From the apartment hunt, through the moving process, and into living at your new apartment, there is a lot to learn if you have never leased a luxury apartment before. Where do you even start? We suggest you read over our apartment tips for first time renters in Little Rock!
#1: Set a Budget
As soon as you decide to start looking for an apartment, you need to set a budget to know what you can afford. Most first-time renters don’t know that at Bowman Pointe, we will not approve your application if your income doesn’t meet or exceed 3.5 times your rent. We want you to live inside your means and be able to enjoy all that the community has to offer.
In addition to your rent, you also need to consider the costs of all your other expenses. It all adds up! From groceries and cleaning supplies to loan and insurance payments, there is a lot to include in your budget. Set a budget and stick to it!
PS: Go ahead and set up a savings account, too, if you don’t already have one. Then, set aside some of your monthly budget to build up a fund for emergencies and fun stuff.
#2: Find the Right Roommate
If you plan to live alone, go ahead and skip to Apartment Tip #3.
But if you are wanting to live with a roommate, it’s time to do some reflecting.
Too many times, we have seen first-time renters make the mistake of choosing the wrong roommate. Most renters base this decision on convenience or timing. But, those considerations are not what you should prioritize here.
Instead, you need to see if your personalities and lifestyles mesh. Who can you depend on? Who can you trust? Are they financially stable? Do they have the same values as you? The last thing you want to do is live with an inconsiderate roommate who jumps from job-to-job and causes you emotional turmoil.
When you sign an apartment lease with a roommate, you are entering into a legally-binding agreement with them. Remember that! Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that person can afford their half of your expenses and plans to see your lease through to the end.
#3: Read Your Lease
Speaking of your lease, you may be surprised to learn that some first-time renters do not actually read theirs. Its true! We are always shocked when we must remind a resident about a clause in their lease when a conflict arises because they simply signed it and didn’t read that clause.
Beyond standard lease terms, every apartment contract you read will be different because every apartment community is different. For example, our pet policy limits you to one pet per apartment. For dogs, we also have breed and weight restrictions. Plus, pet owners pay a pet fee and additional pet rent. Other communities may have no pet limits or different fees.
At Bowman Pointe, we do all leasing activities online to help streamline the process and make it easier for you. Far before you even move in, we send you your lease and give you plenty of time to read it over and ask us any questions before you electronically sign it.
So, please: read your lease thoroughly before you sign it. Once you do, save a copy of it so you can re-read it whenever you need to.
#4: Get Renter’s Insurance
Accidents can happen anywhere at any time. Sometimes, they are not even caused by you, but affect you significantly. Your neighbor’s apartment could flood, or lightning could strike and damage your belongings. These incidents are outside of your control and that is why getting renter’s insurance is so important.
Some apartment communities require its renters to have insurance, but we do not. However, we do highly recommend it.
With standard renter’s insurance policies being so affordable, there is no excuse for going without it. We have seen policies cover everything for as little as $20 a month. In our opinion, it’s an essential safeguard for all first-time renters.
#5: Hire Movers
No matter how prepared you may be, the moving process is always overwhelming. A big apartment tip we like to offer first-time renters is to splurge and hire a moving company.
Save yourself some stress and let someone else be responsible for hauling your stuff. We promise you will be happy you did.
#6: Be a Good Neighbor
Once you move in, you will quickly realize how different living in an apartment is from living anywhere else. A good place to start is with greeting your new neighbors and introducing yourself. Even if they are not particularly social, it’s nice just to know who they are. Being a good neighbor can get you far, especially here at Bowman Pointe where community is so important.
The biggest tip we can offer first-time renters is to realize that even if you live alone, you are never really alone. You are surrounded by neighbors 24 hours a day, often in all directions. Respect your neighbors’ space on the other side of the wall, because anything you do in your apartment can affect the others next to you. So, abide by quiet hours, keep your apartment clean, and follow the community rules.
#7: Keep Your Apartment Clean
You don’t want pests, mold, mildew, dirt, or stains to take over your apartment, right? That can easily happen when you don’t keep your apartment clean.
For first-time renters, we recommend that you create a cleaning schedule for yourself to keep your apartment in tip-top shape. If you let your apartment go, you can cause long-term damage. Just imagine if you let trash pile up. That causes a domino effect if bugs move in. If bugs move into your apartment, they could infest another apartment. Another apartment could infest your entire floor or your entire building. Then, you could be responsible for a pricy pest control bill!
These kinds of incidents can actually hurt your rental history, which impacts your credit history and your ability to lease somewhere else. We want to help you avoid these pitfalls, so we have detailed instructions on how to clean your apartment in our Resident Handbook. Read over it to discover some helpful apartment tips and make sure you’re following community standards.
#8: Follow the Rules
The last apartment tip we have for first-time renters is to just follow the rules of the apartment community. To make Bowman Pointe the best place to live in Little Rock, we have to have rules. We also have to follow federal and state laws, fire codes, etc. Not all first-time renters may know these rules simply because they have never lived in an apartment in Little Rock before. We don’t want to fine you or evict you, but we will if you knowingly or unknowingly break these rules.
A common rooky mistake, just like skimming over your lease, is not reading over the rules outlined in your Resident Handbook. Everything you need to know is there, and if you have any questions, you can always contact our staff.