Renting an Apartment
Finding an apartment in Boston can be a chore if you don’t have the right people helping you. That’s why we here at Atlantic Properties are skilled to guide you through the process of finding your new home. There are, however, a few things you can do to help ensure to save yourself time and ensure that you get the apartment you want.
Please take a second now to review these few helpful hints:
Do Your Homework!
Boston has many wonderful neighborhoods – each of which hold many special perks and challenges for their residents. It’s important, therefore, before you start looking at actual apartments, that you take the time to walk around and get to know the neighborhoods in which you might like to live. Once you have decided where you want to be, its best to contact a broker in that neighborhood, since most offices only cover a few select areas or towns.
We here at Atlantic Properties specialize in rental and sales properties in the South End, Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods. We are in tune with the fluctuations and pricing of the rental market in these areas and have many exclusive rental listings for you to consider.
Determine your budget
Knowing how much you have to spend on rent and utilities each month is essential. Typically we recommend that folks plan to spend no more than 28% -36% of your net income on rent in any given year on rent; however there are many factors which also need to be considered.
It is important to know, before signing a lease, for example, what, if any, utilities are included. Some apartments come with heat and hot water included; others require the tenants to pay all utility costs. It’s important therefore to know, given your other financial obligations, how much you can reasonably spend on rent, utilities, food and other essentials before you begin your apartment search.
Think about amenities!
In order to help your broker narrow your search, think about what you’d like your new home to have. Do you like modern apartments or those found in more traditional brownstones? Is it enough that there is a Laundromat nearby? Or must there be an in-unit washer/dryer? Do you need a fireplace? Do you crave outdoor space? Take a second to think about what you’d like your new home to include – and what you might be willing to sacrifice for less monthly rent.
Bring your checkbook!
Be sure to bring your checkbook with you every time you go out on an apartment search. Boston apartments often rent quickly – and something you see today can be gone in a matter of hours. So the general rule is – if you see an apartment and like it, be prepared to fill out an application and write a check. You must leave a deposit before any application can be considered; but know that, at Atlantic Properties, no checks are cashed until we know we have a deal.
Gather Reference Information!
When applying for an apartment, you will need to supply your broker with information on your current and past landlords and current and past employers. It will be part of the broker’s job to contact these people to see if you were a good tenant and/or if you are making the income you say you are. It is helpful, therefore, to take the time to look up the names and phone numbers of these individuals so that the broker can check these references quickly and easily. The more prepared you are, the faster your application can be processed, and the greater the likelihood that you well get the apartment you want.
Know your Credit History
Your credit history says a lot about you as a prospective tenant. Landlords like to see that applicants have been paying their bills in a timely and responsible manner.
If you have credit problems, you may be wise to try to clear up any issues as best you can before you begin your search.
Another possible solution for a person with a poor credit history is to find a friend or relative in Massachusetts with good credit who will be willing to act as a co-signer on the lease.
Please be aware that all brokers collect a fee of one month’s rent if and only if you rent something from them. This is how rental brokers get paid.
In this tight market, there are a few landlords who are willing to pay the broker’s fee, but in most cases, you should be prepared to pay a full month’s rent for your broker’s services.
It would be wise, however, to ask before you begin working with a broker what his or her fee will be and if there are any other hidden charges. Some offices, for example, change a nominal application fee.
Rest assured, however, that at Atlantic Properties there are no hidden costs or charges other than the industry wide standard commission of one month’s rent.
Need to know more?
Please feel free to give us a call with any questions or comments you may have – or write us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org We want to be the ones who open the door to your next apartment!