Renting your first Philadelphia apartment straight out of college is both exciting and let’s face it, a bit scary. There are so many moving pieces…how do you get them straight? One of the best ways to do that is to ask yourself questions and then figure out how to find the answers. Here are some questions every first renter needs to ask:
What is my budget? When you rent, you most likely will have to pay upfront a security deposit and first month’s rent. Once you are in your new Philadelphia apartment, you will not only pay rent each month, but you will have to pay utilities, food, credit card bills, cable, entertainment and more. Considering all of this – what can you reasonably afford? Do you have a job or expect to get one shortly? Will a family member help you out? These are all things you need to consider.
Have I done the research on the neighborhoods? There are many websites including Realtor.com, Rental.com and Rentals.com and others to help you find Philadelphia apartments, condos and guest homes in the area in which you wish to live. They will also list the rental prices – so you can better figure out how much it costs to rent an apartment in Philly. An old fashioned but great way to find rentals is to look in the newspaper classified section as well as to walk around your desired neighborhood.
Do I have good credit and co-signee? Most college students have a short credit history which can make a landlord very nervous. They like tenants with high credit scores – and if you have only used a credit card for a year or so, your credit score may show that. Often a Philadelphia apartment landlord or management company will ask younger tenants to have a parent or other family member co-sign in case you run into financial trouble.