Appartment / Home TIPS

You have recently made one of the most important decisions of your lifetime - getting married. Now you must decide what and where your first home together will be. The majority of us today choose to make an apartment community our first residence after marriage. The following are a few tips which should prove helpful in selecting an apartment.

Location - In most cases you will want to find an apartment which is located conveniently to one or both of your jobs. It is important to weigh the benefits of cheaper rent with commuting time. One suggestion is to "test drive" a potential commute during the week versus a weekend.
Community - There are benefits to selecting a large apartment community as well as a smaller one. A larger development will typically offer more amenities such as pools, spas, weight rooms, tennis courts, etc. A higher rental rate may need to be charged for comprehensive staff for leasing, maintenance, etc. The advantages to a smaller complex may include a homey environment, personal service by the resident manager and potentially a lower rent.

Service - Regardless of rental rates, service is extremely important. The least expensive apartment is no bargain if your needs are not met. Questions to ask an on-site manager include: What staff members live on-site? How fast are maintenance requests handled? How long have you been on the property? Is there a professional Management Company involved? If any of the questions are not answered to your satisfaction, then this may not be the apartment for you.

Rent - Most communities qualify their prospective residents initially through an income to rent ratio. The standard ratio used today is that the rent should not exceed one fourth to one third of your combined income. In other words, if your combined income (you and your husbands) salary is $3,400 per month, you could typically afford an $850 to $1,100 per month apartment. This is, of course, a guideline only and you need to take other fixed expenses into consideration when figuring your budget. Reliable Renters are a valued commodity to the apartment housing industry today. You deserve a clean, quiet, well maintained home in which to live. It is important for you to select your first home together, recognizing not only the rental rate and amenities, but the level of service and care you will receive by the resident manager and staff.