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Best Ways to Find an Apartment after College

They say college prepares you for the real world. If you are a recent college graduate in search of a job and an apartment, you may be casting serious doubt on that assessment. College certainly hasn’t prepared you for all the hassle that goes into getting your credit score high enough to get an apartment.

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In fact, college itself is probably the cause of your debt woes and low credit ranking. Your prospects for finding a decent apartment might not seem so great right now, but with a little research and a lot of looking around, it is more than possible.

Can You Afford It?
Before you even bother going out on the hunt for an apartment, you better make sure that you can actually afford the deposit and monthly rent. If you are like most of the current college graduates, you are probably struggling to find a job other than the local coffee shop. In a time of high unemployment, it is that much more difficult for those lacking experience to land a job. If you are currently unemployed and struggling to pay off debt, it may be a better idea to live at home for a little while. Recent college grads that opt to move back in with mom and dad end up saving an average of $700 a month. This is all money that can go towards paying off your car, student loans and credit debt. If you are lucky enough to not be drowning in debt, you can put that money aside and use it to buy a house once you’re financially stable with a secure job. If there is a silver lining to the terrible state of the economy, it is that the stigma of living at home after college has all but disappeared. In fact, many graduates feel that living at home is actually the smarter option, as it allows them to save up for the things that really matter.

Work on Your Credit Score
Did you go crazy with the credit card in college? If so, you may be facing massive credit card bills in addition to debt from college loans. Unfortunately, you are going to have a rough time finding a nice apartment if you have bad credit. Many landlords run credit checks to see how responsible potential tenants will be. If you have a history of paying your bills late or not paying them at all, most landlords aren’t going to want to take on the risk of letting you rent an apartment. You will either need to lower your expectations and find an apartment where a high credit score isn’t a necessity, or move back in with your parents. Wherever you end up living, make it a priority to get your credit score in check. If you find it hard to resist the urge to overspend, freeze your credit card in a block of ice and use cash. Make a budget and stick to it. Even if you are only making small payments each month, you’ll be on your way to getting out of debt and improving your credit score.

Start Hunting
A successful apartment search will require a lot of research. You are going to need to check listings in the newspapers, on the internet and with apartment brokers. Thanks to the recession, a lot of people have had to move out of foreclosed homes and into apartments. As such, the demand for apartment rentals is at an all-time high. This makes it a lot harder to find an apartment, much less one you can afford. You may have had expectations of getting a fancy penthouse apartment in New York City, but you’re going to have to put those on hold for now. Right now, you need to find the most bang for your buck. The ideal is a reasonably priced apartment that is clean and not completely broken down. A little wear and tear is okay if it means a lower rent bill, but you don’t want to completely compromise your standard of life.

Once you’ve started highlighting a few vacancies, it is time to get out there and visit those apartments. Apartment brokers can be very helpful in this step. They are willing to take you out for open houses and show you the ins and outs of various accommodations. If you don’t know how to get started with the apartment search on your own, going through an apartment broker may be a viable option.

If you do find a place that you like and can afford, it is imperative that you pay attention to every detail in the lease. You need to know exactly what you’re getting into and what the risks are of renting from this particular landlord. Knowing the details upfront can save you from a lot of hassle later on.

This guest post article was written and provided by Martha Keagan whose son is just out of college and looking for cheap apartments in Jacksonville close to his job.

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About The Author

Mike is the owner and main contributor for Mike enjoys learning about personal finances and works hard to help college students make and save money in college.

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