used to cover potential damage to the rental home and you will usually get your deposit back if you leave the home in the same condition as when you moved in. And don’t forget renter’s insurance! Renter’s insurance protects you in the case of accidental damage, theft and disaster. It usually doesn’t cost much per month, so you should definitely fit it into your budget.