Our Most Popular Advice for First Time Apartment Hunters

Young woman sits on the floor around boxes holding a key in her handAs the spring apartment hunting season kicks into high gear, here are some of our most popular post for first time renters.

How much do you need to save before you can afford to rent an apartment? The short answer is about 10% of your annual salary, but check out these two posts here and here for how we came up with the amount.

And what about utilities: electric, cable, heat, a/c, phone?  How much do you need to budget for those in addition to your rent.  The answer depends whether you have roommates or go solo; with roommates about 10% on top of your rent, without roommates it could be as much as 20%.  The details are here.

Is your credit score high enough? If your FICO score is in the 650-700 range you should be fine. Under 600 may require a higher security deposit, and under 500 a guarantor. Here and  here are posts that explain credit scores.

How far in advance should you start looking? The answer depends largely on where you are looking.

When is the best time of the year to apartment hunt?  Alissa has found that each season has its pros and cons.

How do you make sure the landlord gives you the lease? The rental process you have to go through is similar to looking for a job, so take it seriously.  These seven tips will help you stand out in the crowd, and make the landlord pick you.

If we missed  your favorite post, let us know in the comments below.


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