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Choosing between becoming a renter or a homeowner is a big decision when you are looking to move. Renting is a good option for anyone who moves often, has a small household, or is looking to save some money before buying a house. Buying a house is a big financial step, so here are a few tips to help you out in your current life as a renter, from the process of apartment hunting to signing the lease, and so on.
1. Don’t Forget Your Paperwork
When you are visiting potential apartments and meeting with landlords, make sure to bring everything you need with you. Some essential paperwork you should remember to bring are a completed application, references, your credit report, and some form of identification. Forgetting to bring this to a meeting might give the landlord the impression that you are careless or forgetful – not qualities they are looking for in a tenant!
2. Carefully Review the Lease
Although you may be elated about moving into your new apartment, it is essential that you read the lease thoroughly before signing it. Read the large print, the fine print – everything on the page. Without reading the lease, you won’t know what you’re agreeing to and may be surprised when your landlord calls you out for painting the walls in your bedroom – something you would not have done if you read the lease and saw the rule against painting the apartment.
3. Find a Roommate
One of the simplest ways to save money is to have someone to split the rent with. It makes a big difference when your rent for the month is split in half, allowing you to save more money. In addition, you can split other bills for things you both use, such as internet and cable.
If you are reluctant to live with a roommate, just remember to have an open mind and think of all the benefits of having a roommate. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that you are not stuck with an undesirable roommate:
- Move in with someone you know, whether it’s a friend, a family member or an acquaintance. If you know what kind of person they are, their living habits might not catch you completely off-guard.
- Hold interviews with potential roommates to get a feel for their personality. This way, you can get to know them better and ask questions about their lifestyle. This will give you a better idea of how compatible you will be as roommates.
- Find a roommate online using websites like roommates.com or Craigslist. People post on these websites regularly, which allows you to find someone as soon as possible.
4. Protect your Security Deposit
To ensure that you get your security deposit back when you move out, follow your building’s rules and policies and do not cause any damage to your apartment. If some mishap occurs, make sure you fix it before moving out. When moving out, return everything in the apartment to the way it was when you moved in. This should be enough to ensure that you receive your security deposit.
To avoid any misunderstandings with your landlord, do a walk-through of the apartment with them as soon as you move in. As you go through the apartment, record any pre-existing damage for your and your landlord’s records. By doing so, you are ensuring that you do not get blamed for damage caused by previous tenants. Make notes on the apartment’s overall condition, and be as specific as possible!
5. Look into Renters Insurance
Although it may seem like a waste of money, renters insurance can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Your landlord is responsible for insuring your apartment in the case of a fire or other disaster. They are not responsible for insuring your personal belongings – that responsibility lies on you. Whether or not you want to take action is your choice.
The money you spend per month on renters insurance will protect you from having to replace all of your belongings if anything happens. Your monthly payment may seem like just another expense, but in the end, it will be a lifesaver when you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to replace your belongings.
Apartments for Rent in Dulles, VA
If you are looking to rent in a place where everything you need is a short walk or drive away, Lerner Remington is the place for you! Our central location of Dulles, VA, makes it easy for our residents to enjoy a day on the town, full of shopping, dining and entertainment options. To learn more, take a virtual tour today or call us at (703) 436-5801.