Post-matriculation, hordes of eager twenty-something young adults venture out in search of their first housing experience that doesn’t involve a meal plan and communal bathroom. For others, turning 18 comes with the rite of passage of finding a little personal space in a studio apartment. No matter the circumstances, being a first-time renter signifies a time of great change, excitement, responsibility, and freedom.
For countless individuals ready to tackle renting, eager to live on their own, the excitement of gaining independence can sometimes overshadow the practical considerations that can maximize the success of the experience, minimize any potential long-term issues, and otherwise solidify a fantastic start along the path of independent living. While the prospect of signing an initial rental agreement is exciting and all-encompassing, there are many things that well-seasoned renters wish they knew throughout their fledgling rental experience.
Relocating? Research Your New Neighborhood
While the idea of living just about anywhere can be appealing to newly independent individuals, relocating to another town, city, or state requires additional homework. Becoming familiar with a particular neighborhood’s amenities, services, and daily breath can help new renters decide whether the neighborhood will be a good fit on a long-term basis, across all seasons. While the physical attraction of a particular apartment may draw novice renters to the neighborhood, other potential barriers could make the experience subpar. In large cities, easy access to public transportation, shopping, and daily needs is crucial for seamlessly navigating the city, especially for renters without a vehicle.
In Chicago’s bustling neighborhoods, property management leader Beal Properties has helped countless renters find the perfect rental fit, starting with the right neighborhood. With ownership of over 90 properties stretched out across Chicago’s various neighborhoods, and over 30 years of experience matching renters with their dream dwellings, the experts at Beal Properties have come to understand the transformative nature of finding a good neighborhood fit. Their recommendation? If possible, take an afternoon to walk around a potential neighborhood, see the movement and life firsthand, and explore the public amenities; altogether this can help potential renters determine if the neighborhood’s offerings will match their individual needs on a long-term basis.
Create a Budget, Then Stick with It
For just about every independent adult, budgeting can often dictate one’s lifestyle. For first time renters, it can become all too easy to lose sight of a budget after falling in love with a particularly attractive rental unit. Thus, prior to even casually looking through apartment search apps, creating a tangible budget for all expenses can not only streamline the search process, but prevent the possibility of extending expenses beyond available funds.
When creating a budget, it is imperative to consider all factors, including living and travel expenses, as well as the expense of moving. Additionally, beyond considering just the base rent as the only factor associated with renting, considerations must be made for utility costs, down payments and security deposits, furnishing costs, and even potential parking costs. For first time renters, consulting other tenants about expected utility costs within a building can be an enlightening experience, and budgeting for these costs can help ensure a consistently affordable experience that fits into the ideal lifestyle.
Find a Proactively Communicative Landlord
At some point in the rental experience, something is bound to require the attention of a landlord, property manager, or building maintenance person. Even in newly constructed apartments, toilets can clog, sinks can leak, and pipes can freeze, especially in cities like Chicago with particularly cold winters. These occurrences, of course, are expected by real estate investors, managers, and pertinent staff. Being able to reach the appropriate personnel, and maintain proactive communication regarding any concerns, however, is key to resolving any potential issues in a concise, successful, and swift manner. Often inexperienced, many first-time renters do not consider the transparency, forthright nature, and communication accommodations of landlords, property owners, and building managers. However, these operating standards are crucial toward resolving issues, maintaining happiness, and maintaining an overall positive landlord-tenant relationship.
When searching for a rental property, focusing on the management’s communication style will be a helpful tool for determining the outcome of potential future concerns. Widely present within Chicago’s neighborhoods, the staff at Beal Properties is available 24/7 to handle tenant concerns, with easily accessible contact information available for all tenants via an online tenant portal. Through this proactive accessibility, the company has established the standards for communication, showcasing their commitment to tenant safety, happiness, and engagement. With a variety of communication methods available for all tenant needs, including email contact, telephone contact, and the use of a digital portal, the company has made it easy to engage with management for all tenant needs, instilling trust in first time renters throughout Chicago.
Be a Good Tenant
While finding a responsive, communicative, and trustworthy landlord is paramount to shaping the rental experience, first time renters should also consider ways in which they can be a good tenant, neighbor, and independent dweller, fostering positive relationships with all involved parties. Considering things like winterizing the home or maintaining appropriate noise levels, will work to inherently showcase respect for co-existing within a space, and for a strong working relationship between landlord and tenant. Through these simple acts, first time renters can build upon their initial experiences and become coveted renters that will receive glowing recommendations to future landlords.
For countless young people setting out to experience adult life as first-time renters, the excitement of gaining personal space, independence, and the responsibility of renting can feel like the start of a new journey. But it’s also often daunting, with a number of challenges clear from the get-go and countless others that emerge throughout the renting experience. In order for this journey to be successful, certain tips can be employed to make the experience not only enjoyable, but productive on a long-term basis. By engaging in preliminary research, creating a concise budget, and choosing a communicative landlord, the first-time rental experience can be a wonderful journey toward independence