How to Rent Your First Apartment

Renting your first apartment can be intimidating. There are many types to choose from, and with each apartment, there are different amenities that are included. Each apartment will also have a different environment because of the location. 

Choosing the perfect apartment to live in requires additional work before you sign any papers. If this is your first time renting an apartment, there are a few things to do before you decide on an apartment. We will tell you everything you need to know about how to rent your first apartment. 

How to Rent Your First Chicago Apartment

As you look for your perfect first Chicago apartment, there are several things to do before finalizing your choice. 

Set a Budget

Setting a budget before you decide on your first apartment is an important step, as Chicago isn’t the cheapest place in the United States. When you’re creating a budget, be sure to also factor in utility costs, security deposits, and move-in fees.

Pick a Neighborhood

The Chicago neighborhood you move into will play a huge role in your quality of life. If you find you don’t like your neighborhood, your apartment won’t feel any better. Do some research on the surrounding area before deciding on an apartment. You should also consider that you will pay differently in each neighborhood and how that works with your budget. Apartments in Lincoln Park, along with apartments in Lakeview, are some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city.  

Watch for Deals

When it comes to apartment hunting in Chicago, you might find that apartments are out of your budget. If this is the case for you, you can look for those rental buildings that are offering incentives, such as reduced rents or a month’s free rent, so your apartment is more affordable.  

Search Online and on Foot

Because we live in a modern age, the internet is a great tool to use in your first apartment search. When it comes to Chicago, you might find signs that are advertising places for rent. However, for more success or increasing your renting options, online searching can be a great help. Using online searches is even more important when you’re unfamiliar with the area. There are many websites out there that you can use when you’re looking to rent your first apartment. It is best to look at directly at the property management company’s website when checking out apartments. 

See the Apartment in Person

Before you make your final decision on your first apartment, visit the rental properties you are considering. This step is important for several reasons. First, when you tour each site, it will allow you to meet the property owner and on-site manager, so you know you’re getting what was promised from online. Second, seeing your potential properties lets you watch for signs of water damage, which can be a problem in Chicago, as well as other signs of damage. If a landlord agrees to do repairs, make sure you get it in writing. Third, when you visit in-person, you can take in your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Can you see yourself being happy in the area? 

Be Ready with your Documents

Especially when it comes to renting your first apartment, don’t feel pressured by a landlord to sign a lease too quickly, especially if you still have questions or reservations. If you find everything looks great, move fast, as chances are, you are not the only person interested in the property.

If everything looks good, you should be prepared with all of your necessary documents (for example, photo identification, application fees, deposits, etc.). Also keep in mind that move-in fees is a common thing among Chicago landlords. Those move-in fees tend to be several hundred dollars and you usually won’t get them back when you move out. 

Know your Rights as a Tenant

If you find there is a problem with your new apartment, make sure you report the problem to your landlord as soon as you can. Another tip is to keep a paper trail of the communication of your problem, for example, through text, email, or letter. 

Places to Rent Near Me

Because of the size of Chicago, there are many rental options. Whether you’re a student, professional, or family, you can find apartments from an array of sizes and prices. 

SRE Holdings can help you find affordable housing no matter where you find yourself wanting to live in Chicago. For example, if you’re interested in renting a place on the north side of Chicago, you can look into Lincoln Park. If you’re a student at DePaul University, SRE Holdings can help you find an apartment near the school.

No matter what your situation is, you can find the perfect apartment to rent in Chicago.   

Rental Housing

Rental housing is slightly different than being a homeowner. Both owning and renting have advantages, but before deciding among the two, consider your current circumstances. 

If you’re looking into owning a home, remember that it is a financial commitment that requires you to plan ahead. Before making a choice, ask yourself what your financial situation is and what your housing budget looks like. 

Another question to ask yourself is where you see yourself in the next few years. If you plan on staying long in the area, you might consider becoming a homeowner. However, if you know you’ll be moving within a couple of years, renting might be the better option for your situation. 

Keep in mind that every place costs different. Chicago, for example, isn’t the cheapest place to live. In some places, it might be cheaper to buy than rent. For this reason, choose the option that fits the best with your goals and finances. 

If you’ve found that rental housing is the better option for you, you should take some things into consideration. First, do you have poor credit? When you rent an apartment, your credit score can affect your chances of getting your desired apartment. Your credit score helps your landlord determine if you’ll be able to pay your rent on time, so having a good credit score can increase your chances of landing the apartment you want.

Next, renter’s insurance isn’t usually required, but it’s great to have if something happened to your apartment, such as flooding or a break-in. 

If you’re new to the renting scene, SRE Holdings can help you find the right place for you to rent. Contact us today!

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