8 Tips for Choosing Your First Studio to Rent
By David Raymond Southall Google+
“Adulting” can feel overrated at times. The responsibilities. The pressures. The feeling of being out on your own with no safety net.
You’re on your own for the first time, and you may feel overwhelmed with the choices you now need to make. Finding a place to live doesn’t have to be one of them.
Let’s take a look at 8 great tips for choosing your first studio to rent.
Tip 1: Create a Budget… And Stick to It!
When looking for a studio to rent, you’ll want to know how much money you’ll need for the first year. This includes any bills that you might have initially overlooked.
Determine how much monthly income you’ll have, and create a monthly budget. Identify expenses such as:
- Car repairs
- Emergency fund
Get a clear idea of how much you can afford on rent and keep it at 30% or below your monthly income. Don’t waste time researching a studio to rent if you know you can’t afford it.
Tip 2: Consider Roommates
If you’re looking for a one-bedroom place, roommates may be beyond your comfort level. But if you’re considering a multiple bedroom flat, opt to bring in some extra financial help. You may also make a new best friend.
Tip 3: Prepare a Renter’s Resume
A renter’s resume is composed of things your building’s superintendent would need to determine if you’re a good fit. These include things such as:
- Names and contact information of your last landlords, if applicable
- Previous jobs to demonstrate your credibility in being able to support a lease agreement
- Personal references
- Proof of your monthly income
- A copy of your credit report
A potential landlord is looking for someone who will hold up his/her end of the deal in a lease. Above all, the landlord wants to avoid having to evict a tenant.
Tip 4: Read Before You Sign
When deciding on a studio to rent, it can be easy to get ahead of yourself. Maybe you tour the apartment, chat with the landlord, then hastily sign the lease without reading it thoroughly. This is an all-too-common newbie renter error.
As the tenant, it’s your responsibility to know everything your lease entails.
Take special note of:
- The dates on the leasing agreement
- The rental price agreed upon
- Rental deposit and any initial fees required upfront
- Pet expectations and requirements
- Grounds upon which the rental agreement can become void
- Consequences of moving out early
- Criteria for subleasing
- Any expectations for repairs, mowing the lawn, fixing damages
- Any requirement for renter’s insurance
- Guest rules such as parking, number of days they can stay at your place, etc.
Tip 5: Ask Questions Before You Sign
When searching for the perfect studio to rent, do your research and be fully informed before committing to a lease. Check out past renters through testimonials, online reviews or knocking on a door.
You can browse the FAQ page of the apartment complex. This may answer several of your questions and remind you to ask certain other ones yourself.
Tip 6: Know What to Look For
When inspecting your studio to rent, you’ll want to take notice of a few key areas:
Walls and Window Fixtures
Inspect the walls and note whether they’re thin or thick, because this will determine how much of your neighbors’ business you hear. Also, consider outdoor walls’ position in relation to the sun. If it’s shaded for most of the day, it will stay cooler, which can be nice in the summer and annoying in the winter.
Check the windows to makes sure they shut properly. If the windows are deformed or have cracks that prevent you from being able to close them sufficiently, your heating/cooling bill will be affected.
Don’t be shy when checking the quality of the pipes. Note if they look old or are prone to leaks.
Sink and Shower Faucets, Shower Heads, Toilet
Inspect the hot and cold water to make sure the water heats in an adequate amount of time. Having to run your shower for 15 minutes before it gets warm, will quickly run up your water bill. Also, check the quality of the water pressure.
You may also want to test how the toilet flushes. Does it run, wasting valuable water? Does it flush fully?
Major Appliances and Electricity
When inspecting your studio to rent, check refrigerators, light switches and any other devices in the home. Make sure the air conditioning and heater work sufficiently, as well. Ask about the typical monthly bill.
If you’re a student trying to study or a person who just prefers the quiet life, note the noise level, foot and car traffic, and party spots in the area. Ask other tenants and the landlord to get a clear idea of what you may be in for.
Tip 7: Make Friends With Your Landlord
This may go without saying, but you’ll be in better hands if you make an effort to be cordial to your landlord. Get on a first name basis, show gratitude and wave when he/she passes by.
Tip 8: Visualize Your Space
You’ll want to have a good idea of what you want to do with your studio space to select the one that’s right for you. Know how you want to decorate it and what you’ll need to make that happen.
For instance, do you need tall ceilings or an open kitchen with simple bar stools, or would you rather a cozy, smaller space with a formal dining table and chairs? Are you going to try to utilize robotic furniture to maximize your space?
Be clear on what you want and look for that.
Finding the Best Studio to Rent
Getting out on your own can be challenging at best and terrifying at worst. It can be made easier by getting help from reliable sources. To find out more about how you can find the best studio to rent, check us out at Heart-Is.