This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
If you're a college student, moving into your own apartment home is your first true taste of independence. Without parents or dorm personnel to fall back on, it's up to you to handle budgeting, cooking, cleaning and all the other necessary tasks of everyday living.
It's easy to get caught up in the exhilarating sense of freedom, but independence comes with responsibilities. Here are some tips from our Springs leasing teams for making your first apartment rental a success.
1. Start Looking Early
Competition is typically fierce for apartments in close proximity to college campuses. Start scouting neighborhoods several months in advance of your projected move. Once you have a list of potential apartments, contact management for each one and find out when they begin leasing.
2. Inspect the Apartment Thoroughly
You might be so excited about leasing your own place that you're ready to sign after a quick look around. Reality will set in quickly if you end up having to deal with locks that don't work, showers with poor water pressure, or a freezer that doesn't get cold. Don't be afraid to look inside cabinets and closets or turn faucets on. If the leasing agent tries to discourage you, scratch that apartment off your list.
3. Evaluate the Management
Are the buildings and grounds well-maintained? Is management on-site, or do they work in a different location and you have to set an appointment to meet with them? Are the leasing agents friendly and welcoming? Look for a community with excellent service and your life will be much easier.
4. Calculate Your Move-In Expenses
You'll need more than first month's rent to move in, so make sure you're clear on exactly how much money you'll pay up front. Deposit, application fee and connection convenience fees are a few of the items to include in your budget.
5. Read Your Lease Carefully
This may sound like a given, but even many adults fail to read a lease before signing it. This legal document lists your obligations as a tenant as well as what you’re entitled to in exchange for rent. If at some point you should break one of the terms, claiming ignorance doesn't let you off the hook.
6. Take Plenty of Pictures
You don't want to end up forfeiting your deposit because of damages. Take photos of your apartment upon move-in, paying special attention to anything that could become an issue down the road. Someone from the leasing team should be doing the walk-through with you and documenting the apartment's condition.
Our pet-friendly Springs Apartments communities have a number of amenities that complement a student's lifestyle. Flexible lease options, 24/7 emergency maintenance service, clubhouses with Wi-Fi and coffee bars are just a few of the luxuries we offer.
Our management teams regularly host special events where you can meet and mingle with you neighbors, so you can enjoy an active social life as well. Stop in and talk to one of our friendly leasing agents!