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How much can you afford to pay on rent?

     Does this amount include other expenses like utilities, cable and phone?
 You should try to spend approximately 30-50% of your total monthly income on rent and utilities. Also, moving in to a place usually requires first and last month’s rent plus an additional security deposit.

     Do you want roommates? If yes, how many?
     Having a roommate helps to lower your total cost of living, but brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages, not to mention the massive interview process you may have to deal with. If you feel that you do want a roommate or roommates, you may want to utilize a web site, like http://www.craigslist.org/ to aid you in finding someone who melds with your habits and lifestyle.

     What area do you want to live in? Do you need to live near your family, friends or college?
     Things to consider here are whether or not you need to live near public transportation. Also safety might be an issue, so check out the area you’re considering on moving to.

     Do you have companion animals? Are you planning on getting any in the near future?
     Many renters won’t rent to people with pets and so it’s really important to figure out whether or not you’re getting one. Another consideration is that renters often want an extra deposit for a pet. Check your local humane society for listings of pet friendly apartments. The Peninsula Humane Society’s website is http://www.peninsulahumanesociety.org

How to find the perfect apartment

     Check the classified section of the newspaper for local listings.

     Craigslist is a useful website in finding a place to live. The website offers many unique options to help your search, such as, a list of people who already have a place and need a roommate. Also temporary leases and sublets can be found.

     Skyline College has a rent board in the cafeteria posted by students, stop by and check those out.

     If you’ve exhausted all of the “free” resources, you may consider paying for a rental and roommate service such as http://www.renttech.com/web. Some of these services work better for certain areas, so check before you pay.

     Before you make an appointment to check out the place.

     Make a list of questions to ask the renter. For example you may want to know how much the average utility bill is.

     Make a list of things you need to have included in your apartment. For example you may need a garage or extra storage. Since, these things fall under your “need” list, ask if they’re included when you call, so you’re not wasting your time or theirs.

     Also make a list of things you would like your apartment to have. This list might include things such as dishwasher :), washer and dryer, broadband Internet connection, backyard or even a fireplace.

Compiling your portfolio

     In this market it’s crucial to be prepared. Basically you need to show the renter that you are responsible.

     Bring a credit report to your appointment. You can get one easily on the Internet through a website like http://www.experian.com. This is important because you might be able to apply for the place while you’re there.

Setting up your place

     Now that you have your place, you’re going to have to furnish it. Be resourceful.

     Ask your friends if they have things that you may need.

     Check out http://www.craigslist.org

     Check the classified section in the newspaper.

     Go to garage sales and estate sales

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The student news site of Skyline College.
For Rent