First-Time Renter Tips: Be Prepared And Personalize Your Space!

So you’ve decided it’s time to rent a place. That’s an important first step, but not everyone would agree that it’s also the most difficult one. Lots of other important questions arise as you go through the rental process. There are plenty of things to consider, both before and after you choose a rental.

How much rent can I afford?

Before you start looking, you need to know what you want and what you can afford. Calculating the budget is not as hard as you may think. Usually, rent should be somewhere around 30% of your income. This allows you to cover all your living expenses and still have enough left over for entertainment and even some savings.

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Here’s an easy way to figure out how much you can afford to spend on rent each month: Take your combined annual  net income — your actual take home pay minus taxes and other withholdings — and divide it by 40. Some large markets, like New York City, may have more strict requirements regarding income, credit, and guarantors.

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Of course, this figure is flexible. For example, if you have children, you also need to consider how much their care costs. Or, if you know you spend a lot on entertainment and restaurants, you should reevaluate the numbers. You need to take account for all the specifics of your individual lifestyle.

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And, obviously, just because you can afford to pay a certain amount doesn’t mean that you should. Try to find the best deal without compromising on things you care most about.

Apartment/ house hunting tips

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There are lots of methods you can use to find an apartment or house to rent. Many people prefer to use a broker. Some have websites where you can see what they offer, look at pictures and have an idea of what they can do for you. If you have a certain neighborhood in mind, find a broker in that area.

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Another way to find a rental is through people you know. When you decide to rent a home, make sure tell everyone you know, including family, friends, co-workers, etc. If any of them has a lead, you’ll find out.

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You can also check classified ads and see if you can find rentals within your budget and preferences.And then there’s the simple method of just walking around. If you know you like a particular neighborhood, you can just walk around and see if you can spot any “for rent” signs. Who knows? Maybe you’ll lucky.

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If you find a place that you really like, it’s wise to be prepared. Compile a list of documents and information that landlords ask for or need to see before you can sign a lease, such as your credit history, references, copies of tax returns, pay stubs and asset statements. Also, be prepared to ask questions about the fees and deposits you are expected to pay, the terms specified in the lease, the neighborhood, etc.

First time renter tips

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If it’s your first time renting a home, be prepared to face a few challenges. The whole process will seem strange and new so you need to be prepared. When meeting with landlords, try to make a good impression. A few things that can help include offering contact information and references, showing income and dates of employment and being prepared to show your financial records.

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The desire to make a good impression shouldn’t stop you from asking questions related to the lease or the property. You need to be properly informed before you sign any document.

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Before moving in, inspect the whole place and write down any concerns or necessary repairs so you can notify the landlord. It’s best to put all your tenant repair requests in writing because then both you and the landlord will have a record.

Decorating tips

After you move in, you’ll want the new place to feel like home. You can personalize it with a few simple projects. Avoid any big or permanent changes and remember that you’re only renting the space. You’ll also want to sure that your plans don’t violate any of the terms of your lease. Most leases have some decorating restrictions.  For instance, your lease  may require that you carpet 80 percent of the space, or that you restore the unit to the exact condition it was when you rented it. Here are a few projects that you can usually do without any problems.

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Consider decorating with window boxes and potted plants. The fresh plants will rejuvenate the space and you can pick any varieties you want. In the kitchen, you can have potted herbs, which you can use when you’re cooking. In the bedroom or office, try an air-purifying plant.

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Maximize storage with items like bar carts or ottomans with hidden compartments. These aren’t usually expensive and you can take them with you when you move out. They help you increase your home’s storage capacity without having to make any big changes.

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Adding a rug can completely change the ambiance in a room. Pick a rug that you like but don’t spend too much on it unless it has a design and a size that makes it versatile. Otherwise, it might not work so well in a different home if you move.{found on theeverygirl}.

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Another way to make a rental home suit you is by rearranging the furniture. You won’t be modifying any of the pieces but you’ll create an environment that makes you feel comfortable. You can do this in your home whenever you feel the need for a change.{found on annabode}.