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Leasing-Planning for First-time Apartment Rental Expenses

Nef Cortez

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Either you are downsizing, relocating to another city or just ready to move out of your parent’s home and you’ve realized that saving solely for the apartment deposit and credit check fee isn’t going to allow you to rent that trendy apartment you have been eyeing online. That’s usually because first time renters have concentrated solely on the apartment rental expense and do not realize that there are many first-time costs they haven’t calculated in their apartment search budget. While some items may vary, depending on the city and regional area you have chosen, the following worksheet lists some of the most common up-front costs.

Up-Front Expenses

    Credit Check fee for apartment application $_

    Deposit for apartment $_

    Deposit for pets (if any) $_

    Deposit for electric service $_

    Deposit for gas service $_

    Deposit for telephone service $_

    Installation fee for cable TV or internet service $_

    First month’s rent on apartment $_

    Moving Costs $_

    Total Up-front Expenses $_

While these up-front costs will cover getting you into the apartment, you will need to also come up with some money to equip your apartment with the furniture, household items and food staples that will make living in your new place possible-especially if the apartment is unfurnished. Sleeping on the floor, eating fast food on paper plates and having no place to sit will get old very fast!

To reduce your expenses, you might want to consider buying used furniture at thrift stores or yard sales or maybe getting a few furniture donations from relatives. If you have the financial resources, then estimate what you will be spending on furniture for each room.

The following worksheet, will help calculate your furnishing costs.

Move-In Expenses

    Furniture for 1 or 2 bedroom apartment $_

    Small kitchen appliances (blender, microwave, etc. ) $_

    Dishes, pots and pans, flatware $_

    Household items (bedspread, towels, rugs) $_

    Kitchen paper goods and toiletries $_

    Cleaning supplies (mop, broom, household cleaners) $_

    Food (including first-time staples & condiments) $_

    Total Move-in Expenses $_

You will need to add both totals to get a clear picture of what your expenses will be. Some of those expenses can be spread out over a few months; however, you should be aware of what to expect. If you spend the time planning ahead, it will pay off with a much more realistic picture of what your budget can handle, no “sticker shock” worries and enjoying your new place.

Nef Cortez has been a licensed real estate broker and has held various positions in the real estate and mortgage industry for over 25 years. If you would like to read more of Nef's timely advice (with the latest FREE info on local foreclosures), visit his website at Diamond Bar CA Real Estate or read his blog at A Slice of So Cal Real Estate


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