Home, Renting

First Time Renter: What You Need To Know

Leaning towards renting rather than buying? Being a first time renter can be extremely confusing and a little bit stressful. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, not being able to put down a huuuge down payment does NOT mean you have to stay at your parents house. Renting gives you the freedom you need, without a $25,000 home loan.

Related Post: The Cost of Moving Out

Obviously, there are a few things to know if you’ll be renting…

First Time Renter: What You Need To Know - The Southern Smiths

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First Time Renter: What You Need to Know

Don’t Let Poor Credit Stop You

Let me tell you, poor credit is not a death sentence. It’s still possible to get your own place if you work a little harder for it. You’ve got to prove that you’re trustworthy, when a line of people are saying you aren’t (a.ka. the lendors, creditors, collectors..). A good way that could work is to offer to pay a larger deposit! Or see if you can co-sign with someone.

Once you get accepted, you’ll need to start thinking about increasing your credit.

Managed Property or Landlord?

As a first time renter, you have two options to choose from. You can rent a home directly from a landlord, or you can rent an apartment, usually owned by a manager or managing company.

There are good and bad sides to both.

In my experience, I don’t like apartments. Your walls are usually shared, you have to worry about neighbor complaints, it just doesn’t feel “free” to me.

In rented homes, you’ll also run in to issues. Every landlord has different rules. Sometimes you can’t paint the walls, sometimes you can’t put holes in the walls (like nails, for picture hanging). It can be difficult to track down your landlord when you need maintenance done, and there’s not usually a set time they have to fix things by. Thankfully, our landlords are amazing. Hopefully yours will be too!

Insure Yourself

Most things are better when insured, and this is no exception. Insurance policies like Allstate renters insurance are essential. They provide security for YOUR possessions, where your landlord usually only has insurance over house maintenance and natural disasters.

Know Your Rights

As a first time renter, you may not know how to find your lawful rights. Even though you don’t have as many rights to the property as the mortgage owner, you still have important ones to learn. Every state has a tenant rights handbook available, that you should read. It allows you to know exactly what rights you have living in your state.

I hope this information helps you on your search for a new home!

Are there any tips you think I left out? Let me know in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “First Time Renter: What You Need To Know”

  1. Good tips! I also do not like apartment complexes for the reasons you mentioned. I would add to have someone practical along with you to help you find a good apartment. Sometimes an apartment that seems like a steal has something wrong that you may not be looking for!

  2. YES to the renter’s insurance. A friend of ours is a photographer. She lost everything in home robbery. The landlord’s insurance didn’t cover any of her belongings, which ended up being thousands of dollars.

  3. I’ve been a homeowner for a long time, but renting does have some advantages. I think that rental insurance is worth the investment.

  4. Great tips! Especially insuring yourself- it’s so important, even as a renter! When we rented our first home, I wasn’t sure where to start but these are great tips.

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