Communication is KEY!
Steps you can take to help you make a "smooth-move"?
1. ESTABLISH OUR RENTAL BUDGET.
A general rule of thumb is that you should never pay more than 30 percent of your take-home pay on housing, including utilities, Internet and cable. If you have limited funds and are finding it difficult to find an apartment within your budget, you may want to consider getting a roommate to share expenses.
2. EXPLORE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
Think about what you need (for example, grocery store, gym, public transportation) and how far you’re willing to travel for it. If you’re not working nearby, you’ll also need to consider your commute to and from the office.
3. MUST-HAVES.
Determine which amenities are must-haves and which are conveniences you can live without. Keep in mind that you may need to make some concessions to stay within your budget. Some common must-have apartment amenities include on-site or in-unit laundry, a dishwasher, parking spot (or two if you have a roommate), an outdoor space, air conditioning, fitness center or community pool.
4. TOUR.
Remember you will be making a first impression on a potential landlord, so be sure you look presentable and show up to apartment tours on time. Turn on all the faucets to make sure the pressure is to your liking. Check the locks on the doors and windows of the apartment to ensure they work properly. If there is laundry on-site, ask to see the facility to make sure it is conveniently located and you feel safe.
5. READ YOUR LEASE.
As you read through your apartment lease, make sure it answers the following questions: Are pets allowed, and if so, is there a deposit or pet rent required? Are there restrictions on the number of roommates? What is the apartment maintenance process? Are you allowed to make any customizations, like hanging shelves or painting walls? Which utilities are you responsible for paying? What are the consequences of breaking your lease before the term is up?.