When you are apartment hunting, prepare a rental search plan. Be sure to know in advance what you want in an apartment and what you can live without. Decide in advance what areas of the city you could consider living in and make a list of apartment buildings within that perimeter.
Be sure to consider how far and how convenient it will be for you to travel to your job or your school or your family and friends. Also, how far is the apartment from stores, banks, hospitals, Church (if you attend) etc. If you have a car, make sure that there is adequate and convenient parking space 24/7. If you don't drive make sure that there is close by public transportation.
Be realistic about what you can afford. Most apartment renting guides suggest that your rent should not be more than 25% to 30% of your income. This can vary depending on the income bracket, but be sure to be “real world” when budgeting additional apartment expenses such as heating and air conditioning and other utilities. If you fall short of affording the apartment of your choice, you might consider sharing an apartment with a roommate or roommates. Keep in mind that living with roommates can help you afford an upscale Efficiency Apartment or even, in some cases, luxury apartments, but it also has extreme restrictions to your privacy.
Help is available for your search. MyStudioApartments.com has listings from many sources and a team devoted to creating the best apartment search navigation possible. The site's clean design and user-friendly search are awesome. If needed, Rental Assistance can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance
Good apartment hunting!
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