Getting your first apartment can be both an exciting and stressful process. It’s exciting because you’re finally able to find a place just for you, that you can call home. It’s also stressful because there are so many places to choose from, and you want to make sure that you find the place that fits your budget and needs. In today’s post, we’re going to help by giving you tips on what to do when searching for your first apartment. And, if you happen to be looking for apartments in Hickory, NC we hope you’ll stop by The Estates at Legends for a tour!

Tip #1: Make Sure You Establish a Budget and Stick To It!

This tip is number one on our list for a reason. Many people go shopping for an apartment with an idea of what they’d like to spend, but then get themselves into trouble when they find a place that exceeds what they can reasonably afford. Although you usually won’t have to worry about paying for things like maintenance and some utilities when you rent, you still have to take into account how much money you’ll need for other living expenses like food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. Sure, you can save money by not going out to eat as much or not taking a vacation, but eventually, you’ll get tired of not having any extra money to have fun with. Even if it’s not the posh penthouse apartment you’d really like, sticking within your budget is the best way to ensure you can live comfortably.  

 Tip #2: Make Sure Your Apartment Meets Your Needs 

What does it mean to say an apartment has to meet your needs? Of course, an apartment will give you shelter and a place to store your stuff, but how does it align with your lifestyle or other needs? For instance, if you don’t have a car, is it close to public transportation? If you’re going to be living with another person or you have children, does the apartment have the space (especially extra storage) that you require? 

It’s important to make the distinction between “needs” and “wants”. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the little extras an apartment complex can provide, but if it’s not big enough, not close enough to transportation, or it’s over an hour drive to your job, then you’re likely not going to be living there for very long.

It’s also necessary to consider if you’re even going to be living in your apartment long-term. Maybe your job is transferring you to a new location in 6 months. Or, maybe you just got engaged and you’re planning to move into your significant other’s home when you get married. In cases like these, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of the lease terms. Some apartment complexes let you rent month-to-month, while others require you to sign at least a 6-month or year lease.

Tip #3: Read the Lease

Speaking of the lease, make sure that you carefully read the terms of the lease before signing. A lease is a legally binding contract so you’ll want to know what you’re signing up for. Pay special attention to things like the deposit fee, length of the lease, and terms for breaking a lease. You may not have any intention of moving before your lease is up, but when you land that dream job across the country, you might change your mind. Make sure you know how much you’ll be responsible to pay if such a situation arises.

Tip #4: Find Out What Is Included

There is no standard list of what’s included when you rent an apartment. Some places may include the cost of one or more utilities, use of the clubhouse and other amenities, or parking. Others, however, may not. Find out exactly what you get for your monthly rent, and what (if any) things are additional. Some common “extras” include garage parking, use of laundry facilities, or specific apartments (those with private balconies or facing a particular direction).  

Tip #5: Do a Walk-Through

When it comes to committing to rent a particular apartment, always make sure that you do a walkthrough prior to moving in. This will ensure that you’re getting what was promised and any damage to the apartment prior to your arrival is well-noted. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your apartment to show what condition it was in prior to your arrival. 

Tip #6: Visit The Estates at Legends Apartments in Hickory, NC

If you’re looking for apartments in Hickory, NC we invite you to take a look at what we have to offer. We have multiple floorplans, including one-, two-, and three-bedroom options. Our smartly-designed apartments offer all of the modern conveniences you’re looking for like 9-foot tall ceilings, walk-in closets, and an open floor plan. Learn more by visiting our apartment features page. 

Although we’re just a short distance to shopping, dining, and entertainment, we’re guessing that you’ll be spending a lot of time at home enjoying the resort-style amenities like a large, saltwater pool, theater room, and 24-hour fitness center, among other things.

The best way to really see all that we have to offer is to call and make an appointment to tour our community. We think you’ll agree that The Estates at Legends is the perfect place to call home.