We have been helping people find apartments for over 15 years and here are a few things you should think about
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Picking the right location is often the most important thing to many people. Choosing the right location has a number of considerations.
TRAFFIC AND COMMUTE TO YOUR WORKPLACE
It's important to consider how you will get from your apartment to your workplace. If you are not familiar with the drive, it's a good idea to give it a try during a morning and evening rush hour. Also if you have other destinations that you visit regularly such as family, close friends, hobbies and other non-work related interests, consider how they mix in your commute.
TO LIVE CLOSER IN TOWN...OR FURTHER OUT
Generally speaking, you will get more "value" the further out from town you live. That is to say you get more bang (a bigger apartment with more features) for your buck. However the trade off to being further out of town is often a longer commute time into town.
WHAT KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTERISTICS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
For example, you may enjoy a sprawling surburban feel with big box retail shopping and neighborhoods that are generally family-occupied. If you are living intown, you will find more specialty stores and neighborhoods likely to be filled with a diverse group of people.
Rents & Credit Policys
HOW MUCH RENT WILL YOUR CREDIT QUALIFY FOR?
Generally speaking, apartment owners want you to earn 3 to 4 times your monthly rent. If you have a roommate, you can include what they make also. However, income qualification policies can vary widely and change frequently without notice. Check with the apartment management before you apply.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CREDIT RATING
Policies on the use of credit rating services will vary from apartment to apartment. Different apartment owners place more weight on your credit than others. There are some, although not many, that may not even check your credit, but most do. It is not uncommon for people to have minor problems on their credit report. If you have never rented before or have more serious credit issues such as a bankruptcy, you may want to consider disclosing this in advance - some apartments will approve you and some won't.
If you think your credit puts you at risk for approval, be careful to make sure you understand the apartment's credit policy and their policy around application fees, leasing fees and deposits. You don't want to waste any money applying if you may be denied. Be sure to make sure you have a CLEAR AND WRITTEN understanding of how any money you pay in the application process is treated if you are not approved or change your mind. You can also use the sort tool on our site to sort your listings by lowest application fees and identify the apartments that have no or low application fees to minimize your lost application fee risk.
Application Fees, Leasing Fees & Deposits
It is very common for apartments to charge an application fee and/or a leasing fee. This will vary from apartment to apartment and most will not hold an apartment for you without some deposit. Before you apply, pay any fees or deposits, be sure you have a CLEAR and WRITTEN understanding of what will happen to your money if you are not approved or change your mind. It's also important when you do pay your security deposit that you have a CLEAR and WRITTEN understanding in your lease of the rules of return to you of your deposit.
I Like That
After you searched our site, found apartments that you like, and are ready to visit the properties, here are a few tips on the process and what to expect.
Call the property before you visit to confirm availability and pricing on the floor plans that interest you and consider the best time to visit. The busiest days for property are usually Saturday, Monday and Friday. When the property staff is busy, you may have to wait your turn for a meeting and property visit and generally speaking, you may just get less time and attention. The slowest days at the property are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If because of your schedule you need to visit on one of the busier days, it's best to plan to be there when the leasing office opens. Check the office hours on our site or call the property staff - it's best to avoid the lunchtime hours and not to show up at the end of the day. Also feel free to ask the agent who takes your call when it is best to visit.
When you arrive at the leasing office, generally you will be asked to complete a guest card. Be sure to write on your guest card that you are working with rentmoney. This is required to ensure you will get your cash back from us. It's how the apartments know to pay us and we can pay you.
Also remember, you will be required to present a government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport in order to see an apartment. Be sure to have this on hand.
LOOKING AT THE APARTMENT
If possible, you want to see the specific unit you will occupy or a unit like it. Sometimes this is not possible as it may not be vacant yet or it's not clean and ready to show. If it is occupied, you may want to request that they make arrangements with the occupant to see it. Some apartments will do this, some won't.
We are not attorneys and can not provide you legal counsel. Any lease agreement you sign is a serious BINDING LEGAL CONTRACT and you should read it carefully.
To qualify for your cash back, be sure and write rentmoney down as your referral source on the guest card, the application and your lease agreement