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Apartment Shopping: 5 Tips for Finding Your First Place

apartment shopping for your first rental

Renting has become more common than buying. So for the first-time renter, it’s important to be prepared.

There are many different choices when it comes to apartment shopping. Knowing what works for you will be what will help the most in picking the perfect fit.

These 5 tips for finding an apartment are crucial for making a great choice. Keep the stress out of apartment shopping and get to finding your best place.

1. Know Your Budget

The first way to narrow down the large number of options for renting is by setting your budget.

Keep in mind that your first month is going to be a lot more expensive than your average monthly payment. You will have to pay a deposit (usually at least one month’s rent), an application fee, and then whatever moving fees you may need.

If the monthly cost is more than 30 percent of your income, you will most likely need a guarantor to be approved. Try to figure out if you need one and who would be willing to be yours before you get your heart set on an apartment.

2. Find The Right Location

Being in an area that’s close to your frequent hot spots makes your life so much easier.

Think about the places you go to often. How far is your commute to work? Is it near family or your significant other?

Picking areas that are near your most frequented spots will help you love your first apartment that much more.

3. Consider Amenities

If a dishwasher is a deal breaker, don’t waste your time looking at units without one.

Take the time to think about what amenities are absolutely non-negotiable for you in your first apartment. Dishwashers and washers and dryers can be considered features and not guarantees for an apartment.

Some buildings may even have common areas such as pools and spas. Other units are pet-friendly. Considering these options will help you be able to determine what you absolutely must have and what you can do without.

4. Research the Landlord

When you’re renting, you’re dependent upon your landlord. Therefore, making sure they’re easy to deal with is important.

Do some research online or even ask people you know in the neighborhood. Your landlord doesn’t have to be your best friend, but they need to pick up the phone when something goes wrong.

Be sure to read up on their policies and requirements before signing anything.

5. Explore the Neighborhood

Your new neighborhood is a big part of your first apartment.

Take the time to explore before you make your final decision. Is there a nearby grocery store that you like? How about a local pharmacy or coffee shop?

Even walking around at different times of the day can help you make your final decision when you’re apartment shopping.

Apartment Shopping Like It’s Your Job

Even if it’s your first-time, following these 5 tips when you’re apartment shopping will make it seem like you’ve been an apartment renter for years.

If you’re looking for your perfect apartment, contact us today. We’ll help you find the best unit for you that fits your needs.

McLellan Estates operates two apartment complexes in the Bay Area, Crestview Apartments and Old County Road Apartments, both in close proximity to shopping, parks, dining and transportation.

Get In Touch


510 Crest View Avenue
Belmont, California 94002

Phone number

(650) 591-7381



707 Old County Road
Belmont, California 94002

Phone number