by Susan Paige
Are you getting ready to rent an apartment? Whether it’s your first time or your 10th time, make sure you’re financially prepared. In addition to the cost of your monthly rent, you’ll also need to have cash on hand for a few additional expenses that come along with renting an apartment. Set a budget and stick to it. Budgeting is key to managing your finances. It’s one of the best tools around for putting your monthly expenses into full view and making sure that you know exactly what you’re working with. Below are additional expenses you may not be considering when renting an apartment.
Depending on the city you live in, you may have to rent a monthly parking spot in addition to your apartment. This is common in New York apartments. This can be helpful for people living in densely populated cities where finding a parking spot can be difficult, as well as for areas that get hit with lots of cold and snow. This is a fixed and recurring cost, so if you do have to pay a parking fee just add that number onto your monthly rent.
Many rental properties do not allow pets and if they do, they likely require an upfront pet deposit or monthly pet rent to cover any potential pet-related damage. A pet deposit is usually less than your security deposit and can not exceed one months rent. Pet deposits are refundable depending on any damage incurred by the animal.
An expense that most renters don’t consider when moving are the start-up costs for utilities. Many utility companies require a one-time set-up fee to turn on service. Some will require a refundable deposit, too. Depending on the company, you may see this fee on your initial bill or you may have to pay it upfront before services are turned on.
If your apartment offers amenities – whether a swimming pool, on-site fitness center, extra storage, or open common areas, it can be great for your lifestyle. However, you likely will pay an additional fee. Be sure to find out up front if the fees are one time or recurring. If there are fees, inquire what benefits are associated with these fees.
Deciding whether to hire movers or move yourself largely depends on your budget. Many feel budgeting for movers is money well spent. You can assist the movers to save some money. Have the movers focus on the furniture and extra heavy stuff, and put family and friends to work on boxes and smaller things. Prepare as much of your furniture as you can before the movers come.