November 30, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on The Process Of Renting An Apartment
When it comes to renting an apartment, there are a few things that are involved that many people do not take into consideration, especially if it is their first time renting. Though the process of renting an apartment is not a lengthy process per se, it is still beneficial to know what exactly is involved, or rather what the process entails. That said, here is a brief overview of the entire rental process so that you can be prepared ahead of time and have an overall pleasant first-time apartment renter experience.
Checking Your Finances
One of the very first steps in the apartment renting process involves checking your finances. Before you even begin the apartment hunting process, it is important to know what exactly you can afford, as this will help you narrow down your search and ensure that you don’t waste valuable time looking at apartment homes or communities outside of your budget. In addition to looking at your finances, you should also figure out what kind of apartment you are looking for, your ideal neighborhood, and while you are at it, you should consider making a must-have list.
Focusing Your Property Search
The next step in the process is to find a few apartment communities in a particular area you would like to live in and check them out. We recommend that you look at roughly three to five apartment communities before settling on your prospective apartment home.
Touring the Property
These days you can tour apartment homes and communities online. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you check out your top five online first. You can look at virtual tours, photos, reviews and general information on each apartment community website to get a feel for which apartment home you prefer.
Filling out the Application
After selecting your ideal apartment home, then the next step in the apartment renting process is to fill out an application or any necessary paperwork that the community requires. Once again, many apartment communities offer online applications, or at least online “request more information” forms, so you should consider filling that information out ahead of time to ensure that the apartment renting process goes as smoothly as possible.
Required Rental Documentation
Normally, you will need to fill out your basic personal information and provide certain documents as part of your application. Those documents often include:
- Bank Statements
- Driver’s License
- Social Security Card
- Employment History
- Rental History
- An Application Fee
Note, many apartment communities do charge an application fee, so if you fill out your application in-person, make sure you have the funds on hand. Ultimately, all these above-mentioned documents help prove you are a viable candidate for an apartment. Landlords and property managers will look for good character references, stable employment and whether you make enough to cover rental costs.
A Credit and Background Check
Typically, the property management team or the leasing office staff will then run a credit and background check to ensure you do not have any evictions or any blemishes that would prevent you from being able to rent in the community or property.
The Approval Process
After all the necessary paperwork is filled out, and the property manager double-checks your references, there is still a chance you might not be approved for the apartment. In some cases, you may be rejected because of your credit or income. If this is the case, you should consider getting a co-signer in order to overcome these credit and income limitations. That said, even if a co-signer can help you get your dream apartment, you should still make sure you stay within your rental budget.
Following the submission of your application with the required documentation, next comes the waiting game. Getting approved for an apartment more often than not takes a few business days, depending on the requirements. Upon approval, either the landlord or property management team will call you and let you know.
Signing a Rental Agreement
Once you get the approval call, the next step in the rental process is scheduling a time to come in and sign the rental or leasing agreement. If you have a co-signer, you will need them to go with you to sign at the same time.
Before you sign, however, you should definitely take the time to review your apartment lease and read any fine print to ensure that you are clear on the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Paying Security Deposit and Other Pre-Move-In Fees
Along with signing your rental agreement, typically, you are required to put down a security deposit, and possibly first and last month’s rent. Plus, if you have a pet, you will likely have to pay the non-refundable pet fee or deposit. In regard to other possible fees that you may have to pay, the staff in the leasing office will typically go over all of those things with you. Once all the necessary fees are paid, it is your responsibility normally to get your utilities turned on in your name and schedule set up appointments for the internet and things of that nature.
Before leaving the lease signing, you should also discuss possible move-in times/dates and go over move-in day policies and procedures with your landlord or property manager.
Preparing for the Move
Once all the particulars are taken care of, then the next thing for you to do is to get ready for the big move into your apartment. This usually means creating a moving checklist, purchasing boxes/supplies, and packing. In terms of the actual move itself, you will want to research and cost compare different movers. As briefly mentioned, you should have a scheduled move-in date and time. On that day, you should be able to get your keys, parking pass, or anything else that you need as a resident.
Along those same lines, if you have not scheduled the transfer of utilities or purchased renters insurance yet, it is imperative that you take care of those things before you move. In fact, most apartment communities actually require proof of renters insurance and transferred utilities at the lease signing itself, or immediately after.
After The Move
Once you have picked up the keys to your new apartment home and moved in a significant portion of your belongings to your new place, you will likely receive a checklist that you will need to return to the leasing office as soon as possible. This checklist is your chance to let the property management know of any damage to the apartment prior to moving in. You can also notate any repairs that need to be taken care of as well on this checklist. Note, it is important to fill out and return this form so you are not held responsible for that damage later on.
Keeping Track Of All Your Documentation
After you have finished moving in and are officially settled into your new apartment home, you should find a safe place to keep all of your documentation. This includes any paperwork regarding the apartment — a copy of your signed lease agreement, any pet policies or agreements, a copy of your returned damage/repair checklist, and so on. It is beneficial to do this as soon as possible so that you know where everything is and can easily reference it whenever you need it.
As you can see, the apartment renting process is pretty straightforward. So, now that you have a better understanding of this process, you should have no trouble at all finding and moving into your dream apartment home.
October 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on Renting an Apartment vs Renting a House
Renting a place versus buying one has its advantages, but what happens when you are on the fence about renting an apartment versus renting a house? The easiest way to figure out which living situation is best for you is to weigh the pros and cons. By simply comparing the advantages and disadvantages of an apartment or a rental home, you should likely come to the conclusion that one is better or more suitable for your housing needs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of House Rentals
To help you find your forever rental, we have taken the liberty of listing the pros and cons for both an apartment and a rental home. So, let’s go over what each home type has to offer and what that means for you.
One of the nice things about renting a house Is all the additional space you have. That said, it really depends on the size of the house, especially in comparison to a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartment. Typically, you will find a lot of functional space with a house. Most homes have a living room, a den, outdoor private space, multiple bedrooms, at least 1.5 bathrooms and additional parking.
In addition to possible extra space, rental homes do offer a certain level of privacy. Apartment homes, on the other hand, likely have common walls or areas. Plus, any outdoor space is often right on top of your neighbors’. For many people, having a place to live that is just their own is important. Thus, if you are looking for added privacy, then houses for rent might be what you need.
What’s more, with an actual house, you have more freedom to enjoy leisure activities or your hobbies. For instance, if you are in a band, then you and your bandmates can practice in your garage or basement. Similarly, if you are into building furniture, or even just gardening, a house tends to accommodate better.
Distance and Convenience
In terms of drawbacks, renting a home tends to be a less convenient option. For example, most rental homes are located in the suburbs, ie. far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yet, most people tend to work in the city. As a result, you can expect to have a commute to work, which may take longer than you would like due to traffic. Along those same lines, other important places like hospitals, vet clinics, grocery stores, and even entertainment typically involve you hopping in your car when you have a rental home.
Another con or drawback that needs no introduction is the level of maintenance or responsibility for repairs. Since you are renting or leasing a home, your landlord will still have to cover major repairs, but when it comes to things like general maintenance, mowing the lawn, etc., then that will likely fall to you, the tenant.
Lastly, another disadvantage to renting a home is that you have to negotiate things with your landlord directly. Usually, there is no property management team or go-between when you are renting a home. Thus, if your landlord is not easy to talk to, you may find yourself having to fight for things that you are entitled to as a tenant.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting an Apartment
Alternatively, when you choose to rent or lease an apartment home, you may notice that it’s not a complete and total bed of roses. Instead, you will probably have to deal with a few drawbacks, but the good news is most of the advantages to renting an apartment do outweigh the disadvantages.
With that said, one of the biggest pros or perks to apartment living is the cost. Most one-bedroom apartments today will cost you less than $1000 a month. Moreover, your $1000 a month may include most of your utilities, covered parking, and give you access to a wealth of communal amenities. In contrast, a rental home will likely be more than $1000 a month, and that price generally does not include your utilities or offer you any additional perks.
Ease of Moving Out
Another bonus to living in an apartment is that when you are ready to move out, you simply give notice and start packing. With a rental home, things are technically not too different. However, typically the move out process for a rental home is a little more involved. For instance, since you have more space with a rental home, you probably have more stuff, which means you need additional help and possibly a bigger moving truck.
Besides being easier to move out of, an apartment home is generally closer to everyday conveniences. This means grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants, and other amenities are likely within walking distance even. Furthermore, with an apartment, you don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn, repairing the light in the hallway and you also have less monthly expenses. Plus, high-end apartment communities offer remodeled units and upgrades that are comparable to contemporary homes for sale. That is not to say that rental homes are not well-maintained, but rather you will have few upgrades because rental homes change hands too often for the landlord to go all out.
One of the most common downsides to renting an apartment is the restrictions on home improvements. You may even get some money knocked off the rent with a rental home if you do the floors to your liking. However, an apartment, more often than not, has strict rules about any home improvements. Thus, if you want to paint the walls of your apartment unit, change the carpet, etc., then you need to check with your landlord and review your lease.
Another common issue that many renters dislike is the amount of available space. In general, studio apartments and one-bedroom apartment homes are not necessarily expensive, but if you are looking at an apartment community that offers three-bedroom apartments or even four-bedroom units, then limited space is really not an issue. Nevertheless, if you do not have room in the budget for a 2- or 3-bedroom unit, then you might not be too happy about the limited space.
Lastly, when it comes to renting an apartment home, there is the issue of privacy and peaceful enjoyment. Whether it is faulty plumbing, noisy neighbors, or a broken wash machine, apartments are known for having a nuisance or two. Obviously, this can make the overall experience of apartment living a little unpleasant, especially when your neighbors are making a lot of noise, and you are trying to study, work or sleep. That being said, before you give up on the idea of living in a quiet apartment complex, you should know that apartment communities that have first-rate property managers do not stand for loud neighbors or ignore repairs/maintenance issues.
As you can see, there are perks to renting both a house and an apartment. Thus, your decision really is based on your ability to deal with the possible drawbacks. Moreover, if you are looking for an affordable option that offers you convenience and flexibility, then you should start looking for apartment homes in your area. If you need some help finding inexpensive luxury apartments or would simply like to know more about the pros and cons of renting either, then do not hesitate to reach out to an expert team member at Cass Lake Front Apartments for assistance today.
August 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Justin Becker ·
Comments Off on Why You Should Rent an Apartment Over Owning a House
Figuring out your living situation is often not as simple as people think it is. The reality is there are several things that factor into a person’s decision when it comes to living in an apartment versus a home. Of course, choosing apartment living over homeownership for some may seem like they have given up on the American Dream, but that could not be further from the truth. Ultimately, when you take the time and look at all the reasons living in an apartment is more beneficial for you, you might change your mind, like so many Americans have already. That said, here are at least ten reasons why apartment living beats homeownership most days.
The main reason many people opt for apartment living is financial. When you crunch the numbers, there is simply no denying that as a renter, you do not face the same financial burdens or hardships. Think about it, even though most monthly mortgage payments are less than rent for a 2-bedroom apartment, that does not include the down payment, homeowners’ insurances, taxes, and so on. In fact, with an apartment, your only financial concerns are rent, a security deposit, and your utility bills. Moreover, you do not have to take out a loan or finance an apartment, which is generally reason enough for most people.
Safety and Security
Besides being a better financial decision, renting an apartment typically entitles you to additional safety precautions and features. When you own a home, you often have to stay on top of your alarm or detectors, pay for a security system, install lights/sensors, cameras, and more. Yet, when you live in an apartment complex, those things are taken care of for you. Furthermore, if there is a break-in or a fire while you are away, then there is likely someone at the complex who can immediately address these problems. In addition to the above-mentioned safety measures, most complexes have onsite security guards, gate access, lock codes, well-lit parking lots, and more.
Yet another nice thing about apartment living is that you do not have to worry about the appliances. Generally, most complexes rent out units with appliances, including a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave, and even an in-unit washer/dryer. Thus, all you have to do is move in and stock up. Of course, you can purchase homes with appliances. However, if they are new, brand-name appliances, then they are likely rolled into the price, or if the house comes with the owner’s old appliances, then you have no idea what condition they are in. Not only do apartment homes have all the necessary appliances hooked up and ready for use, but they also will replace/repair them at no cost to you.
As a renter, you also do not need to concern yourself with landscaping. As a result, any lush trees, gardening, or lawn mowing are handled by your apartment complex’s maintenance team or landscaping company. This not only frees you up to do other things in your at-home leisure time, but it also means you do not have to foot the bill either for supplies, equipment, gas, or a landscaping company. So, do not let any homeowner tell you that they enjoy spending holidays and weekends edging the lawn because they do not.
Apartment living also comes with amenities and community facilities that you typically do not get with a home, unless you live in a master-planned neighborhood/community. Even then, however, master-planned community perks are often paid for by residents in the form of HOA fees. When you live in an apartment complex, the pool, gym, nearby nature trails, outdoor play areas, picnic/barbeque spots, and reservable party/event space are all included at no additional cost to you. Communal facilities overall are great, especially since you do not have to maintain them or clean them up.
Repairs and Maintenance
Along those same lines, anything that needs to be fixed or repaired in your apartment home or with the complex is not your responsibility when renting an apartment. This means if your garbage disposal stops working, your blinds are damaged, or your fridge needs to be replaced, the property management team will handle it and at no cost to you. So, if you never owned a toolbox or had a handy list of repair people in the area, you definitely do not need them now. This is honestly one of the best perks about apartment living.
What’s more, seasonal maintenance like snow removal and salting/deicing sidewalks is not your responsibility either as an apartment complex resident. Even if you live in areas that do not get snow or much snow at all, it never hurts to know that shoveling snow is not on your to-do list. This is especially handy when an unexpected snowstorm hits or temps fall below freezing overnight. When you wake up to go to work or take the kids to school, everything is already taken care of, which is always nice.
Furthermore, for those looking for flexibility when it comes to moving or leasing terms, there is nothing like apartment living. Most apartment communities offer flexible lease terms, and they are relatively easy to move out of. With a home, you have to put your house up for sale, declutter, pack, have open houses, and more—all before you can even think about where you would like to live next. Another nice thing about apartment living is you can sublet your apartment, in the event that you need to move at a moment’s notice and do not want to break your lease.
If you have ever lived in a major city before, you know that most apartment complexes are near if not closer to downtown districts. As a result, you have convenient access to stores, markets, venues, entertainment options, and more, without even having to get in your car most of the time. This can be a real bonus for those who do not have vehicles or prefer to bike/walk places instead. In contrast, most houses are in subdivisions, and the nearest store is often a mile or more away.
Lastly, if you are like most people, you probably do not enjoy being on the receiving end of a large utility bill-whether it is the electric or gas. Well, when you live in an apartment, more often than not, a portion of your utilities are included in your rent, and the remaining bills are usually less than $150.00 combined. Most apartments come with water and sewage included. Some even pay for everything but electrical. You definitely cannot say that about the utility bills for a house. In fact, you can expect your DTE bill to be at least $150.00 by itself if you own a home.
At first glance, owning a home can be great. You can have all the space and privacy you have ever dreamed of, plus you can say you have achieved the American Dream, but when you scratch the surface, homeownership is a lot of work. Plus, owning a home involves maintenance, time, money, and more. Therefore, if you do not want to be responsible for it all just yet or would rather spend your money and free time on other things, then you should seriously consider renting an apartment. The reality is, in today’s economy, purchasing a home is not everything it once was. Ultimately, these are just a few things you should keep in mind when making your decision.