Are you getting ready to move off campus and find your first real apartment? It can be both an exciting time and a little bit nerve-wracking, to say the least. But don’t sweat it, we have some expert advice for you that can help make the process smooth. Before you start shopping for your new place, check out these five tips for your first-off campus apartment that will help you get over any hurdles and find a fantastic place.

Do a Full Review of the Property

When you’re shopping around for an apartment, it’s best to not base your entire decision on the tour of the property. You should also take the time to research places online and get opinions from previous tenants before you sign a lease. That way if there are any negative reviews you’ll know in advance instead of having to find these things out for yourself after you’ve moved in.

Understand the Rent Requirements

Finding the rental of your dreams can distort your reality, especially when it’s your first potential prospect. But you need to be realistic when it comes to the rental amount. If you don’t think you can afford it or if you’ll have to rely on two jobs to make the bills, it’s probably not the best option for you. You should also read the lease and fully understand the rental requirements before you sign it. Make sure you can meet all the payment deadlines, as missing rental payments will result in late fees and possible eviction if it becomes a pattern.

Inspect the Security Measures

Students and young professionals often don’t have the extra money to purchase a new laptop or furniture if their apartment is broken into or if a fire breaks out. So before you choose a rental property, make sure to inspect that all the appropriate security measures are in place. This includes deadbolts, window locks, and fire and carbon monoxide detectors. We also recommend that you ask the landlord to change the locks to prevent any previous renters from having access to your apartment.

Get to Know the Area

Before you sign a lease, you should also have a good understanding of the area – accessibility to public transit, whether it’s safe and quiet, and if it’s in close proximity to everything you need. This is especially important for those who don’t own a car, as you’ll need to rely on public transit, biking, or walking to get around. Even if you happen to find the best-priced rental across town, it might not be worth it if it’s miles away from the bus route or grocery stores.

Looking for your first off-campus rental? Check out our listings here using our online apartment search tool – we may have something ideal for you!