How Much Rent is Too Much Rent?
by dan ross
what every apartment renter wants: the most comfortable
surroundings you can get for the lowest possible monthly
rent. Some of today's newly constructed apartment communities
have taken luxury to an entirely new level. Some complexes
have gas fireplaces, TV monitors by the front door,
drive-through mail service, and office equipment for
their tenants, among other creature comforts. Every
renter has to consider the importance of amenities like
these. Are they important enough to you to merit a rent
increase of perhaps $200 more than the rent you pay
now, at a modest yet affordable complex? While some
of us consider an apartment as just a place to hang
one's hat, others place a premium on home surroundings.
But how do you determine how much you can stretch your
budget -- without ending up in the poorhouse in the
provided by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, is
to spend no more than 25 percent of your monthly gross
income on your rent. For example, if your annual salary
is $30,000 per year, or $2,500 per month, you shouldn't
plan to spend more than $625 per month on rent. And
although it goes without saying, it's important to remember
that the extra money you allocate for rent in a slightly
more upscale complex means less money for your other
expenses -- utilities, loan payments, entertainment,
food, and most important, savings.
a short checklist of factors, provided by Florida-based
Apartment Hunters, that you'll want to consider when
checking out a neighborhood. Of course, some of these
factors may mean more to you than others, and you may
want to consider some additional factors of your own.
* Is it
close to your place of employment? * Is the neighborhood
safe? * Is it close to a good school system? * Is it
close to your church? * Is it close to stores, banks
and the post office? * Is it close to public transportation?
* What are the parking regulations (if you own a car)?
apartment renters share one thing in common: surprise
at just how many hidden expenses they encounter. Hiring
movers and paying your first month's rent only represent
two small pieces of what can be a rather expensive pie.
In addition, you're going to be subjected to a credit
check, and you're required to prove that your gross
monthly income is at a certain level, in order to provide
your complex with some degree of security that you can
pay your rent each month. So if you've overestimated
your financial abilities in the past, either failing
to make rent payments or credit-card payments, now is
the time when that history could come back to haunt
you. Here's a brief run-down of some of those hidden
expenses -- and pre-move procedures -- of which many
renters either aren't aware, or that they overlook in
the excitement and bustle of moving:
deposits. Security deposits range from $100 to a full
month's rent; the average deposit is approximately $250.
Some apartments require separate deposits for roommates.
Credit application fees are generally $10 to $35.
income. Verifiable gross monthly income is at least
three times the monthly rent. For example, a rent of
$500 would require a minimum of $1,500 gross monthly
check. A credit check will be conducted by the apartment
community or management company representing the community.
history. Any previous rental history will be verified,
and mortgage payments may be included as rental history.
Additionally, some communities are also conducting criminal
All apartments require a written lease. Lease terms
typically are seven to 12 months. Most leases are written
for 12 months. Shorter lease terms and month-to-month
options often are available at premium rates.
You rent will often include sewer, water, trash, and
pest control. Gas and electricity are almost always
paid separately by the tenant.
Although many apartment complexes allow pets, they require
residents to pay dearly for the privilege of setting
up house with Fido. Pet deposits are stiff, and tenants
are charged per pet. Deposits range anywhere from $100
to $300 per pet, and either all or a portion is nonrefundable.
Some complexes charge additional rent for pets -- on
top of the deposit. Pet size is commonly restricted
to 20 pounds and 12 inches in height, although some
communities do allow larger pets.
Since 1989 dan the roommate
man has helped 1000's of people find good roommates.
Call him today at 800-488-8050 or http://www.roommateexpress.com