Renting First Apartment

Renting first apartment. Rental history is very important, so be responsible with your first apartment. If you are renting your first apartment, you may not have built up much of a credit history yet. You...

If you are renting your first apartment, you may not have built up much of a credit history yet. You may have to find a co-signer that is willing to sign your lease with you. Get someone you can trust, and that is close to you in case you ever need help. Our apartment locating expert, Jerry Yelvington is a real estate agent for Avery Windsor Properties, trained and licensed in real estate and in the insurance business, says the biggest piece of advice he can give for first time renters is do your research and know what you are getting into.

"Well, you know the sad thing I see in the industry is that some locators will just take somebody somewhere if they don't know a lot of properties just to make a quick commission. They should be shown a wide variety of properties and price ranges. You need to ask questions about service related issues at the apartment. Ask how fast things are fixed. Does management live on site and do the maintenance people live on site? First time renters should probably be concerned with paying their rent on time. They want to make sure they have a good reference when they leave," Yelvington says.

Once you rent your first apartment or house, you will then have accumulated a housing credit history. If you play your cards right, and are a good tenant. You can always use your first landlord as a reference the next time you move.

"When you go to the second one and you have a good rental history you're set. Of course, being a first time renter you want to make sure your first rental is a positive experience and not a disaster. The rental history is important," Yelvington says.

Here are some other tips, first time renters can use when looking for a place to live:
Don't be shy -- start with the obvious -- word-of-mouth. Ask friends or coworkers for ideas on where to look for an apartment. Professional resources include real estate agents or apartment locating services. The usual charge for this service is the equivalent of one month's rent, which is paid by either you or your new landlord. Find out who is responsible, and get it in writing.

If you have time, you can check the classified ads in your newspaper. But you'll save time and money, and rule out unacceptable apartments, if you keep in mind that some ads have been embellished.

When you call about an ad, insist that the landlord define terms you don't understand For example, cute may mean tiny, and prestigious can be another word for expensive. For more references, try your local Chamber of Commerce; you'll find the number in your local Yellow Pages.

In the end, take someone you trust when searching for a place to live. If you are young take a parent or someone who has experience renting homes. They can make sure you do not get taken advantage of, and remind you of what you need versus what you want. Look for a housing situation you can afford. Yelvington says nothing is more important. Remember you are building your credit, so you need to make the best possible choice based on your finances.

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