What First Time Renters Should Know: College Edition

first time renters moving inWith a diploma in hand and aspirations a mountain high, we know you are preparing for one of the most memorable times of your life. Among your new found independence and career, many of you will be searching for a place to call your own. Your first home is definitely an exciting experience! Here are some valuable tips to consider should you choose to rent your first apartment home:

1. Search the web.

You have lots of options! Many websites and apps have hundreds of listings for you to view.
Websites: LewisApartments.com, Apartments.com, Zillow, Apartment Guide, and Craigslist
Apps: Apartment List, Zumper, Padmapper, or RadPad
If those aren’t really your style, feel free to check physical locations or simply just do a Google search!

2. Have a location in mind.

Location, Location, Location! Begin your search with a location that will fit your lifestyle and nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Take into consideration the amount of time it would take to drive, bike, walk to get to the places you need to go to.

3. Tour the apartment community.

If you have an opportunity to have a personal tour of the community, take it! This is your chance to connect with the Leasing Consultant, see what the community has to offer and view the inside of an apartment. Many communities have ready-to-go model apartments set up with gorgeous furniture but it is also useful to see a vacant apartment or even better the actual apartment you’re looking to rent!

LAC renter model apartments and homes - first time renters

4. Leasing Consultants Are Your “Person”!

If you have any questions or hesitations, speak to the apartment communities’ Leasing Consultant directly over the phone, in the leasing office, or out on tour! A Leasing Consultant’s goal is to provide all info needed to ensure that the apartment fits your needs.

Here are some questions to get your conversation started with the Leasing Consultant:

  • Do you have on-site maintenance?
  • What are the parking options?
  • Are utilities like electricity, water, and gas included?
  • What internet service and amenities are available?
  • How are the after-hours requests handled?
  • What are the available lease term lengths?
  • Where the location of the vacant apartment?
  • What are your pet policies?

5. Consider bedroom size.

Although 2 bedroom apartments seem to be the standard, many offer studio or 1 bedroom apartments. If living alone doesn’t suit your style ask about “Dual Master” bedroom floor plans, which are available at many of our own Lewis Apartment Communities. Dual Master layouts provide both parties with their own master bedroom, master bath, and closets!

6. Inquire about on pet policies.

Thinking about bringing a new furry companion to your new apartment? Be sure to ask about pet policies that could include breed and weight restrictions, pet rent, pet deposits, and pet amenities. Yes, there are pet amenities like dog parks, pet stations, dog washes, and even an indoor doggy spa at our Latitude 39 community.

security deposit, co signers, pets, first time renters

7. Be prepared for a credit and background check.

Many communities will run a credit and background check on anyone over the age of 18. Many first time renters with young credit go the route of getting a co-signer or guarantor. If this is an option for you, be sure to ask about co-signer qualifications and the process of removing one down the road.

8. Know your security deposit.

Almost all apartments require a security deposit so factor one into your total move in cost. Inquire about the amount because it can be as low as $500 or as high as the rent – either way, it’s definitely an important aspect to take note of. The security deposit amount may also depend on income or credit status.

9. Understand the lease terms.

Knowing the terms of your lease is important because not all apartments leases have to be a 12-month lease. Lewis Apartments Communities offer 1-14 month lease terms depending on the community. Don’t assume you have to be locked into a year-long lease, so feel free to ask your Leasing Consultant and explore your options. In the event that you have to break a lease, inquire about any buyout options ahead of time. You never know what new exciting opportunity may come available where you’ll need to move! 

Schedule an apartment tour today by visiting our website!

Happy Apartment Hunting!
Here’s to the beginning of new found independence 😊

Read More: Lewis Apartment Communities Events Just for Residents

We hold events just for you! Our residents get a chance to connect with their neighbors at a variety of our activities that range from tacos by the pool to beach trips. Click here to learn more!

About the Author:

Amy Trinh is currently a Marketing Psychology and Digital Art student at Whittier College. Amy began at the Lewis Group Of Companies – one of the nations largest privately held real estate development companies, in summer of 2017 as a Marketing Intern where she creates graphics and blog content. When she is not on the computer, you can usually find her exploring sunny Southern California with a camera in hand or at Disneyland.