General Question

FlutherBug's avatar

Can you guys tell me if it's at all possible to get my own apartment or studio?

Asked by FlutherBug (1100points) October 4th, 2016

Hi everyone,

I have been thinking and wanting to move to my own place / apartment. But with my credit I am not sure if it is possible? My credit right now is about 670 / 680. Not totally perfect I realize, I have been making good payments and will pay off my credit card by the end of October.

I am pretty much freelancing at the moment, and want to start my own business. So I don’t have a regular typical 9 to 5 job.

One thing that would help big is that my dad will probably be a guarantor and cosign for the place. Another good thing I have is references. I have been living in my current apartment for about 8 months now, and I know they would give me a great reference review. I’ve always paid rent on time wherever I’ve lived, never had any evictions, arrests, late payments, etc.

Is it possible at all for me to get my own place?

Can you guys give me some tips or pointers that would help?

I am a single female in my early 20’s. I am also a student. I only have 1 cat, she’s about 17 years old and is very sweet…. Just sleeps and eats all day….

I really want my own apartment, even a studio…. I am just trying to figure if I can with my credit score and without a typical job (I am a self employed and also go to school).

Thanks for any and all help.

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25 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

From the little I know, that credit score is considered “good.” It should actually look good to a prospective landlord. Your references will be important. The most important thing is that you have paid your rent on time.

Good luck, and happy apartment hunting.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m sure you can provided you can afford it.

chyna's avatar

You may have to come up with first month and last months rent plus a deposit up front. Other than that, you should be fine.

FlutherBug's avatar

@chyna

Oh okay, yeah that’s what I figured pretty much, money talks! I do have all that, I hope that’ll be good enough to get the places I want. Thanks.

FlutherBug's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me

I can, I just wasn’t sure what is needed. Or competition wise if others are wanting the same place. Thanks. I guess money talks. Hopefully first months, deposit, etc can be good enough. Plus the reference.

FlutherBug's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake

Yeah my credit score is considered “average” and “good” thankfully… Working to make it higher.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Some of the places I’ve rented in the past want an “Animal Deposit”, the last place was the amount of another months rent. And one place I looked at wanted a flat $50 a month extra for an animal. Don’t lie about having a cat, if found out they may evict you and that would follow you to your next rental.

rojo's avatar

Your decent credit score and having a father willing to back are both in your favor. A full time job would be helpful but is not a deal breaker thanks to dad.

As a property owner I can say that I would be a little reluctant to rent to you without a guaranteed income and freelancing doesn’t cut it; it is equivalent to being in school. That being said, your credit score is high enough for us and with your father as a guarantor we would probably take the chance and rent to you..

We require a full months rent as a property deposit as do many others and it is sometimes hard to come up with two months rent up front so you might want to save a little before attempting it. Either that or put the deposit down early one month and move in the first of the next.

As for the cat, in our fourplexes we do not allow pets because of the number of people who could be inconvenienced by a pet who is untrained/upset/etc and carries on. We do allow them in our duplexes and homes with an additional deposit, part of which is non-refundable.
We don’t really pay much attention to the age/type/breed. We have found that everyone thinks theirs is a little angel so put little credence in what the owner says about theirs so my advice is not to make a big deal out of it; you have one, it is a cat, how much, should suffice.

Good luck with your househunt!

FlutherBug's avatar

Thank you everyone…. This is my first time looking to get an apartment and place of my own, so I am super excited and wanted advice. Thanks to everyone… Hopefully it will work out :)

FlutherBug's avatar

@rojo

Thank you!!! Much appreciated to your advice n tips !!

SmashTheState's avatar

Depends where you live and what the economic conditions are like. If you’re willing to live in more unusual conditions and do some work yourself, it’s usually possible to get a lot more space by looking for old warehouses and storefronts which have been empty for a long time. With the money you save on rent, you can begin renovating the location. Of course, this means you may have to live in less than ideal circumstances for a while.

I live in the basement of a hundred-year-old building which used to be a factory, for example. It had been vacant for a decade and was in pretty rough shape. We literally had to shovel the basement to get rid of the mold and debris, and hose the walls down repeatedly with bleach. There’s no fridge or stove, and all I have is a sink and toilet so I have to take sponge baths, but there’s a storefront upstairs with 1000 square feet of space (which I’m renovating into a union hall and cultural centre), while the basement where I live is probably another 600 square feet. It’s freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer, but I recently acquired a space heater and a portable air conditioner to make conditions a little more bearable. I pay $540 a month CDN (about $410 US) for all of this, inclusive, so I don’t pay anything extra for electricity or water. For comparison, the same amount of money probably wouldn’t even get me a bachelor apartment here.

johnpowell's avatar

I just got a apartment with a management company that did a credit check and my credit is 650.

Zissou's avatar

You don’t want to hear this, but… an apartment all to yourself is an extravagance you can’t afford at this stage of your life, unless your roommates are truly intolerable and living with your parents is not possible.

JLeslie's avatar

Go for it. You don’t know until you try, and it sounds to me like you shouldn’t have a problem.

FlutherBug's avatar

@Zissou

I disagree, I do not believe it is an extravagance. An extravagance to me is buying a Bentley or a Ferrari. A home is a home. I feel it is finally time I have my own place. If not a 1 bedroom apartment, then a studio. The rent I am paying now, is in fact, the same rent I can probably find a studio in a different place. A 1 bedroom around here is only a couple hundred more than what I pay now.

FlutherBug's avatar

@JLeslie I know, I feel that way too :) Thanks, I am going to try!!!

FlutherBug's avatar

@rojo

Thank you!! And thanks for the advice!!

JLeslie's avatar

My only advice is have three months of expenses saved up so if your income dips for some reason you can ride it out without becoming delinquent in payments and maybe having to lose your apartment. Plan it out enough that you easily live within your means and have some savings.

FlutherBug's avatar

@JLeslie

Great advice, definitely. I do have that. I just wasn’t sure with my credit score and freelancing. But we shall see. I’m gonna try and go for it. If I don’t get a place I’ll just find out what they need and try again! Los Angeles is a big city!

JLeslie's avatar

Update us.

Zissou's avatar

Well, if you can find a studio for the same price, and it’s in a safe location, etc. then I guess you’ll be no worse off, though maybe that just means you’re paying too much now. If you’re trying to finish your education and save up to start a business, you should be economizing.

“Only” $200 more a month for a 1-BR . . . something tells me we’re from different sides of the track.

Have fun!

jca's avatar

I’d worry less about the credit score and worry more about the ability to pay the rent on a monthly basis, plus added expenses (is heat included? you’ll need money for food, electricity, transportation, phone/cable/internet, health care, etc.).

Around here, an apartment is, for a tiny hole, 1k a month. More realistically, 1500 a month for a one bedroom. With all the other expenses (food, heat, etc.), you’d need about 3k per month to make it.

Do you have a regular income that will enable you to pay area rents plus the added expenses? If you do, you can find places that will rent to you without credit check. As long as you have security deposit plus first months rent, you may be ok. You might find an apartment in a house (commonly known as an “in law apartment”). You might find someone that is renting an apartment over their garage or something like that.

FlutherBug's avatar

@Zissou I live in Los Angeles in a luxury apartment building lol. I just spent $600 on my hair alone this month, and it’s barely the beginning of October lol. I’ll probably spend another $800 more just on hair extensions. So yeah. If I didn’t spend ungodly amounts of money on hair/nail salons, expensive makeup, wardrobe, etc, I probably could of already had my own place. Like I said, I just wasn’t sure with my credit score and this will be the first time apartment hunting / apartment searching.

FlutherBug's avatar

@jca Yes I can pay it. $1500 for a one bedroom is completely doable. I actually pay around that right now, in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment. With what I like, the place will probably be $1800 or closer to 2K. Hopefully I can find something good in a beautiful area. Hmm yeah money talks. Okay I do have the first month’s and security deposit. Like another person said here, it would probably be best to have 3 or more months for rent just to be safe. I just wasn’t sure with my credit score. Thanks for your advice.

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