Roomi’s Guide For The First Time Renter

A bunch of first time renters living together in a house they are renting

The natural moving out of your parents’ home, and renting a house for the first time is very exciting. It comes with its own sense of freedom but also a remarkable set of responsibilities. These are the responsibilities that become an integral part of anyone’s adulthood. Being a first-time renter, then we can say, is a very big deal.

When the freedom of doing whatever you want, whenever you want it confluences with responsibilities like paying your own bills for services like utilities, that you are not used to paying for, becomes a grand juggling act for most. But the best part of most of these situations is the part when you find yourself figuring out patterns that work well for you.

We’re here to help you make the transition (somewhat) easier. These are just some basic tips, that if remembered correctly, can be integral in making the transition as smooth as possible.

Related: 10 Questions First-time Renters Need to Ask Before Moving to NYC

Budgeting is your best friend as a first time renter.

Saving is going to be your best friend, no matter what stage of life you are in. And at a time when you’re a first-time mover, putting together an apartment budget can help you in ways none of us can anticipate beforehand. Continuing and keeping up with the budget you create even after you have settled in is a wonderful way of making up for those days when making rent can be a little tougher. Additionally, unprecedented house costs like a small repair, a necessary home item, and more.

The golden rule of saving says you must never spend more than you can afford on your living – this is often accomplished by abiding by the 50/30/20 rule. Spend no more than 30% of your total income on rent.

And finally, remember to include all of your monthly living expenses in your budget – and make sure to add a bracket for unexpected costs as well. Starting out with a roommate will also allow you to split some essentials, thus helping you save further.

Related: Should I Move To New York City?

Listing your needs can create a lot of clarity when renting a house for the first time.

This checklist will basically get you through the apartment scouting process, and without it, the whole process would be as crazy as one can imagine. Here’s where understanding the difference between your apartment needs vs apartment wants also comes into play.

Your needs are your must-haves, those that you absolutely cannot do without when renting a house for the first time.

For instance, if you don’t own a car, you might want to find a place within walking distance of public transport. Similarly, those that have a pet would want to consider a place that a) allows pets and b) has the kind of space needed for you and your fur buddy.

What you want on your list are those things that would essentially be the cherry on top of your ideal home. Maybe you want a gym within the apartment complex, or uh, chrome finishes .

Related: How to Manage Finances When You Share an Apartment

Taking a tour of the place is helpful for one too many reasons.

While the pandemic pushed most of us into viewing and reviewing everything online, a good old-fashioned tour will shine light on those aspects that you wouldn’t think of reviewing a place online. An unwritten rule of moving into a new place is scouting the neighborhood, so you get a sense of the layout, what’s really close by and what isn’t, the neighborhood community, the amenities around your place, etc.

Make sure to ask all questions to the property manager. Nothing you come up with is unessential considering you are thinking of moving in.

Some examples include the following:

  • When is the neighborhood at its loudest/quietest?
  • What are the property rules for pets?
  • When is trash collected?
  • What are the water hours, if any?
  • What the parking situation is like?

Talk to a fellow renter.

It is always recommended to speak with a pre-existing renter in the area that you might be narrowing down on. The logic is simple yet effective, they’re already living in the complex/neighborhood you are looking at and they pretty much will tell you the ins & outs as well as the quirks of the place, if any.

You can bring up the same questions to them as you did with the property manager, to figure out any inconsistencies, and verify the actual value of your place.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers figure their way around being a first time renter? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!