A guide for your new apartment that you actually have to do.

This is not another post about decorating an apartment, or making a small space feel bigger. Nope! This is a post dedicated to all of the ~adulting~ things you have to do when you move into a new apartment. 

It is easy to get lost in the excitement of a new apartment and miss important paperwork deadlines, fine print and details that make your move possible. I am about to move into my SIXTH apartment in the past three years later this week, so I have had to learn all of these tips the hard way. 

If you can take care of this to-do list before your move-in day, you will be well on your way to having a smooth transition and awesome first day in your new home! 

1. Apply

So you have spent so much time searching for an apartment that is just right. In the right price range, not too far from work, and maybe even a large granite island in the center of the kitchen! And look- the unit that of your dreams is available to move in to, according to the website!

Not so fast.

Unfortunately, I have found that most websites don’t update their availability at all. So you are going to have to call, go for a tour and see what units are available in the time frame of your move.

Once you complete the application, there will typically be an application and processing fee. If the advertised application fee is $75 and you have a roommate, both you and your roommate will be charged that $75 separately. This is because the apartment complex needs to run checks on you to make sure you have the funds to pay rent and you are not a convicted felon.

Fee Alert: application fees are charged in the full amount advertised to each person that is on the lease. 

2. Other Fees

You should expect to pay a security deposit, processing fees, pet fees and the first months rent on or before the day you pick up the keys to your new place. 

Security deposits can range anywhere from $100 to the total of a month’s worth of rent. 

Pet fees are typically $150-350. On top of the pet fee, you will pay monthly “pet rent” for your furry friends. Nobody ever said pets are cheap! 

If you are moving in on the first of the month, you should expect to pay the total first months rent when you move in. If you move in any day after that, your rent for the month should be prorated for the amount of days you will spend in that apartment.

Fee Alert: security deposit, processing fees, pet fees, first months rent. 

3. Proof of Income

When you apply for your apartment, you will be asked how much income you make a year. You will need to prove this after your application has been approved through pay stubs (typically from the past month), offer letters (if you haven’t started your new job yet), W2s or some other proof of income if you are self-employed. 

I know, it would be nice if they could just take you at your word, but they have to know you will be able to make payments. 

4. Renter's Insurance

You need renter’s insurance. I used to think that it was a waste of money, but after seeing two apartment fires this year, I realize the importance of insurance. Most of us are renting because we want to build towards something bigger. Don’t let the assets you already have get taken away from you in a blink of an eye. 

Most apartments offer renters insurance through partner companies, but I like to get my insurance through State Farm. I was able to get insured for the same dollar and liability amount at a rate of $6.97/ month, while the apartment was offering $16.99 as their lowest rate. 

Fee Alert: renter’s insurance. Upfront or monthly. 

5. Electricity

Your apartment will probably have an energy provider that the county uses for electricity. When you get all of your paperwork done, your apartment will tell you which company to reach out to in order to either begin service or transfer service. 

If you are transferring service, make sure to have your account number handy. Just know that once electric gets cut on at one apartment, it is G-O-N-E at the other. Keep this in mind on moving day! Make sure you bring all of your “groceries” from your old fridge over first! 

6. Internet

Your internet is similar to your electricity. Basically, you set up a new account with a provider offered at your apartment complex, or you transfer service over to the new apartment. 

You want to make sure you schedule this 2-3 days before your move because a technician will be coming out to your apartment to set up your equipment. Also, remember to shop around for the best rates! 

7. Change Your Address

The first thing you are going to need to do when you change your address is go to the nearest U.S. Postal Offie. Tell them you need a change of address card, fill it out, and give it to them. If you have roommates, bring enough home to them so they can do the same and send their change request in the mail. You can find the online resource for this process here

Then you are going to want to take the time to set up all of your online accounts with your new address. This includes Amazon, credit/debit cards, bank accounts, streaming services, employers databases, loan companies, doctors offices, etc. 

This makes sure that your mail gets sent to the right address, even if have submitted a change of address card. It is best to play on the safe side! 

8. U-haul

I have tried to move using a friend’s truck, my dad’s truck and two different cars at once. I have also tried moving with a U-haul. After moving with a U-haul I will never go back to pickup trucks again. 

Yes, it may seem more expensive up front to pay for a U-haul truck, but between the gas you save on each trip, damage done to items if they can’t fit in the bed, and the time spent going back and forth from the old place to the new, it ends up being a better situation to rent the U-haul. Your going to be exhausted if the process is drawn out longer than it needs to be. Trust me, your tired body will thank me later! 😉

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I hope this guide makes moving easier for you! If you would like to see more apartment-related content, comment below and let me know! Also, be sure to sign up for my email list! 

XoXo

-Yo Pro Woman