Whether you’re moving out of your parent’s home or headed off to school, renting your first apartment is an exciting time. For the first time in your life, it’s entirely up to you to decide where you want to live and how you’ll spend your time in your new home. Although it’s understandable that you’re anxious to find a place and move in, now is not the time to make a hasty decision. If you don’t take the time to do your homework and establish a few guidelines on how you’ll decide which apartment is right for you, you might commit to a property that doesn’t work for you. 

In today’s blog from Stonegate Living apartments in Broomfield, we’re going to provide you with a few tips that will help you make the best choice for your first apartment. Keep reading, and if you’re looking for a pet-friendly community close to Denver and Boulder, we invite you to stop by and check us out.

Tip #1: Establish a Budget

Determining your budget is an important first step that many people don’t do. Sure, you might have an idea of how much you can afford, but how much thought have you put into that number? Establishing a budget at the start of your apartment search can make it easier to narrow down your list of potential places and allow you to decide with confidence once you’ve found that apartment that checks off the most boxes on your list. 

When deciding on a budget, don’t forget to include things such as the security deposit, pet fees, parking fees, and utilities. Many apartments will include some of the utilities in your rent, and some may even include outdoor parking, but don’t just assume those things will be included everywhere. As a good rule of thumb, you should try to keep housing expenses to 30% or less of your gross monthly income.

Tip #2: Decide on a Location

For many people, location is one of the most important factors in choosing an apartment. If you’re looking for apartments in Broomfield, it’s probably because you work or go to school nearby. And, you probably don’t want to spend all of your free time driving or taking public transportation to get there each day. For many people, Broomfield offers the ideal location — one that makes it easy to get to the city or the mountains without the high price tag of downtown Boulder or Denver.   

Tip #3: Consider Needs Vs. Wants

It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of the moment when you’re apartment shopping, but it’s important to keep a level head and know the difference between needs and wants. Sure, it would be nice to have an extra bedroom or two, but that extra space can come at a big price — especially if you’re primarily going to be using it as a storage area. 

Take a moment to stop and think about what you really need with regard to the number of bedrooms, location, and whether or not you need a place that accepts pets. Once you’ve narrowed down your search then you can look at the additional features and amenities that an apartment community offers. Unless you have an unlimited budget (and who does?) try to find the best value for your money.    

Tip #4: Review the Lease Carefully

When you think you’ve finally found the apartment for you, make sure to take just a few extra minutes to carefully review the lease. Your lease is a binding contract that you’ll be held to so you want to make sure that you understand it completely. A few things to consider as you’re reading it are the lease terms — are you signing a year-long lease,  a six-month lease, or something else? Does your apartment allow pets? If so, it should state in the lease how many and what kind of pets you can have as well as the cost to have them. Finally, take a look at the termination policy. In other words, what happens if you want to terminate your lease before it’s up? Let’s say you get your dream job and have to move. That’s great, but you’ll want to know what kind of penalty you might be facing ahead of time.

Tip #5: Take a Tour and Ask Questions

If you’ve been doing your apartment shopping mostly online, make sure to take the time to schedule an in-person visit. That way you can see what a pace really looks like and whether or not you like the feel of the community. Before you go on your tour, make a list of questions that you want to ask. Bad rental experiences happen when someone rushes into renting and isn’t well-informed about the rules and policies. The following is a shortlist of some of the things you may want to ask either now, or during your tour. Take this list with you and add to it as you think of other things to ask.

  • What are the lease terms?
  • What is included in the rent? (furnishings, appliances, utilities, amenities)
  • Are there any security deposits or non-refundable fees?
  • What’s your late fee policy?
  • Do you have onsite parking? Is there an additional charge?
  • What’s your subletting policy?
  • What’s your pet policy?
  • How often does rent go up, and by how much?
  • Is there a penalty for breaking the lease?

Looking For Apartments in Broomfield?

Whether you’re attending CU Boulder, have a job near Broomfield, or just want to be close to all of the Colorado action, Stonegate Living apartments in Broomfield have everything you could want and more.  We have multiple floor plans to choose from, are located close to Denver and Boulder, and offer luxury amenities that will make living here that much more enjoyable. But don’t just take our word for it — give us a call or stop by to take a tour and see for yourself why so many people call our apartments home.