Moving is a big deal. It takes a lot of time and energy and can be quite stressful. What is your budget? Are you close to work? Is it a family friendly community? What are the pet policies? Does the building match my needs? There is a lot to consider and think about when looking for a new place to move. But before you lock yourself into a rental agreement, there are 5 things to consider before signing a lease.
1. Be mindful of your budget.
The budget you set when you begin looking for apartments needs to match your income and expenses. Stay firm on your budget! Even if you fall in love with an apartment that falls a bit outside of your budget, don’t get distracted by the amenities, with security deposits, first month rent and any additional fees, moving is expensive. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you may not be able to pay rent down the road. While MCLife has a Rent Rescue Program and Life Interruption Relief, it is still best to stay within your means.
2. Read the fine print.
Are utilities included? Are there hidden fees I wasn’t told about upfront? When reading through the lease, ask questions if something doesn’t make sense! Make note of all additional fees and rules included in the lease. If you were promised a certain rental rate, or any special allotments while speaking to your leasing agent, make sure they are in the lease. What you have been told should match your lease agreement.
3. Know the rules.
Never assume your new apartment is like one you’ve lived in before. Every apartment community has different guidelines and rules. Cover your bases. Ask if you can hang art on the walls, ask if you can have furniture or plants on your patio. What are the rules for shared spaces like clubhouses, pool areas and lounges? You want to put your best foot forward and maintain a positive relationship with leasing staff, maintenance and neighbors so knowing what isn’t allowed is a good way to start.
4. Parking: Where and How Much?
One thing people often forget is parking. Depending on where you move, there may only be street parking with various restrictions, city permits required and more. Ask your leasing agent about this. Will you have your own designated parking space? Do you pay extra for covered parking? Will you have to struggle with street parking every day? Parking can be a deal breaker for some so make sure you get these questions answered before showing up on move in day!
I’m sure you’ve heard that location is everything, but it really is! Don’t let aesthetics or amenities distract you when it comes to location. It is important to know how long it will take to get to and from work, school or wherever you may have to take your children. If an apartment community means an hour long commute – that might be a deal breaker. You should also look at proximity to public transportation, parks and shops.
Remember these tips to help you make the best decisions when moving. We all want our moves to be as stressful and easy as possible and part of that is finding the right apartment for you. Don’t rush – take your time and sign the right lease for you! This blog has been brought to you by MCLife. With residential apartment communities in Phoenix, Tucson, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Tulsa, MCLife has something for everyone. Let us share the good life with you.