Apartment hunting? 5 things to consider

by Emaryi Williams-

(Photos Source: Mastersenaiper/Pixabay)

As inflation rises in almost every aspect of American life, including housing, renting an apartment is starting to look unrealistic for some. According to Virginia Realtors, rental demand and prices for apartments are on the rise. Early preparation is important if you are thinking of finding an apartment.

In no particular order, here are five things to have or consider before renting: 

  1. Budget

According to Capital One, it is a general rule to have a job that pays three times your rent, and most landlords even require it for renting. This will be key in trying to set your budget. According to Citizens Bank, one common budget plan is the 50/30/20 Budget Rule, which divides your income into needs, wants and savings respectively.

  1. Savings

With the numerous upfront costs that accompany a newly acquired apartment like furniture and appliances, aspiring renters need to have money readily available. The exact amount of money is subjective to the potential apartment and additional charges, but Supermoney says that the average person should have $5,000 to $8,000 in their bank account before moving.

  1. Security deposit and application fees

To get through the application process, there are two main fees of which potential renters will need to be aware. According to Virginia tenant law, a landlord is required to charge tenants a security deposit, which is a maximum of two months’ rent. Potential renters will also need to make sure they are aware of the application fees. In Virginia, laws limit application fees to $50. 

  1. Credit score

Fixing a poor credit score cannot happen overnight, so making sure you have a good score is something you want to do well in advance of looking for a new apartment. According to Flex Finance Inc., the more competitive the market is, the higher your credit score will need to be with the following ranges:

  • Exceptional: 800 – 850
  • Very Good: 740 – 799
  • Good: 670 – 739
  • Fair: 580 – 669
  • Poor: 300 – 579

If you have a bad credit score, you may need to look into a co-signer.

  1. Required documents

According to Apartmentguide, there are standard documents that you will need to provide your potential landlord. Other than providing your social security number, you will need to provide proof of employment with paystubs/bank statements, a government-issued ID, vehicle registration (for a parking pass) and rental history.

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