Have you ever felt like the universe is telling you you need a fresh start? Many of us get the urge to scrap everything and start over from time to time, but it can be challenging to know if this is just a fleeting feeling or if it’s meant to be.
Whatever the size of the apartment you’re applying for—from efficiency to two-bedroom apartments to lofts—you’ll probably have to undergo a credit check when you submit your application. Because landlords are trying to find out whether you would be a reliable renter, they look at your report for things like debt, consistency, predictability, and your previous rental history. But what happens when they actually go to check that report?
Rent is one of the many expenses that can vary quite a bit depending on where you live. And the more expensive it gets, the more important it becomes to find the right place the first time. Here are some helpful tips to help you find an apartment in some of the more expensive cities in the U.S.
Los Angeles, California
- Median studio apartment: $1,405
- Median one-bedroom apartment: $1,740
- Median two-bedroom apartment: $2,406
If you want to get an apartment in LA, the first thing you need to understand is your budget. You shouldn’t be spending more than 1/40th of your annual gross income on an apartment. So if you are making only $40,000/year before taxes, you need an apartment that costs less than $1,000 a month. The choices in this price range will be limited, so you may need creative alternatives such as finding one (or multiple) roommates.
Looking for an apartment is difficult enough when you live in the area; there are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of options to research. Add in the complexities of living a few hundred (or thousand!) miles away, and trying to find an apartment you can live with seems like a monumental challenge. To find the right apartment in a new city, you need a solid game plan. Here are three steps to follow to get you going in the right direction:
Step 1: List Your Needs
Get a piece of paper, and write down everything you like and dislike about your current living arrangement. Then write down everything you MUST have in a new place, and everything that would be a deal breaker. Just brainstorm for now—you can always cross things off later (and you will). Give the most thought to location. Is the apartment close enough to the places you’ll want to go to the most? It doesn’t matter how amazing your digs are if you are located forty-five minutes from the place(s) you need to be every day; you’ll never get those hour-and-a-half commutes back.
To those who have spent their lives driving compact cars and sedans, driving a moving truck looks about as easy as flying the Space Shuttle. If you’ve got enough stuff to move, however, finding a moving truck and hitting the road will definitely be on your apartment moving checklist. But don’t worry! Check out our beginner’s guide to driving a moving truck and you’ll get from Apartment A to Apartment B with far less stress.
Choose the Right Truck Size
If you’ve never driven a moving truck-sized vehicle before, you’ll want to keep your truck square-footage to a minimum. (Plus the smaller the truck, the lower the rental price.) If you’re moving locally and can make multiple moving trips, do so. You’ll save some cash and save yourself the stress of driving an enormous truck rather than a more manageable one. To figure out what kind of truck you need, start by making a home moving inventory and calculating how much space you’ll need for your belongings.
Know Your Route
Staring at a map and driving 14-foot moving truck are two things that should never mix. Familiarize yourself with your route before you leave so you can keep your eyes on the road. If you are directionally-challenged, invest in a GPS, drive with a friend, or use a smartphone app that voices turn-by-turn directions. Even if you’re just driving across town, it will pay to keep your attention on the truck’s handling rather than craning your neck to see street names.
Tips for Driving a Moving Truck
Ready to go? Before you start the engine, review these tips so you have a smoother drive.