Skip to Content

A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Apartment Hunters

Young Woman Apartment Hunting on Her PhoneWhen it comes to renting your first Maryland Heights apartment, you might be equally excited and nervous. It is logical to think that way: after everything, there are a few factors that you need to determine, from finding the right place to knowing if you can afford it and everything in between. Simplify the apartment hunting by doing some essential things earlier. By implementing these simple methods now, you can promptly locate and rent your first apartment smoothly.

Crunch the Numbers

Before you proceed to your apartment search, you need to verify how much you can afford. To do so, you’ll need to write down a monthly budget that indicates all of your income and expenses. Then you can calculate how much rent you can afford. A good guideline is to keep your apartment rent at about 30% of your income after taxes. Calculate the exact dollar amount. After that, take a glance at your budget. Do you have enough money left over after your other expenses to cover that amount? Otherwise, you may need to consider a few additional actions before you proceed to apartment hunting.

Look Beyond the Rent

Knowing how much monthly rent you can afford is a good start; however, there are some costs involved that you need to be ready for. In most cases, you are required to pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month’s rent. The amount of this security deposit may change, but it is typically the same amount as the rental payment.

There may also be other deposits and fees, involving credit check fees, utility deposits, and additional charges. In addition, you’ll need to find out if utilities come with the rent or if you will be responsible for paying that all alone. Internet, cable, electricity, gas, water, and trash disposal are all essential utilities that you’ll need to provide sufficient money to get set up, if they will not include that in the rent. To get down to basics, you can consider it this way: you’ll need to have at least 2 – 3 months of rental payments saved up to make sure you have what you need for your first apartment.

Application Basics

Once you’ve got your finances figured out, it’s time to start searching and applying for your first apartment. It’s a good idea to have your application materials prepared before you begin so that when you find a place you like, you’re ready to get that application done quickly. To rent an apartment, you’ll need a list of documents and information.

While this list may vary from place to place, it’s a good idea to have the following available:

  • Your last two pay stubs or a bank statement
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Credit report
  • Contact information for at least two references

Read the Lease

Once you’ve finished the rental process, carefully read through all of your lease documents – including the fine print. A lease is a binding legal contract, which means that once you sign it, you will be on the hook for everything that’s in it. Get a clear understanding of your responsibilities, what your landlord will provide, how things like maintenance and repairs will work, etc. What is more, make sure that the rental payment amount, security deposit amount, and other numbers are correct.

In the end, inspect for any unusual or unexpected rules or clauses to secure that you are comfortable following the rules stated in the lease. If you have inquiries or notice something strange in your lease, don’t hesitate to contact someone you can depend on. In reality, the more you know about the apartment, the neighborhood, and your landlord before you rent from them, the smarter you will be.


Are you looking for your first rental home in Maryland Heights? Contact us online today or call us at 636-542-8852.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details