Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Apartment Hunters

Young Woman Apartment Hunting on Her PhoneIf you’re thinking about renting your first Beaverton apartment, you may be equally excited and nervous. It makes sense to feel this way: after all, there are various things you need to sort out, from finding the right place to guaranteeing you can afford it and everything in between. Make apartment hunting easier by organizing some important things beforehand. By following these basic guidelines now, you can quickly find and rent your first apartment like a pro.

Crunch the Numbers

Before you begin your apartment search, you need to evaluate how much you can afford. To do this, you’ll need to make a monthly budget listing the entirety of your income and expenses. After that, you can calculate how much rent you can afford. A universal guideline is to keep your apartment rent at around 30% of your income after taxes. Figure out the exact dollar amount. Now take a look at your budget. Do you have enough money left over after your other expenses to cover this balance? If not, you may need to take some additional steps before you’re ready to start apartment hunting.

Look Beyond the Rent

Identifying how much monthly rent you can afford is a significant first move, but there are some costs involved that you will need to acknowledge. Generally, you will need to pay a security deposit upfront along with the first month’s rent. The amount of this security deposit will differ, but it is typically the same amount as the rental payment.

There may also be other deposits and fees, such as credit check fees, utility deposits, and extra expenditures. Additionally, you’ll need to find out whether utilities are included with the rent or if you will be responsible for paying for everything. Internet, cable, electricity, gas, water, and trash disposal are all basic utilities that you’ll require to have abundant money to get set up if they did not include that in the rent. To summarize, you can consider it like this: you’ll need to have at least 2 – 3 months of rental payments saved up to secure that you have something to use when you get into your first apartment.

Application Basics

Once you’ve got your finances figured out, it’s the right time to start searching and applying for your first apartment. It is important to arrange your application materials before you start so that when you find the place you desire, you’re ready to get that application done easily. To rent an apartment, you’ll need a list of documents and information.

While this list can change from one place to another, it’s helpful to have the following available:

  • Your last two pay stubs or a bank statement
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Credit report
  • Contact information for at least two references

Read the Lease

As you’re coping with the rental process, carefully read through all of your lease documents – including the fine print. A lease is a binding legal contract, which is to say that once you sign it, you will be on the hook for everything that is involved in it. Have a clear understanding of your responsibilities, what your landlord will provide, how things like maintenance and repairs will work, and so on. In addition, guarantee that the rental payment amount, security deposit amount, and other numbers are correct.

Finally, observe for any unusual or unexpected rules or clauses to guarantee that you are comfortable following the rules stated in the lease. If you have any concerns about something you notice in your lease, be sure to ask somebody you trust. Generally, the more ideas you have about the apartment, the neighborhood, and your landlord before you rent from them, the safer you will be.


Are you looking for your first rental home in Beaverton? Contact us online today or call us at 971-270-2600.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.