Shelter, it’s one of our necessities. We all learned that in elementary school, right? Air, water, food, and shelter; our basic needs as humans but we are far from the days of living in caves or chopping down trees to build our own home. Today, we have an option to build (using a licensed contractor), buy, or rent our home/ shelter. If you are considering entering a lease agreement there are a few items that you will want to do before you sign a lease.
First, give yourself time, by not rushing into a decision out of desperation you will be more likely to find an apartment that meets your needs. During the walk through of the apartment test out items as you would if you were purchasing a home; turn on the hot water, flush the toilets, open and close all the doors. Not only will you give yourself ample time to find a rental in which you are comfortable, but you will allow yourself ample time to review the fine print of the lease agreement. Most of the agreement will be legalese but it is important to read through it, so you can ensure things outlined are as were discussed. Checking the terms of breaking the lease is an item to be considered as well. Of course, when moving into a new place, you aren’t planning on having to move out early, but circumstances in life change and knowing what consequences are associated with breaking a lease may help in planning.
Speaking of reading the contract, make sure that everything you discussed with your landlord is in the contract. If an item is missing, you may feel uncomfortable asking to have the contract rewritten but it is a legal agreement you are entering so being sure that everything is included isn’t an inconvenience. Save both you and your landlord from conflict in the future by having everything spelled out in the beginning. When speaking with your landlord ask if he/she or the manager lives nearby. It isn’t common but there are landlords who live away from the property they rent, even so far as to keep them from being able to get to their property within one day of travel.
Choosing to enter into an agreement on a home can feel overwhelming without proper preparation. One last thing to consider before entering a lease is if homeownership is a consideration for you. Your monthly rent payment could be the same as a monthly mortgage payment but through homeownership you are contributing to your own investment and building equity to be used at a future date. Check out our mortgage calculator to see how much home you could get based on the amount you are anticipating for your monthly rent payment.