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Lyd Explains: Finding an Apartment

Looking for a new apartment can be as exciting as it is terrifying. Moving a lot over the last few years, I have learned a few things to make each move less disruptive so I can enjoy! 

How to Budget for Apartment Rent

  • To plan a rent budget - start with your income after taxes 
    • subtract your debt payments and food budget 
    • subtract estimates for your utilities and other monthly bills
    • From your remaining funds decide how much to plan for rent 
    • Also consider post rent expenses like entertainment and travel too 
  • Common rule is 30% of your income - be conservative at around 20%, if possible 
  • Confirm what monthly fees are charged in ADDITION to the rent - these can add $50 to $300 to your monthly rent payment - consider these in your rent budget 
  • Best ways to lower your rent is to downsize or get a roommate (parents count too)! These can be game changers in managing your living costs.

Where to Look for a New Apartment

  • Start looking around 6 months before a planned move, in case there are waitlists 
  • Select a convenient area - close to work, family and your common activities 
  • Where to find apartment listings
    • Search Apartment websites - these may not show all apartment locations 
    • Search "Apartments" in Maps in an area you like - you'll be surprised more will pop up than the Apartment websites - check the websites of the apartments directly for openings
    • Drive around in the area you like
    • Read reviews - in the local area and the apartment property 
  • Be suspicious and look out for scams - call direct 
    • Search for the address to confirm the direct listing group/owners 
    • Sign leases after seeing meeting in person, seeing the property and checking reviews

Planning for Moving Costs

  • Prep for move-in deposits 
  • Clean out un-needed and un-used items - less to pack and move 
  • Packing supplies can be found in home improvement stores or recycled boxes from retail 
  • Finding movers to move for you - I recommend it - for my time, gas and renting a truck myself

Move-In Prep 

  • Plan furniture placement in the new apartment 
  • At move in video everything and report any issues 
  • Bomb your apartment yourself, for pest control 
  • Take your time moving in, do another donation batch if needed for things that don't fit 
What are your favorite apartment finding tips? and even goals for your next move? Keep these in mind and you'll stay on track! 

Thanks for reading!