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Top 7 Tips for First-Time Renters

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Top 7 Tips for First-Time Renters

Renting your first property is an exciting time and a sense of freedom of moving out on your own. At the same time, you’re overburdened with a load of new adult responsibilities. You’re alone and can do whatever you want, but that also means paying bills you’re not used to paying, buying things you’ve never bought before, and learning as you go.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of moving out is that you’ll be in charge of your schedule, but on the flip side, you’ll also need to find a suitable apartment that fits your needs and budget. According to data, in 2021, 4.8 million Americans made interstate moves, and the number doesn’t seem to decrease any time soon.

When on a hunt for your first apartment, things such as the location and price are obvious, but as a first-time renter, you might rethink your credit scores and negotiating skills. That said, if you don’t know the dos and don’ts of the rental process, this may seem like a challenging situation. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone. We’ve compiled a list of 6 tips you can use to make the transition go smoother.

Determine Your Budget

It’s a no-brainer that the first thing you should do as a first-time renter is to budget wisely and continue those plans even after you move in. Essentially, you don’t want to spend more than you can afford, especially on your first apartment.

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As a rule of thumb, you can use 30 percent of your income on rent – a standard rule that works for most renters. However, as an alternative, you can use the 50/30/20 rule for budgeting, meaning you put 50 percent of your money into essential things, 30 percent toward things you want, and 20 percent toward savings.

Aside from the monthly rent, you should also consider additional costs you might have. Typical monthly expenses include electricity, water, heating, internet, cable connection, or parking fees; other fees include the security deposit and background check costs.

Regardless of the budget, you should always make room for unexpected costs. But if you live with a roommate, it’s best to split your bills to help each other stay within your budget.

Determine Your Needs

When searching for apartments, it’s essential to make a checklist of things you need. What you need is different from what you want. That said, you must have a list of features that will make you feel comfortable in a new apartment.

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For example, if you don’t have a car, you’ll most likely need a rental that’s close to public transportation. Similarly, if you own a pet, you’ll need to find a pet-friendly apartment that permits it.

Additionally, some first-renters’ common needs include:

  • Closet and storage space
  • Functional kitchen
  • Outdoor space (balcony or patio)
  • Natural light and exposure
  • Air conditioning

Other additional amenities such as a swimming pool or décor typically fall into the ‘’wants’’ category, meaning you can live without them. That’s why you should determine your needs first and then work towards your wish list.

Visit Apartment Listings Websites

As a first-time renter, knowing how to do your research before settling on a property is essential. Nowadays, there are plenty of websites and apps that offer rental listings, which allow you to go through multiple options and find the one that suits your needs.

One of the best hunting websites you can use is Rentberry as it allows you to apply online, schedule a meeting and then have a virtual 3D tour of the property you’re interested in. Also, this website allows landlords to put all the details in the description, so you have your questions answered.

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Schedule In-Person Apartment Tours

Regardless of how trustworthy hunting websites are, it’s still essential to schedule in-person apartment tours with the landlord. That way, you get a closer and more realistic way of the property you’re interested in.

At the same time, you get to explore the quality of the rental, its location and neighborhood, the amenities provided, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the property, its rules, the application process, or the deliveries.

If you’re unsure of what to ask, here’s a list of questions you can use in your in-person property tour:

  • How much is the rent?
  • What is included in the rent?
  • How much is the security deposit?
  • Are the deposits or fees refunded when the lease ends?
  • What’s the application process?
  • How long is the lease term?
  • Who’s responsible for the property maintenance?
  • What alterations can I make to the apartment?
  • What particular policies should I be aware of?

Understand the Application Process

As a first-time renter, going through different rental options can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know how to apply for an apartment. The application process is straightforward and generally involves filling out your personal information and paying a small fee.

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Although each apartment has different rental processes, they all have things in common:

  • Show proof of monthly income
  • Complete a credit and background check
  • Provide the prior landlord’s contact information as a reference
  • Include a co-signer if you have no credit history or a low credit score

Analyze the Rental Season

If you’re lucky to have the flexibility to choose an apartment anytime you want, you should learn more about rental seasonality. Usually, summer is the busiest time of the year, especially during May and August. Similarly, the rental market is at its lowest during the cold months of December and January.

If you’re concerned about your budget, it’s best to begin your search during the winter months because the demand and prices are lower. However, if you want to find a top-notch apartment and don’t care about the money, then moving during the summer may suit you better. There are more options to choose from, plus you can sign longer leases.

Get Renter’s Insurance

People new to renting can underestimate the importance of renter’s insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should too. A renter’s insurance has many benefits, such as property coverage, liability coverage, and loss of use.

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If someone steals or damages your personal belongings, gets hurt on your property, or your apartment becomes uninhabitable, your renter’s insurance is there to give you a payout for your things and pay for medical bills, and other expenses.

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People & Lifestyle

Encourage Decentralization to Accelerate Development – Okyenhene

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Screenshot 2024 04 16 at 19.57.43

Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II has encouraged governments and business leaders to decentralise their operations to accelerate development. He said this when the senior management team of Telecel Ghana, a leading telecommunications company in Ghana, paid a courtesy call on him.

The visit was aimed at advancing a stronger relationship between Telecel Ghana and Okyenhene as well as seeking his blessings and guidance in the company’s new journey as Telecel Ghana. In March 2024, Telecel Ghana officially unveiled its brand to Ghanaians in a spectacular event in Accra.

Led by Ing. Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana, the delegation expressed their gratitude to the Okyenhene for his warm reception and unwavering support towards businesses operating within his jurisdiction. They also highlighted Telecel Ghana’s commitment to contributing to the socio-economic development of Ghana through its innovative telecommunications solutions and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

She reiterated the company’s dedication to ensuring seamless connectivity and digital inclusion for Ghanaians and affirmed Telecel Ghana’s readiness to partner with the Okyenhene ahead of his 25th anniversary celebration.  She added, “we will continue to work with other stakeholders to explore opportunities for expanding telecommunications infrastructure and enhancing access to digital technologies in Ghana.”

The Okyenhene commended Telecel Ghana for its efforts in providing reliable and affordable telecommunications services to the people of Ghana. He emphasized the importance of promoting decentralisation by key government agencies and business operations across the country to accelerate development, citing the vast land space in his kingdom which he is willing to release for development. He also threw a broader challenge to Ghanaian entrepreneurs to venture into setting up indigenous telecommunication businesses in Ghana.

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The visit concluded with an exchange of gifts and pleasantries, symbolizing the mutual respect and goodwill between Telecel Ghana and the Okyenhene.

Telecel Ghana remains committed to building strong partnerships with traditional authorities, government institutions, and other stakeholders to drive sustainable development and create shared value for the people of Ghana.