Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Black Law Students => Topic started by: Fabyahluss on May 24, 2005, 10:19:47 PM

Title: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Fabyahluss on May 24, 2005, 10:19:47 PM
So when do all you soon-to-be 1LS plan to start your search for an apartment?  What types of things do landlords expect for a prospective tenant to bring on these "show" days?

I'm about to get my first apt ever after living at home with my parents through my UG years, and I always feel kinda shaky when I go to view these apartments, as if there's something I'm supposed to have with me, but don't.

Do landlords expect prospective tenants to bring anything in particular, such as credit reports, resumes, or anything like that? Are there any special questions that you guys think are key to ask? So far, I've just asked about the neighbors (i.e. how quiet and/or loud they are), policies (i.e. if pets are allowed in the building), and things of that nature. What kinds of questions do you guys think are pivotal to ask, and what types of documentation, if any, should be brought?
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Lexington on May 25, 2005, 01:49:15 AM
So when do all you soon-to-be 1LS plan to start your search for an apartment?  What types of things do landlords expect for a prospective tenant to bring on these "show" days?

I'm about to get my first apt ever after living at home with my parents through my UG years, and I always feel kinda shaky when I go to view these apartments, as if there's something I'm supposed to have with me, but don't.

Do landlords expect prospective tenants to bring anything in particular, such as credit reports, resumes, or anything like that? Are there any special questions that you guys think are key to ask? So far, I've just asked about the neighbors (i.e. how quiet and/or loud they are), policies (i.e. if pets are allowed in the building), and things of that nature. What kinds of questions do you guys think are pivotal to ask, and what types of documentation, if any, should be brought?

Definitely bring your check book! LOL  :D

Seriously though, I think a lot of it is just common sense and you're on the right track.  If you have a VERY recent credit report, you should bring it.  They may take that instead of running their own which will prevent an inquiry and the resulting loss of points.  If you don't have one, they will do one for you but as I said, each time your credit it makes your score lower.  Don't let them do it unless you're sure you want the place.  Most places make you fill out an application as well that's similar to a job app.  You'll want to make sure you have all that info handy - addresses over the last 5 years, references, etc.

You definitely want to find out about ALL the rules.  There are some pretty silly rules where I live now, and I get fined if I'm in violation.  Depending on where you'll be living, you will want to find out about appliances.  I think washer, dryer, refrigerator are usually standard on the east coast whereas you are expected to provide your own on the west.  You should find out what utilities are included, if any.  Find out about the deposit/1st & last months rent.  There is a difference.  Be sure to know which one you are paying.  Definitely find out about parking.  Have the landperson show you the space.  Make sure you feel its safe and secure for your vehicle, assuming you have one.  You should also find out what their policy on late rent is and what the fees are.  On second thought though, asking those types of questions may give the impression that you plan to be late.  LOL.  Its still good information to know...

If I end up going to school someplace where the cost of living is dirt cheap, I'll be buying a place which means I'll probably be on someone's couch for the first month of school (or maybe even a hotel - I shudder at the thought).  Otherwise, I'll probably be moving in early August or so.  At this point, I'm not really picky about where I live.  What's important to me is that I'm safe and that I'm saving $$$
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Fabyahluss on May 25, 2005, 05:13:28 PM
Thanks, that was really helpful. While I was aware of some of the things you mentioned, I didn't know about others, so good lookin out.

But about this credit report thing... what do you consider a "VERY recent" credit history? Six months? A year? Two years?  Also, I didn't know that each time someone checks your credit report, you lose points. Could you say a little bit more about that? Like, do you lose points only if there's a problem, or if it's checked period?

I've already started looking for an apartment because the housing market where I'm attending school is super competitive, and if I wait until July or August to find a place, I'll probably only find hole in the wall pieces of *&^%.
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Lexington on May 25, 2005, 05:27:04 PM
Thanks, that was really helpful. While I was aware of some of the things you mentioned, I didn't know about others, so good lookin out.

But about this credit report thing... what do you consider a "VERY recent" credit history? Six months? A year? Two years?  Also, I didn't know that each time someone checks your credit report, you lose points. Could you say a little bit more about that? Like, do you lose points only if there's a problem, or if it's checked period?

I've already started looking for an apartment because the housing market where I'm attending school is super competitive, and if I wait until July or August to find a place, I'll probably only find hole in the wall pieces of sh*t.

I would consider very recent to be within the last month.  When people run your credit, its called an "inquiry."  The inquiry itself makes your FICO score go down.  I have no idea what the reasoning is behind it.  Inquiries stay on your report for 6 months. 
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: seu2002 on May 25, 2005, 06:47:26 PM
i've had my own place since i graduated HS.  i'm on my 4th place.  definitely ask about parking.  if you're moving into an apartment complex, make sure you ask for an apartment in a building with a lower resident occupancy or you'll be walking some LONG distances to get from your car to your place.

also ask about the maintenance schedule!!!  OMG, i cannot stress this enough!  there's nothing worse than being awoken at 6:30 in the morning by a screaming lawn mower or weed eater on a day when you should actually be sleeping in.  this is especially crucial in LS, i would say, where every minute of sleep counts.

find out about the housing community safety options.  try to get a place in a gated community.  it's definitely better.  make sure you take advantage of all move-in specials and try to find a place that returns your deposits.  lots don't.

find the places you're interested in living in that are closest to your school, then stop by each property for tours.  if you like the place, take an application and fill it out at your leisure.  if they let you submit your own credit report, you should definitely do it.  the only reason you would get denied at a place is if you have any felonies or major criminal issues, which is obviously not the case for you.  depending on your credit and non-existent renter's history, they might up your security deposit by making you pay another month's rent. 

i found 3 roommates online.  we sign the lease to our 4 BR condo this week.  i won't be moving to NJ until july, but i need to get a place by june 1 in order to qualify for in-state tuition which is about $6K cheaper than out of state. 

good luck on your apt search.  wish me luck too.  i've never had more than one roommate before, and i've never lived with more than one female at a time.  scary.   :o
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Lexington on May 25, 2005, 06:50:43 PM
i've had my own place since i graduated HS.  i'm on my 4th place.  definitely ask about parking.  if you're moving into an apartment complex, make sure you ask for an apartment in a building with a lower resident occupancy or you'll be walking some LONG distances to get from your car to your place.

also ask about the maintenance schedule!!!  OMG, i cannot stress this enough!  there's nothing worse than being awoken at 6:30 in the morning by a screaming lawn mower or weed eater on a day when you should actually be sleeping in.  this is especially crucial in LS, i would say, where every minute of sleep counts.

find out about the housing community safety options.  try to get a place in a gated community.  it's definitely better.  make sure you take advantage of all move-in specials and try to find a place that returns your deposits.  lots don't.

find the places you're interested in living in that are closest to your school, then stop by each property for tours.  if you like the place, take an application and fill it out at your leisure.  if they let you submit your own credit report, you should definitely do it.  the only reason you would get denied at a place is if you have any felonies or major criminal issues, which is obviously not the case for you.  depending on your credit and non-existent renter's history, they might up your security deposit by making you pay another month's rent. 

i found 3 roommates online.  we sign the lease to our 4 BR condo this week.  i won't be moving to NJ until july, but i need to get a place by june 1 in order to qualify for in-state tuition which is about $6K cheaper than out of state. 

good luck on your apt search.  wish me luck too.  i've never had more than one roommate before, and i've never lived with more than one female at a time.  scary.   :o

I definitely wish you luck.  4 roommates? Online?  Desperate times require desperate measures.  I'm sure it'll all work.  And if not, I hear the library's open 24 hours.  LOL. Ok, sorry  :)
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: seu2002 on May 25, 2005, 06:53:41 PM
haha!  that's my consolation, actually.  can you imagine?  4 women with synchonized menstrual cycles living under the same roof?  hell naw!   >:(
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: Lexington on May 25, 2005, 06:55:39 PM
haha!  that's my consolation, actually.  can you imagine?  4 woman with synchonized menstrual cycles living under the same roof?  hell naw!   >:(

Actually, there are 3 of us where I live now.  It's not so bad.  The menstrual cycle thing is a little bit creepy.  But hey, there's always someone to ask about when to expect it ;)
Title: Re: Apartment Hunting
Post by: blk_reign on May 25, 2005, 07:24:44 PM
 :D :D

haha!  that's my consolation, actually.  can you imagine?  4 women with synchonized menstrual cycles living under the same roof?  hell naw!   >:(