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    Keego Harbor, MI: Why You Should Live Here

    May 18, 2020 at 2:08 pm · · Comments Off on Keego Harbor, MI: Why You Should Live Here

    Keego Harbor, MI: Why You Should Live Here

    Deciding on a new place is a big deal. If you are looking for a new place to stay in Oakland County, Michigan, Keego Harbor is probably one of the best choices out there.

    What You Should Know about Keego Harbor

    Before making any decisions about living in Keego Harbor, a brief look at its basic characteristics is in order. First of all, the median age here is almost 40 years. This is not too old, not too young, but a good solid age. Overall, we may expect the place to be suitable for those who are focused on their careers, interested in raising a family, etc.

    Know about Keego Harbor

    More about Keego Harbor

    Keego Harbor also has a lot of lakes, greenery, and several spots to enjoy nature. The population is a little more than 3,000, with the community being welcoming and friendly for the most part. Since the area is just half a square mile, the population density will be double the number of people in the area.

    For more details, here are 20 things that everyone in Keego Harbor, MI knows to be true.

    Keego Harbor, MI

    Keego Harbor Sign Welcome

    At present, there are quite a lot of people moving to Michigan. Keego Harbor is a small place, but it has a lot of features to make it the best place for young professionals, small families, retirees, and other groups. The exact reasons for choosing Keego Harbor will be different for each individual. However, here are the main reasons that might be common for most folks:

    1. You Get Close to Nature

    Michigan is known as the Great Lakes State, and Keego Harbor, Michigan, is sometimes called the “Heart of the Lakes.” This should give you an idea of just how many lakes one will have nearby if they settle in Keego Harbor, Michigan.

    Cass Lake and Dollar Lake

    Cass Lake and Dollar Lake

    Cass Lake is among the largest, deepest water bodies you can experience when in Keego Harbor. If you are in search of a more relaxing time, take the connecting canal from Cass Lake to Dollar Lake. Unlike Cass Lake, Michigan, Dollar Lake has speed limits that make it safe for gentle boating.

    2. The Small Town Charm

    Some people love bustling and busy streets, with fast food chains, huge stores, and exciting events happening all the time. On the other hand, Keego Harbor is more for people who prefer a close-knit community, a quiet life, and a calming routine.

    Proximity to Larger Cities

    3. Proximity to Larger Cities

    Of course, some people might find it boring to live the same old life in that half square mile. For those who crave the big city experience at times, a day trip to Detroit or the other big cities is actually doable. You can easily drive up to the downtown areas, have the time of your life, and be home to relax and unwind within 24 hours.

    Water Activities

    There are also some exciting water activities available around Cass Lake. You may have to enquire about them at the Keego Harbor City Hall. For more guidance, here is everything you need to know about the city of Keego Harbor.

    Water Activities New

    4. A Reputable Schooling System

    Parents of school-going children usually place good schools at the top of their priority list. The state of Michigan is known for its great schooling system, and Keego Harbor is no different. In fact, good schools are one reason why people love Keego Harbor lake apartments.


    Most of the public Keego Harbor schools here will have children of at least two or more races. The standards of the schools are also quite high, with many of them having won awards in the recent past.

    Reputable Schooling System

     5. Lots of Housing Options

    Whether you are in search of a house or apartment, Keego Harbor, Michigan is likely to have something that is suitable for the whole family. Most folks will want something near their school or workplace, with some activities nearby and an overall safe neighborhood. Other requirements may include proximity to Keego Harbor restaurants, shopping centers, and so on.

    Apartment Moving Here

    Moving Here is a Possibility

    If you are interested in rentals in Keego Harbor, MI, here is a breakdown of the average Keego Harbor rent rates in the area. There are a lot of economical, yet quality options on Orchard Lake Road. So, you might want to start your apartment search there. Many of these places might be near the best dining spots in the area, so make sure to grab a delicious meal if you are dropping by for an in-person visit!

    The Takeaway

    Keego Harbor, Michigan provides its residents with a decidedly suburban feel. The services are great, the residents are mostly liberal, and the overall lifestyle is an enviable one. If you are on the lookout for a quiet, safe area with friendly neighbors, Keego Harbor is the place to be! Check out this comparison of Keego Harbor vs. Novi apartments for rent before finalizing anything.

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    How Long Does it Take to Rent an Apartment?

    April 7, 2020 at 9:17 am · · Comments Off on How Long Does it Take to Rent an Apartment?

    How Long Does it Take to Rent an Apartment?

    Whether you are moving out in pursuit of a larger apartment, changing jobs, or merely looking for a change of scenery, you will want to know how long it will take to rent your next apartment.

    How long it takes to rent an apartment often depends on the approach you choose. With that said, finding your future apartment might take anywhere from three to six weeks, on average. From there, the landlord and tenant both need to wait on a credit and background check to clear before signing the lease.

    From the moment you begin your search to signing the lease agreement (learn how to read an apartment lease here), planning is key to fastening and streamlining the entire process of renting an apartment. Your level of preparedness will decide whether your apartment hunt runs smoothly from beginning to end.

    How Long Does it Take to Rent an Apartment?

    apartment building with for rent sign

    Typically, the apartment hunting process should start the moment you know you want to move. If you do not begin the process early, your ideal apartment may be taken. The sooner you start looking for your new apartment to live in, the better chance you have at finding a great deal and avoiding any last-minute rush of traffic or competition.

    So, how long will that take before you sign the lease agreement? Let us find out!

    What to do 3+ Months Before Moving In

    If you are planning to move out soon, the first thing you should do is save up money equivalent to about six months worth of rent. (learn how you move-out of an apartment here) This will help cover your basic living expenses and give you some savings to manage emergencies in your new place (learn what is considered emergency maintenance in an apartment here).

    Renting an apartment comes with several costs that you need to be prepared for. The biggest upfront cost typically is the move-in fees, which includes the security deposit, first (and possibly last month’s rent), pet fees (if applicable), and sometimes a broker fee. Read more about how to find an apartment without a broker here.

    After you have sorted out your finances, consider where you want to live and how much it will cost, along with the financial implications of relocating. If the neighborhood you want to move to is prohibitively pricey, you may want to consider renting with a roommate. If you do choose to go this route, you do not want to rush into anything when considering a roommate. You have just one chance at this, since both of your names will go on the lease, and you want it to be the right person. You should start searching early and wait until it feels right before moving forward with any potential roommates.

    What to do 2-3 Months Before Moving In

    The best time to start looking for apartments is roughly two to three months before needing to move-in. This should give you enough time to find your dream apartment, make all the necessary arrangements, and be prepared for your move.

    The most common mistake people make when they start the apartment search process is waiting too long. This typically leads to a less than satisfactory living situation.

    It is much easier to find what you are looking for when you have more time to dedicate to the search process. Perform due diligence on the area you choose to relocate to and verify all relevant information to assist you in finding the perfect apartment.

    This is also a good time to consider how many bedrooms you require and how much rent you are ready to pay for an apartment in your selected location. A great way to find out if the apartment is worth it is by asking questions in public forums. Many communities offer online forums, such as, where you may get useful information about your new potential neighborhood.

    What to do 1-2 Months Before Moving In

    After you have gathered all of the information you need about your target location, filter down your apartment options to the ones that best meet your requirements. Things to consider here include:

    • Commute duration
    • Housing style
    • Room size
    • Pricing

    At this point, you are looking for a place that offers all of the amenities you desire while remaining within your budget. Pick around 5-15 of the best apartments and organize a tour within the next few days. It may be a good idea, however, to start with a virtual apartment tour before seeing them in-person. Many apartment complexes provide 360-degree virtual tours, allowing you to examine the majority of the amenities and decide whether or not to rent the apartment.

    After a successful virtual tour, make a list of the units that have impressed you and make an appointment to see them inperson to learn more about the neighborhood.

    What to do 1 Month Before Moving In

    Now that you have laid the groundwork, it is time to select an option that best suits your needs. If you are satisfied with your findings, the next step is to fill out the rental application forms.

    Rental applications require a lot of personal information, but it’s important. You will need to provide items like:

    • Proof of income, i.e. bank statements and tax returns
    • Driver’s license number
    • Previous landlord references

    Make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork before beginning the apartment rental application process. If everything seems good, finish the rental application, then go over it again to be sure all of the information is correct.

    The good news is that most communities provide online rental applications to make the procedure more convenient. Expect to pay $35 to $75 processing fee for an apartment application fee.

    How Long Does it Take for an Apartment Application to be Approved?

    Most landlords and property managers handle applications within 2 to 3 days (rental application process time). With that said, due to extensive background checks that are frequently required (monthly income, rental history, and credit check/credit report), processing may take longer at times.

    If your application is approved, prepare for the moving day. It is always a good idea to plan ahead, so have all the necessary items and know all of what should happen on that day.

    Tips for Getting Approved for an Apartment Faster

    If you are looking for housing, it can be difficult at times to know if you will be approved or not. The apartment application approval process is more competitive than ever, and so many things can go wrong. Here are a few tips that might help you get approved for an apartment faster:

    Understand the Application Requirements

    You must carefully read the application requirements, including income level/proof of income (current and previous employment), credit score, rent to income ratio, among other requirements. This criteria is used to determine an applicant’s ability to pay rent, along with their ability to pay any potential damages or fees that may arise in the future.

    The best thing you can do is call the leasing office or property management company and inquire if there are any additional documents they need in your apartment application process. The more information you offer to demonstrate that you are a responsible renter who will take care of the rental property and can afford the monthly rent, the better your chances of being approved are.

    Examine Your Current Financial Situation

    Background and credit checks are an essential part of any apartment application process. The landlord or property manager must have a sense of a prospect’s rental history and financial history. For this reason, most applications will require you to submit personal information, like social security number, driver’s license number, and income verification.

    The landlord will investigate any potential red flags, such as complaints filed against you by prior landlords/past landlords and credit history. If any of this shows that you consistently miss payments, your application is likely to be denied.

    Be Ready with a Cosigner if Your Credit Score is Bruised

    When it comes to renting apartments, your credit score is important. Most landlords will require a credit score of at least 620 or above, so if you have anything less than that, you may want to enlist the help of a cosigner.

    A cosigner is someone who agrees to guarantee payment of your rent if you are unable to do so. It could be a family member or a friend who earns more money than you. Learn if cosigning for an apartment affects your credit here

    Always be Reachable

    The potential landlord may call you for a background check, or for some other reason, and if you are unavailable, they may just move on to the next candidate. As a result, make sure you can be reached at all times during your application period.

    Submit a Complete Rental Application

    The fact that the rental application is not completed means that the potential landlord does not have all of the information they need to process it properly. As a result, your apartment application is more likely to be turned down. So, after you have the completed rental application, make sure to look through and double-check that any and all  essential papers are attached.

    Approved or Denied: What Happens Next?

    After the apartment application process is complete, the landlord will call to inform you of their decision, regardless of the outcome. If your application is approved, you will be given instructions on what to do next.

    However, if your application is denied, they will notify you and explain why. It is a common industry practice for landlords to provide feedback after the rental application process is complete.

    Can I Re-Apply for an Apartment if I get Denied?

    If your reason for rejection was related to finances, you could re-apply with a quality cosigner, and your application would most likely be granted. However, if your reason for rejection is something like a lawsuit filed against you by a former landlord or for having a criminal background, your chances are slim.

    Final Thought

    It is possible to find and move into an apartment within three months of knowing when you want to move-out. With that said, without completing the proper due diligence, finding the ideal apartment that meets your needs may take more time.

    Moving out is a difficult undertaking, especially if you are financially unable to do so. So, set aside some time to save for several months worth of rent and the upfront fees. Most landlords will ask for your two recent pay stubs, at a very minimum, so you need to have a solid financial record to stand a chance of getting approved.

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    Keego Harbor, Michigan: A Great Place to Live

    December 3, 2019 at 2:40 pm · · Comments Off on Keego Harbor, Michigan: A Great Place to Live

    Keego Harbor, Michigan: A Great Place to Live

    Are you looking for a new place to relocate and settle down? Perhaps, somewhere that is calming, almost like a resort with a welcoming community? If you have been nodding your head, Keego Harbor in Oakland County just might be the perfect place to choose your forever home.

    A bit about Keego Harbor, MI

    “Keego” is a Native American term for “Big Fish,” which should tell you a lot about the fishing opportunities here! This little historic city has access to Michigan’s freshwater shoreline, so it is always easy to go down to the lake and just unwind. There are several housing options here along with a great public Keego Harbor, MI schools system, a five member city council, and much more.

    It is Worth the Visit

    You might also want to know just where Keego Harbor, Michigan is located before making any decisions. For more detailed information, we recommend a visit to the Keego Harbor City Hall.

    Keego Harbor, Michigan

    quaint little place

    This quaint little place might not be a huge, bustling city, but that is exactly why some people consider this the best place to live in Michigan. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to go about looking for the best rentals in Keego Harbor, MI today!

    1. You Get Access to Freshwater Lakes

    We are all becoming more aware that a lifestyle connected to nature is healthier and more enjoyable in the long run. At Keego Harbor, MI, you have access to several lakes even within one square mile.

    Lakes to Visit in Keego Harbor, MI

    Keego Harbor, MI is by the shores of Sylvan Lake and Cass Lake, with two public beach access points and a boat launch.

    by the shores

    Cass Lake

    Cass Lake, Michigan is among the largest lakes for the metropolitan city Detroit as well, running about 1280 acres long.

    Dollar Lake

    You can also get to Dollar Lake from there using the connecting canal. Since Dollar Lake is a no wake zone with strict speed limits, you do not have to worry about fast boats here.

    Orchard Lake

    Other than Cass Lake, we also have options like Orchard Lake. This is near Orchard Lake Road, which has several housing options as well. It might help to compare the apartments vs. the houses for rent in Keego Harbor, MI before deciding to live near Orchard Lake.

    Water Activities

    The decision could be great, though, as you always have the option of cooling off in a freshwater body. If you decide to live near Cass Lake, there will be loads of water activities to fill up every hour of the day!

    Water Activities

    2. No Compromise on Education

    Keego Harbor, MI is very near West Bloomfield Township, so it is also within the West Bloomfield School District. This district caters to more than 5,000 students residing in West Bloomfield Township.

    Why Should We Consider the Schooling in Keego Harbor, MI?

    Several people have actually moved to Oakland Country due to the quality education it provides. Whether it is West Bloomfield Township or Keego Harbor, the schools here are also diverse with at least two or more races in each classroom.

    3. Near Big Cities

    Keego Harbor, MI might be a small and quiet place, but the big cities are not too far. When it comes to everything you need to know about the city of Keego Harbor, keep in mind that the easy access to cities like Detroit expands your horizons.

    Big Cities

    What do We get from Big Cities near Keego Harbor, MI? 

    Here are just a few advantages of living near big cities when you are in Keego Harbor, MI:

    • Proximity and ease of access to several job opportunities
    • Easy work commute if you already have a job in the big city

    Keego Harbor offers Both Education and Fun

    You will also be able to avail the following benefits:

    • Access to quality higher education
    • Fun, exciting, and education day trips

    4. Welcoming Community

    a small population

    With a small population of around 3,000, it seems like everyone knows everyone else. You might meet your neighbor in one of the top hair salons in Keego Harbor, MI or make a bunch of new friends while walking in the park.


    The people at Keego Harbor City Hall also make sure to plan lots of events to bring the community together. You can always visit the Keego Harbor City Hall website to see what is planned for the week or month.

    5. Apartments are Affordable

    Since we are not in a bustling city here, each square mile is relatively more affordable than in Detroit or New York.

    Luxury Meets Affordability

    Luxury Meets Affordability

    You might easily be able to afford an apartment in several areas of Keego Harbor. Most of them will hopefully be located near a lake, with pet-friendly policies and all the modern amenities you may need, like Cass Lake Front Apartments. You may even be able to afford a luxurious lifestyle that will probably be impossible in a metro city.

    The Takeaway

    It is evident that Keego Harbor has a lot to offer for its old and new residents. While an in-person visit is always recommended before any major life decisions, the people already living here adore the lifestyle in Keego Harbor. List down what your priorities are and start planning your move now!

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    Why You Should Rent an Apartment

    November 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm · · Comments Off on Why You Should Rent an Apartment

    Why You Should Rent an Apartment

    Is it better to rent an apartment or buy a house? Are apartments better than houses? Many people find it difficult to give definitive answers to these questions.

    Buying a home can be an expensive and time-consuming investment. There are many pros and cons to consider, such as your credit score (to get approved for a mortgage), how long you plan to stay in the home, how much money you can afford for a down payment, among other factors.

    Dilemma concept

    With that said, renting can be cheaper than buying, especially if your goal is to occupy the space for a short amount of time, but renting also means that you won’t own the property.

    Why You Should Rent an Apartment

    There are numerous advantages to renting an apartment. The process of renting an apartment is straightforward and convenient. You can find many properties to rent in your desired location, and the process is quick and easy.

    The number of people who rent apartments is constantly increasing. The reason for this is that, aside from the lower cost of renting vs. purchasing, one can move around and explore other regions with greater ease. Renting allows the freedom to live in any city for as long as one would like without being tied to one location due to a mortgage.

    Renting an apartment vs. buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s critical to get it right. With that said, if you’re interested in learning more about what renting an apartment may accomplish for you, keep reading.

    Little to No Repair or Maintenance Costs

    Owning a home is one of the most significant investments you can make, but one of the biggest downsides is the high costs of repair and maintenance.

    The average homeowner spends $2,000 every year to keep their house in good condition. This includes major costs, such as repairing appliances, and routine maintenance, like lawn care, gardening, and exterior upkeep.

    These costs could be even higher in big cities like San Francisco and New York.

    Expenses like these add up quickly, meaning that homeowners will have to spend thousands more over their lifetime than renters.

    In apartments, on the other hand, the homeowner covers substantial repair and maintenance expenditures; thus, renters, unlike homeowners, have less costs for the same. This is just the first reason why renting an apartment is better than owning a house.

    Less Upfront Costs When Renting an Apartment

    Buying a home requires a substantial amount of money upfront. For example, the average down payment on a home is 20% (if you want to avoid private mortgage insurance), and the median list price for a home in the U.S. is $239,000. This means that the average person would need to come up with $47,800 for their down payment.

    If you’re thinking about renting an apartment, however, there is no need for a down payment. In most cases, you will need what is a security deposit for an apartment, the first month’s rent, an application fee, a one-time pet charge (if you are a pet owner), and the first month’s pet rent.

    In other words, the upfront cost for a rental property will cost far less compared to buying a home because of the higher down payment cost.

    Access to Communal Amenities

    Renting an apartment within a complex or community has its advantages. Apartments typically have more amenities than a home because they are targeted to the larger population of renters. For example, a renter may be able to take advantage of their building’s fitness center, pool, on-site parking, concierge services, or access to a shuttle.

    In addition, renting offers the freedom to access the amenities without the need of maintaining the property.

    If homeowners want the same amenities, they will have to invest thousands of dollars in things like a fitness facility and a swimming pool. In addition, the cost of maintenance is something a homeowner would have to come up with themselves.

    No Obligation to Pay Property Taxes

    When determining whether to lease an apartment or buy a home, the duty of paying property taxes is sometimes disregarded.

    Owning your own house has numerous benefits, but it also has various drawbacks. Property taxes can be as much as 2% of your home’s value, which can quickly add up.

    With that said, a resident of an apartment is not responsible for property taxes. These tax costs are paid by the landlord, who then typically builds that expense into the rental rate that the tenant pays. So, if you are looking to lease an apartment, there is no reason to be concerned with huge tax bills or tax deductions.

    Everyone has different financial circumstances/financial situation, so it won’t make any financial sense to buy a home when you don’t have a stable income. Committing to large fixed monthly payments for a mortgage could be problematic (it’s a long-term commitment).

    More Freedom in Terms of Where You Can Live

    Renting an apartment gives you the freedom of practically living anywhere. It allows you to live in a new city and explore your surroundings.

    If you are looking for a change of pace, renting an apartment is the perfect solution. When you lease, you are not stuck in one place; your next adventure can be as close as a ten-minute drive away.

    On the other hand, if you are a homeowner, but you are looking for a change of scenery or need more space and decide it’s time to move on, you may need to sell your home first.

    Selling your home usually takes some time to find the right buyer. Many potential obstacles could come up when selling your home. For instance, you may need to lower the price to attract potential buyers if it’s not selling as fast as you need it to.

    Furthermore, if you want to sell your house quickly, you will usually have to pay a real estate agent (closing costs associated with this are also high). These reasons make apartment living an attractive alternative because all you need to do is find another apartment in you desired location and move out when your lease is up (see how to move-out of an apartment).

    No Need to Worry About the Value of the Property

    Purchasing a home is not always a straightforward process; there is a risk that the home value may depreciate over time.

    For example, if new houses with superior design are built in your neighborhood, your home may lose value. All that is left for you to do then is upgrade to meet the new standards, which will cost money.

    On the other hand, you won’t have to be concerned about the potential of property value depreciation if you lease an apartment.

    The Flexibility to Downsize

    What happens when the landlord increases your rent and you can’t afford the new rate? You downsize! This way you will be able to pay your bills, live comfortably, and save money from high rent rates all at once.

    Living in an apartment gives you the luxury of moving in the quickest amount of time possible. On the other hand, when you have to downsize from a home to an apartment, it can be time-consuming and stressful.

    Lower Insurance Cost

    Insurance is an important consideration for home buyers and renters (renters insurance) alike. However, a homeowner faces a much larger insurance cost (homeowners insurance) compared to a renter. With that said, a homeowner has significantly higher chances of having a large expense, like replacing their roof, foundation, or cleaning up after a natural disaster.

    For the sake of safety, both the renter’s insurance and the homeowner’s insurance policies must be renewed regularly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, renters insurance costs $179 per year, on average, but homeowner’s insurance typically costs around $1,249 per year.

    Simply put, tenants pay less for renter’s insurance compared to what most homeowners pay for theirs.

    Less Utility Bills

    The cost of utility bills that apartment renters pay is generally lower than homeowners. The only stipulation is the renter must be mindful of the amount of electricity and natural gas they use (learn how to keep utility bills low in an apartment).

    If the renter is not mindful of their usage, they can pay higher bills than necessary.

    On the other hand, homeowners can only control so much when it comes to the cost of their utility bills, no matter how much they try to reduce their consumption. They have things like security systems, among other energy bills, that the renter often doesn’t have an obligation to pay for every month.

    Less Cleaning Space

    Cleaning your own home is a big job, and the bigger the living space, the more time and energy it takes. Many homeowners choose to hire cleaning services, which undoubtedly adds to their expenses.

    Cleaning services can get costly (adding to monthly payment for housing expenses), and for those living in larger homes, the cost of hiring a cleaning company can quickly add up. So, if you are on a budget, don’t rule out doing your own cleaning.

    On the other hand, cleaning an apartment is a task you can spend very little time each day on, whereas cleaning a home can take hours. Thus, when time is tight, and you have limited resources, it may be better to just have an apartment space to clean (learn how to reduce dust in apartment).

    You Don’t Need a Mortgage

    From the approval process to losing the property as collateral, many people have terrible experiences with mortgages. A mortgage is a loan from a bank or credit union with the purpose being to buy a house, or other real estate. The title of the said asset would have a lean on it from the lending financial institution until the loan is paid off in its entirety.

    Mortgages are often used because real estate is considered a type of collateral for loans. This may seem great on paper, but that is far from the reality when you consider the interest you end up paying over the life of the loan, and especially what happens when you fall behind a couple of months on your mortgage payments.

    Unlike owning a property, renting an apartment does not require a mortgage debt (which means no mortgage interest). All you need to do is cover the upfront costs, which typically includes the first month’s rent, a security deposit, and an application fee. Learn everything about are security deposits refundable for apartments here.

    No Monthly Homeowners Association Fees

    The apartment renter doesn’t have the obligation of paying any Homeowners Association fees (HOA Fees). The HOA fees, which are common in condominium buildings or communities with several houses that share amenities, go towards maintaining the common areas used by residents.

    In addition, most apartment complexes organize events and give their tenants a chance to enjoy without incurring an extra cost. For example, management sponsored holiday gatherings are common in many apartment communities.

    Instead of wasting money on monthly HOA fees, you can use that savings towards your emergency fund.

    Take Away: Buying Homes

    Buying homes is like trading in the stock market, you need to maintain accurate information if you want to find the right property that will build your home equity over time.

    Despite the greater required upfront monies, along with other costs, purchasing a home is an investment that you can put your money into and rent out while you live in an apartment.

    A mortgage could be considered good debt or bad debt. This all depends on your repayment plan. So, compare the mortgage rates before signing the dotted lines.

    Final Thought

    In recent years, the average home values have been on the rise. This can be attributed to inflation and a lack of inventory in certain places, but it’s also due in part to an increase in demand.

    With this increase in demand, housing prices/home prices will naturally increase as well. In this hot market, purchasing a home may not be feasible for many people looking to buy a property or build wealth/build equity.

    With that said, renting apartments generally offers greater housing options. Also, renters typically do not have the same financial commitment as homeowners, which allows them to move to different locations with ease.

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    How to Find the Perfect Apartment

    October 9, 2019 at 2:34 am · · Comments Off on How to Find the Perfect Apartment

    How to Find the Perfect Apartment

    Finding the perfect apartment for you and your family is no easy task. With that said, relocating is linked to a fresh start and opens you up to a world of opportunities.

    Even though the process of renting an apartment can be challenging since you will need to gather and review all the possible information to narrow down your apartment search in an effort to get the best deal, getting an ideal apartment can be straightforward with the right information.

    Here, we offer tips to help you get the best apartment in the current rental market.

    How to Find the Perfect Apartment

    best apartment

    Below are tips for finding the perfect apartment for your family:

    Consider the Location of the Apartment

    One important apartment search aspect that is typically one of the top priorities is the location. Before you commit to an apartment, we recommend that you ensure its location aligns with your needs.

    For instance, if you want a rental unit near your school or family, ensure your soon-to-be apartment is within walking distance, closer to public transportation, or simply a short drive away.

    We recommend that you consider the location’s traffic during rush hour. In many cases, a place that is only 20 minutes from your place of work might be as much as two hours away during rush hour.

    Since many apartment listings exaggerate how close their unit is from critical spots, you should go in person to check them out. You can even use Google Maps to determine the distance, too.

    Consider What You Can Afford

    Before you sign your lease, we strongly recommend comparing apartments within the locality that you desire. Check whether the prices are similar between the different rentals. Even if the price is somehow high for some apartments, consider amenities offered that can help justify the price.

    You should, therefore, consider whether you can afford the apartment comfortably or not. Here, determine whether you have enough savings to keep paying rent, even if something unforeseeable happens, like if you lose your job.

    Typical rule of thumb is that your monthly rent should be about 20%-30% of your monthly income. For instance, if you make $5,000 per month, setting aside at least $1,200 for your monthly rent makes sense.

    We also strongly recommend taking enough time to polish and update your budget before you begin your apartment search. You might even discover unnecessary expenses that you can drop during this process so that you can afford more of a monthly rent.

    If your income is too low, but you want to go for a decent apartment, another option is that you can consider having a roommate. If your landlord acknowledges and approves the decision to have a particular roommate, you are then good to go.

    Have Your Documentation Ready

    Most landlords require a rental application to be filled out and will do a thorough background check to determine if you are the right tenant for their apartment. Therefore, they will require some critical documents considering you to settle in their apartment.

    To get the best apartment for your family, you need to have the following documents during rental application:

    Proof of Employment

    Why does your landlord need proof of employment, such as a letter from your employer? The answer is simple, they require proof that you have a stable source of income and can pay rent without challenges.

    The letter should have the company’s letterhead on it, which should include contact information, and it should spell out the duration of your employment. It should also come with an affirmation of you working there and an indication of your monthly salary. Also, the owner or company manager should sign it.

    Pay Stubs

    These are meant to confirm the information on your employment letter.

    Tax Returns from the Past Few Years

    What if you don’t have pay stubs? In such a case, you can provide tax returns from several years in place of pay stubs. If you are self-employed, your landlord might require an additional explanation of what you do, along with copies of your bank statements.

    Reference Letters from Previous Landlords

    Some landlords require that you provide relevant reference letters. A reference letter assures them that you were a great tenant from the perspective of other fellow landlords.

    A good reference letter would point out that you paid your rent on time and that you took good care of their property before leaving. Even though landlords will most likely also pull their own credit report on you, this letter would help lead them to believe that your credit report will come out good.

    It would not hurt to also have your employer provide a reference letter, especially if you are a first time renter looking to find an apartment in a new city. Learn more about what to know for first time apartment renters here.

    Start Hunting for an Apartment Early

    The key to identifying the best rental is carrying out a thorough apartment hunting process. We recommend that you start apartment hunting as soon as you start thinking of moving. This will allow you enough time to locate the best apartment at an affordable price. Ideally, you should start looking for your next apartment at least three months before your move date. Learn more about what is the best month to look for an apartment here, because tenant turnover is higher in certain months compared to others, on average.

    Before moving, let your landlord know of your intentions. Most landlords require that you give the notice to move at least one month prior to doing so. Otherwise, you won’t be refunded your security deposit.

    We also recommend that you visit apartments in-person instead of just doing a virtual apartment tour, in order to do a thorough inspection. Also, as we have highlighted before, do enough research so you avoid apartment hunting for a unit beyond your budget.

    While apartment hunting, consider the transportation in the area. Select a convenient unit that has access to excellent amenities. Safety should also be your top concern. Consider private entrances, door locks, and security cameras, just to name a few.

    Signing the Apartment Lease

    After identifying an apartment, you should review the lease thoroughly before signing it. The lease is meant to protect you from an unreasonable landlord. Learn more on how to read an apartment lease here.

    In the lease, you will find things that the landlord expects from you, along with what you should expect from them. It, therefore, guarantees that you will receive rental services that are up to standard.

    We recommend that you read through the lease in great detail before signing it. However, remember that lease contract terms vary, and you must consider them carefully before choosing one that works for you. You may even want to consider having a lawyer review your apartment lease, especially if you are not 100% comfortable with it.

    Periodic Leases

    These kinds of leases are ideal for shorter durations. Here, the landlords understand that situations change and allow you to renew the lease monthly (also known as a month-to-month lease).

    Even though these types of leases may seem ideal, they typically are much more expensive, with the landlord reserving the right to increase the rent anytime they want with a 30-day notice. Learn more about when can your landlord increase rent here.

    Fixed Term Leases

    With a fixed term lease, you enter into a contract with the landlord to stay in the rental unit for a specified period of time. The time lengths typically are six months, one year, or two years.

    If you decide to move before the lease expires, you will be required to pay for the remaining period, plus penalties may apply. Learn how to break a lease without penalty here.


    These involve a third-party agreement and are sometimes called “three-party lease agreements.” This is common when the original renter seeks to vacate an apartment, but does not want to have their credit hurt or pay extra fees.

    For a sublease, typically the leaseholder finds a new apartment tenant who takes over the responsibility of the lease up to its end. Usually, the new tenant takes over monthly payments, such as rent and pet fees. With that said, many landlords do not accept subleasing, so make sure you have your landlord’s approval before moving forward.

    Inspect the Apartment

    You would be making a mistake if you proceed to sign the lease without inspecting your new apartment. The previous tenant may have caused maintenance issues and serious damages that the landlord did not take care of fully.

    It is important to ensure that you are not held responsible for damages you did not cause. A thorough inspection before accepting the keys to an apartment will ensure that you occupy a unit that is in the proper condition. If you do not have the skills to do a thorough inspection, contact a professional to help you out.

    Once you get into the apartment, the first thing you should do is flush toilets, run all faucets and turn on all lights to ensure there are no plumbing or electrical issues. Some apartments present challenges with electricity. We recommend that you test all power sockets by plugging in a phone charger to see whether or not it works.

    Check in the storage spaces and cupboards to determine that they are all in working order and that there are no hidden issues. Droppings or chew marks should present a red flag (possible infestation).

    Inspect fire safety equipment and check smoke alarms. We also recommend opening and closing windows and doors to identify any damages. If there are appliances in the apartment, turn them on to identify potential problems. You should also inspect walls and floors, with a key focus on linoleum, carpet, hardwood, tiles, and drywall.

    In most cases, the landlord takes note of damages for repair before a new tenant occupies their unit. Remember to take pictures of any problems using a quality camera. Show the problems to your potential landlord so they can take care of ths issues prior to you moving in. With that said, if the needed repairs are not addressed, avoid moving into the apartment.

    Reduce Rental Expenses and Costs

    An ideal apartment has exciting features and amenities all at an affordable cost. It is also up to you to look for ways to reduce your rental costs through all possible means.

    Below are approaches you can consider:

    Find an Apartment Outside the City

    There is no argument that many people prefer to settle in an urban setting. However, the rent in such areas is very high. Instead, you can check for affordable, but quality, apartments in the suburbs. Just make sure the location is conveniently commutable to your place of work.

    Consider the Transportation Costs

    Settling in the urban areas will consume less of your transportation budget. This can be attributed to the readily available subways and public buses. Therefore, it would help to still consider transportation costs, especially if you settle away from the new city center.

    Rent an Apartment with a Roommate

    No matter the quality of the apartment, you can always cut down its costs, such as utilities and renters insurance, by sharing it with a roommate, as mentioned earlier. However, before you bring in a roommate you will need the landlord to approve. You should also have a separate written agreement with the roommate outlining all the obligations.

    Always Think Small

    The smaller the unit’s square footage, typically the lower the monthly rent and security deposit for an apartment is. With that said, you should also realize that this means losing some critical spaces.

    We, therefore, recommend that you analyze beforehand how many bedrooms or how much space you need for your pets, storage, family, and visitors. You might just find that a smaller space is perfect, as long as it accommodates all your stuff.

    Consider Subsidies from the Relevant Authorities

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers subsidies for low-income persons that have difficulties paying their monthly rent. Search their website to check whether you can qualify for these subsidies.

    Negotiate with Your Landlord for Reduced Rent

    If you find a perfect apartment, but can’t afford the monthly rent, you can try to negotiate with the landlord to lower the rent for you. FYI, landlords typically offer a better deal to most renters who sign a longer lease. Also inquire about any rent specials that are being offered.

    Consider Reviews and Ask Questions

    Lastly, you should consider the apartment reviews during your apartment hunt before signing a lease. Just simply go online and check for reviews attached to the apartment list you are looking for. Here are the top five websites to search apartments for rent.

    You can also ask for the opinion of those already living in the apartment community. This is a great way to get first hand knowledge so you can weed out poorly maintained and managed apartments.

    Another thing we recommend is comparing the different options on your apartment list as a great way how to choose an apartment complex that you will love. Ensure you compare the reputation, lifestyle, value, and location of the relevant apartments.

    Finally, know what to ask when apartment hunting. Ask the property manager or potential landlord as many questions as possible regarding their apartment and the housing market. This will guarantee that you get a good apartment.

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    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    September 23, 2019 at 10:48 am · · Comments Off on How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    Moving to a new city is a big decision. It is even tougher if you are unfamiliar with the area and don’t have any friends or colleagues to help you. As your first huge task, you’ll need to find an apartment to call home.

    As you take this huge step to start your life in a new city, you will need to find a place to live. That said, you’ll have many decisions that need to be made, from the neighborhoods to the size of the bedrooms.

    Since you have so many decisions to make, it can be difficult to know where to start. With that said, you must find the right place for your needs and budget.

    How to Find an Apartment in a New City

    It’s natural to feel overwhelmed while looking for a home in a new location, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Long distance apartment hunting is not something new. As such, you can utilize a variety of websites to search apartments for rent.

    For example, you can look for homes depending on their size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or even their closeness to amenities, such as grocery stores and public transportation, simply by apartment hunting online.

    With that said, what factors do you consider when deciding where to live? How much space do you need? What areas are safe? If these questions have been keeping you up at night, we’ve got some tips to help calm your nerves.

    Let’s get started and make your relocation a breeze!

    Research the New City: Know the Highlights

    Before rushing to search for an apartment, do as much research as possible! Neighborhoods can be tricky in big cities, and while they may look nice on the outside, there may be a dark side that waits inside.

    For this reason, you need to know about the neighborhood and its surroundings in order to make an informed decision. The bedroom size and safety levels are not enough; the cost of living in the new city will be a huge factor too. You will need to know things, like what’s the average rent cost? With that in mind, you may want to check for a neighborhood that fits your budget, depending of course on what you are searching for.

    Let’s say, for instance, the average rent in your neighborhood is higher than you expected. In this situation, it’s best to broaden your new apartment hunt and choose a location that meets all of your needs, while remaining within your budget. The cheaper cities’ cost of living might be what you need to look for.

    Choose Your Desired Location

    When you’re hunting for your next home, location matters, you might want to pick a strategic area where you can access everything you need easily. So, check out at least a few neighborhoods. You can also use Google Maps to have an overview of the locations you are looking into.

    It could be work, school, the grocery store, or public transport that is most important to you. When time is limited, it’s easiest to live near what you need. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting out the door to walk to your day job in the morning.

    If you prefer a calmer lifestyle, consider moving to a suburban area. Suburbs are often quieter than areas with heavy traffic and city noise. This can be advantageous if you have a high-stress job or work from home and need to focus.

    Make an Apartment List of Your Desires

    It’s critical to know what you want before searching for a new residence. Are you looking for one bedroom apartments for rent or two bedroom apartments for rent? Is this your primary residence or a getaway property? You don’t want to miss anything, so take your time and do some research before looking for an apartment.

    Calculating the above can also help you figure out how much you’re willing to pay for your next apartment. Also, think about how long you want to stay in an apartment. Most apartment leases are month-to-month, one-year, or two-year agreements, but be sure to choose what works best for you.

    Finalize Your Budget

    Luxury apartments often provide high-end amenities, like a pool, parking space, and gyms. These luxuries can make an apartment worth the extra cost. With that said, high-end available apartments also have a higher monthly cost.

    The truth is that you may have a glamorous dream of living in a luxurious apartment, but the reality is that you want to pick one that is not over your means. If it’s too expensive to enjoy the amenities on offer, it might be worth leasing a more affordable apartment for a year or two, save up some money, and then upgrade to somewhere more luxurious.

    You must establish how much rent you can afford to pay. A variety of factors go into determining the price range you can stomach for your monthly rent. For starters, it is dependent on where you reside and the amenities provided by the apartment, so do your research. For example, if pets are permitted in an apartment that you are interested in, you should be aware that there may be a pet fee to consider, so be sure to review the apartment pet policy and factor it into your budget before committing.

    Also, factor in the security deposit for an apartment, plus the first month’s rent and rental application fee. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much rent to pay, try using a rent calculator. Simply enter your monthly income, location, and some other miscellaneous information to help it calculate where you stand.

    Use Online Tools to Fast Track Your Apartment Search

    One of the easiest ways to find a home is to go online and search through the local market or national listing websites. With online real estate websites, you can search for the perfect home for your family. These sites have a variety of online listings with pictures, descriptions, and prices to help find the ideal apartment.

    In addition, you can even set up email alerts so that you are notified every time new apartments become available in your desired area.

    Here are a few real estate websites where to find apartments for rent online:

    • Craigslist
    • Zillow
    • Rentcafe
    • Realtor
    • Trulia

    Consider Virtual Tours Before Visiting the Apartment in Person

    Do you have any idea how long apartment tours take? A virtual apartment tour allows you to get insights into an apartment in a new city before wasting time by visiting it in-personi. The immersive aspect of these tours can certainly assist you in determining whether or not the apartment is worth visiting in-person.

    Virtual tours can also be used to view properties immediately that have recently been advertised and to preview units before needing to hop in your vehicle and spend time and money getting there. A virtual tour provides panoramic shots of your potential apartment and allows you to explore it with 360-degree views.

    Make a note of the units that meet your apartment search checklist standards, then make an appointment to see them in-person.

    If You’re Doubtful, Use a Real Estate Agent

    A rental agent is a trusted resource for anyone looking to buy, sell, or rent a property. They can help you with every step of the process of renting an apartment, from how to shop for apartments to negotiating on price. When you work with a professional, you can be sure that they are knowledgeable and experienced so that your interests are protected during the rental process.

    Keep in mind that for a good realtor, this is not just a part-time job for them, it’s their livelihood. They are fully dedicated to finding your desired apartment quickly, efficiently, and with as little hassle as possible. The catch is that you will need to pay them a service fee to find you a preferred new place. They will find listings, customize the apartment search, and schedule showings for you.

    Visit if Possible

    For people who want to rent an apartment, there is not enough time to see all that are on the market. Virtual tours and agents will help you find a great apartment, but the best way to find out if it’s the perfect one for you is by going on a tour in-person, preferably with a friend or family member who has similar taste in homes and styles as you do. Physically visiting and viewing apartments will help you make a better choice, especially if you can’t decide what to pick.

    Ask the Landlord as Many Questions as Possible

    It’s important to fully understand the apartment you want to live in and the neighborhood it is in, so it is important to know what to ask when apartment hunting.

    You could be spending an awful lot of time at home, and it’s important to make sure that you like the area. The neighborhoods in a new city can vary so much, with some being safer than others. Some might be great for families, while others are better for singles or couples without children.

    With that said, the best way to know what your neighborhood is like and where you want to live is by speaking not just with the management company, but also with current residents and researching the area. Be sure that’s what you want for an apartment because after signing a lease, there’s no wiggle room for negotiating the terms.

    Tips for Spending Less on Rent

    Renting an apartment in a new city can be expensive, not to mention the moving costs alone. So let’s go over some areas that can help you save:

    Find a Roommate

    There are various ways you can find yourself in a circumstance where you need to split the rent. Finding a roommate is a smart decision if you are a recent graduate who cannot afford your place or if you are searching for an opportunity to meet new people and make acquaintances in your neighborhood.

    Consider Negotiating Rent

    The rent price is not set in stone! This means that just because someone tells you a price at an open house, it doesn’t guarantee how much it will cost in the end. It’s feasible to work out a better arrangement with the property manager. For instance, sometimes paying bigger rent payments upfront can result in a cheaper monthly cost.

    Find Prospective Apartments During Winter

    Want to know what is the best month to look for an apartment? The demand for housing is low during the winter months. With people less willing to move and relocate during this colder time, the demand for housing dips, and prices decrease. Low prices and high availability mean that this is a great time to rent an apartment, buy a home, or even invest in real estate.

    Final Thought

    An apartment hunt can be overwhelming, and needs careful planning. It is important to remember that finding a place that suits your needs takes persistence and patience.

    Research the area where you want to live. Look for apartment listings that are available in your price range on real estate websites, and you should also take into account the neighborhood where the property is located:

    Lastly, make sure you have all of your details during the application, such as bank statements, credit score, and references. If you get accepted and become successfully relocated, also do not forget to change your home address.

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