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How to Ace Your First Place: A First-Time Renter’s Guide

How to Ace Your First Place: A First-Time Renter’s Guide

First-time rental guideYou may be done with school, but renting your first apartment is a lot like taking an exam; a certain amount of preparation must be done to ensure that you make the grade. Knowing what to expect, and planning for the unexpected, can make all the difference when you’re out on your own for the first time.

First, and probably most important, set a budget; ideally, rent should make up no more than 30 percent of your income. Make sure to start a contingency fund to save for unexpected expenses, and be prepared to shell out a considerable amount for a security deposit (this often this equals first month’s rent), utilities and fees for any extra amenities.

Be prepared to go through the application process. Have all the relevant information easily accessible, such as proof of employment, and allow enough time for a credit and background check to process. If you cannot provide a sufficient credit report or work history, a co-signer may be required to complete the lease agreement. In addition, you should always read everything on the lease. If you don’t understand or agree with something, speak up and have the landlord explain it to you; this will save you from a lot of headaches, and possible legal battles, down the road.

Communication is also key if you plan to live with roommates. Discuss who will pay for what and which chores will be completed each week. Again, write everything down and have each person sign it to ensure everyone is on the same page and that there will be no arguments when it comes time to take out the trash.

When the paperwork is out of the way, be sure to do a walk-through on moving day. Run quick tests to make sure everything is working properly and take pictures if you notice anything that requires maintenance. Write down and date all damages to avoid incurring any fees from issues that were present before you moved in, and have the landlord sign it.  Also, invest in renter’s insurance to protect your personal property from damages that may occur during your residency, such as fires, floods and robberies. It does not cost that much in the long run and, in some cases, can be cheaper when combined with your auto insurance.

While some of this advice may seem obvious, it is important to follow if you want to avoid possible legal issues or damage to your credit and friendships. Some other things to consider on the hunt for your first place would be to make a list of all your must-haves and deal breakers; consider safety factors and amenities such as in-home laundry, but remember to remain realistic since you are just starting out. When you do find that dream apartment, get a tour of the space in the evening when the neighbors will be home so you can assess the noise factor; nothing is worse than having a herd of elephants live above you. While you’re in your potential new home, it is also a good idea to check your phone reception as you go through the space and the complex so you know you won’t be missing any important calls. If you know you have to commute, drive from your prospective home to work and vice versa so that you understand exactly what you’re dealing with everyday during those rush hours.

Renting your first place may seem like a big step, but if you properly prepare and have realistic expectations, then there is no reason that the whole process should not run smoothly when you are ready to leave the nest. CT Best offers a number of apartments in Branford, Hamden, Norwalk and Stamford that will make your transition to independence an easy one. Conveniently located near major employers such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, Xerox Corporation, priceline.com and GE Capital, our apartments are perfect for those who desire an easy commute to work. For more information, visit www.ctbestapts.com.

To learn more about our rentals in the seaside town of Branford, stop by the leasing center at 57 Montoya Circle or call 203-208-0174; interested renters can also call or text Jennifer at 203-537-3172.

To learn more information about renting our apartments near the live, work, play community of Downtown Stamford, stop by the leasing center at 112 Hoyt Street or call 203-325-3848; interested renters can also call or text Desiree at 203-223-1665.

Learn how you can enjoy the best of both comfort and convenience at our Norwalk apartments by visiting the leasing center at 112 Hoyt Street in Stamford or calling 203-325-3848; interested renters can also call or text Nicole at 203-554-8684.

To learn more about our conveniently located Hamden apartments, stop by the leasing center at 1 Kaye Plaza in Hamden or call 203-281-0001; renters can also call or text Jessica at 203-448-9650 or Sam at 203-619-4576.


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