The Complete Guide to Finding an Apartment

finding an apartment

When you’re ready to look for a new place to call home, figuring out where to begin can be overwhelming.┬áThere’s no one-size-fits-all solution to finding an apartment. You’ll have many choices to make along the way, regardless of your situation

Here’s our complete guide to get you started on your apartment search.

Determine Your Budget

The first step in finding an apartment is to figure out your budget.

To do this, you’ll need to take a look at your monthly income. Traditional financial wisdom advises that you spend no more than thirty percent of your income on housing. However, in our modern society, that may not be the best benchmark for everyone.

Take an honest look at your current monthly bills and income to see what would feasibly work for your individual financial situation.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you’ll likely be required to pay a large sum as a way to secure the apartment. The laws surrounding these fees vary from state to state. You can expect to pay some combination of the first and last month of rent, plus a security deposit that is usually equal to a month of rent.

Pick a Location

Once you’ve figured out how much you can afford to spend on rent, you’ll need to narrow down where you’d like to live.

There are several factors to consider here. Do you want to move closer to work, or would you welcome a relaxing commute? Would you prefer to spend your evenings somewhere peaceful, or is a nearby nightlife a perk for you? Are nearby schools a consideration?

Make a list of your location wants and needs. When you figure out what you absolutely must have as opposed to what would just be nice, you can start to pinpoint your search.

Think About the Details

At this point when you’re finding an apartment, you’ll need to give some thought to the nitty-gritty details before moving forward.


What amenities do you need in an apartment? Do you want a washer and dryer in your apartment or at least on-site? A covered parking spot or swimming pool? Make a list of the must-haves and the nice-to-haves to take with you on your apartment search.

Pet Policy

If you’re among the sixty-eight percent of American households with a pet, you might have a little more to take into consideration.

There’s nothing worse than finding an apartment of your dreams only to discover pets aren’t allowed. Find out ahead of time if a prospective place welcomes fuzzy tenants, and whether you’ll be required to pay a pet deposit in case of damage.

Visit at least 3 to 5 apartments

Now that you know what you’re looking for, get a feel for a variety of options out there. Resist the urge to commit to the first apartment you see, even if it seems perfect.

When you have a few options, you’ll be able to figure out what will be best suited to your finances and lifestyle.

Conclusion: Finding an Apartment

When making a life-changing decision like choosing a new apartment, it’s important to be as thorough as possible. You’ll be glad you were when you’re comfortably settled in your perfect apartment.

Check out our blog to read more about apartment living.

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