The first is whether you have someone who would be willing to co-sign on the apartment. Since my credit history wasn't that good and I didn't have a lot of money, I had to ask my parents to co-sign on the studio apartment I selected.
The next was I needed to be sure I had state issued identification or birth certificate and social security information until I got new ID (if you are out of the country you will need to show your passport), at least six months proof of income, and checking and savings information. Do find out what is needed before you arrive.
Third, I had to save money for a security deposit. So upon arrival I needed an application fee. The leasing consultant said she could hold the apartment for about a week with a small deposit that would go toward the rent. However, I needed to have the prorated first month's rent and a security deposit prior to move-in. Depending on credit history, a company might ask you for two or three months rent prior to move-in.
Fourth, if my parents hadn't helped me move, I would have had to pay moving expenses. Do shop around if you plan on hiring a company to help you move. Also, check for discounts and coupons. When I moved later in life, the local newspaper and Pennysaver was helpful. I saved much money.
Lastly, be sure you budget for things like gas, water, trash, electricity, phone, cable, etc. Find out what you will need to pay for in advance. Don't sign any paperwork until you know where your money is going. Read the fine print. Also, do not feel pressured to sign everything quickly ask the leasing consultant to give you some time to review the contracts at the office with a loved one or roommate. Most companies will not allow you to take the leasing contract away from the site, just the application and other material about the community.
Overall, my first transition from parent's home to my own studio apartment went smoothly. The leasing consultant was kind and patient. I took the time to tour the suite a couple of times before I moved in. I paid attention to the exterior and interior of the building. I checked for any signs of insects and rodents. I also observed the residents and neighbors.
I had a set time to move-in and arrived early. I followed the rules given to me and didn't cause any issues. The neighbors were friendly. I also maintained a tidy apartment and when issues arose, I called the leasing office as soon as possible. I paid my rent on time each month and I kept in mind that my parents co-signed on a studio for me, so I didn't want to do anything to negatively impact their credit. My job paid me bi-weekly so I saved part of my rent out of one check and part of the other out of the next check. Any additional money that wasn't spent was put away in case of future emergencies. I listed all my expenses from laundry to creditors. I knew each month how much money was going out and coming in. I made extra money freelancing my writing and typing skills.
Here's to your future move! Stay safe and once again read the fine print!
Nicholl McGuire Apartment Leasing Tips Blog Owner