Mistakes to look out for as an American first-time apartment renter

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

May 10, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Millennials are pouring out of higher educational institutions today looking for apartment rental options. Passionate about not returning home to live with mom and dad, even though millennials are living home longer than any other generation, the average college grad today is sifting the expensive apartment waters – and they’re choppy. Finding an apartment after college is a big undertaking; it can be hard to know where to start when looking through a stack of listings and comparing it to the lackluster income from an entry-level position.

In order to avoid falling victim to some of the common traps when first looking for an apartment, check out these pointers provided by Realtor.com:

1. Preparation
Contrary to most things in life, realtors actually recommend starting the apartment search only 3 to 4-weeks prior to move-in. By starting the search months in advance, the likelihood of finding a dream apartment and losing it to another tenant with an earlier move-in date increases.

2. Underestimating costs
The safest bet here is to always overestimate what the costs are going to be at the end of the month. It’s best to factor in rent, utilities, transportation, travel fees, food, and other predictable expenses. When you get to a total, inflate it to know what your possible ceiling could be when crosschecked with your income.

3. Only considering rent
To continue the previous point’s topic, there are many more expenses that go into living in an apartment than simply rent. If your paycheck is just barely covering your rent, let alone unforeseen expenses, you may want to consider a living space more complementary to your income.

4. Credit check
Unfortunately, most landlords require either a credit check on yourself or on your parents if they are your guarantors. It’s best to start the conversation with your parents now about what kind of credit they have.

Jacqui Poor
About Jacqui Poor 102 Articles
Jacqui is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist, television producer, writer, director and voice over talent. She’s earned thirteen Emmy Awards, forty-two Emmy Nominations, fifty-three Telly Awards, and two Aurora Awards. Jacqui currently produces feature stories, short documentaries and live educational interactive simulcast specials for HEC-TV. As a writer/director, three of her short documentaries were featured in the St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase. During the Fall semesters, Jacqui is a guest expert for Washington University’s Denise Ward Brown grant funded, Tale of Two Cities: Documenting Our Divide film-making class. Jacqui has also penned numerous articles and stories for magazines and Journal publications.