Renting your first apartment is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful especially for those without any experience. The process of apartment renting will require a lot of preparation, and time. Deciding where you want to live is not something you should rush into. The professionals at the Local Records Office created a checklist for beginners to get started and sign the lease.
#1 – How Much Can You Afford and Still be Able to Live Comfortably in Los Angeles, CA
You don’t want to move into an apartment and realize that you can’t afford groceries for the month. You need to sit down and budget your monthly income and expenses. The ideal rent to income calculation is 30% of your gross income, which should give you an idea of what you can afford.
Also, keep in mind that rent will usually go up about 10% every year, especially in large cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Denver. New York City is known for the highest yearly hicks.
Los Angeles is growing fast and apartments are being built all over the city but the problem is that Angelinos are not able to afford the high LA rent.
#2 – Double Check If You Need a Roommate
With broken rent control laws, it is not a surprise that more and more people need someone to share an apartment for support. Needing a roommate or roommates to pay rent is something no one should be ashamed of doing. If rent is costing you an arm and a leg it may be time to start posting “For Rent” signs.
Keep in mind that having a roommate can be a great experience but it can also be a bad one. Having a friend for a roommate is always a good thing since you might know his or her habits. The bad roommates come when you know absolutely nothing about them and what they’re about.
#3 – There Are Good Times of the Year to Look For an Apartment in Los Angeles, CA
Just like buying a car around tax season is always the best option, the best time to rent an apartment is after the holidays at the beginning of the year. Around this time of the year is also a great time since the holidays past.
#4 – Start Searching for an Apartment Ahead of Time
Finding an apartment that you can afford and like will not fall on your lap. You need to start searching for months before. Make sure to know what you want before searching. Some people might want an apartment near a freeway, near a grocery store, near good public schools. Things will vary by person.
Tour different areas you want to live in, pay attention to the parking situation, the traffic near the big streets, any parks nearby? All of this plays a big part in renting your first apartment. A lot of people want to rent near bars and clubs, but later realize that it’s way too loud at night.
#5 – Ask the Neighbors for Advice
If you see an area you really like you should ask people that live in the area about it. In the daytime, it might seem one way but at night the neighborhood might have a completely different atmosphere. Checking online to see how the crime rate in the area is will be a good start.
#6 – Beware of Rental Scams in the Los Angeles Area
Rental scams are real and they are out there, we’ve all seen people get scammed on television but we think it will never happen to us. The most popular rental scam is when people post ads on craigslist and other websites listing an apartment way too good to be true.
The crook will get ahold of the apartment key and will pose as the apartment manager or the management company worker. The crook will show the victims the apartment and will most likely ask for a cash security deposit. Being asked for cash when renting an apartment is a major red flag.