renting your first apartment

An Apartment Search Guide to Renting Your First Place

Renting your first apartment can be pretty exciting. You’re looking forward to having your own place, new neighbors and a new view, but then there’s the whole moving thing you have to deal with first. It can be a pain — boxes and boxes (and more boxes), heavy furniture, endless packing and then unpacking. Here are some pointers on renting your first apartment that might make things a little easier.

  • Find an apartment. Okay, okay — so this one’s obvious. But we had to put it in here, as it’s essential to you actually renting your first apartment, and because you want to do it right. Rent an apartment that you’ll be happy living in. Consider location, size, price and amenities. Figure out what’s important to you and rent an apartment you can call home. Other things to consider are whether the apartment complex will allow you to have pets, whether it’s a smoke-free apartment and the length of the lease.
  • Set up necessary utilities for your first apartment. You’ll want to ask your apartment manager or other relevant person about which utilities you need to set up before moving in. It’s different for every place, but you may need to, for example, call the electric company and the gas company to set up service so that the lights and hot water will be working on the day you move in. You can also ask about cable, phone and internet services. It’s ideal to find out about these things at least a couple of weeks in advance to be absolutely sure you’ll have them when you move in. This is one of the primary problems for people who are renting their first apartment; they’re usually unfamiliar with these delays.
  • Get furniture for your new apartment. If you’re renting your first apartment, you’re going to need some stuff to furnish it so you at least have a place to sleep and sit. There are many ways to go about this, like getting hand-me-down furniture from family and friends, going to thrift stores, renting furniture or buying new furniture. Measure the pieces to make sure they’ll fit where you want them to.
  • On the day you’re moving into your first apartment, you’ll need a way to get everything there. Decide how you’ll go about doing this by planning in advance. You may need to rent a truck, hire a moving company or ask a friend or two for help. Having your belongings packed safely into boxes can make loading and unpacking easy, especially if you clearly mark your moving boxes. Also, confirm with your landlord what’s required to get the keys to your first apartment on move-in day. You wouldn’t want to show up with a truckload of your belongings only to be turned away.
  • Once you’re moved in, it’ll take some time and effort to make your new home feel like home. Decorating your first apartment can be really fun and it can show off your personality.

These are just a few of the many things you’ll need to take care of when you’re renting your first apartment. Don’t miss our Moving Checklist, which is a great way to organize the tasks related to your move so you don’t forget anything. Happy renting!