Mistakes you don’t want to make:
– Only going once (or not at all) to the complex before renting an apartment. Visit several times, at different times of the day. Check the place over completely. Don’t rely on what you see on the Internet — see the place in person.
– Not checking out the entire complex. You go to the apartment, love the kitchen, sign the lease. But what about the pool area filled with rowdy teenagers, the junky cars in the far lot, the party animals living across the hall, and the rude office staff?
– You didn’t read the contract. Read it. It may be boring, but read it anyway. If you don’t understand it, take it to someone who does.
– The place is how much?!? Don’t rent a place you can’t afford. Your rent should be about 30 percent of your monthly income – tops. Don’t forget you’ll have to pay utilities and living expenses. Who wants to eat Ramen Noodles every night?
– You didn’t check out the neighborhood. Drive around; get a feel for the community. Find the fun stuff to do – the mall, the farmer’s market, the jogging trail. And if you don’t feel safe in the neighborhood, don’t rent an apartment in the middle of it.
– Who needs renter’s insurance? You do! Don’t assume you’ll never need it – get it.