General Question

onesecondregrets's avatar

What is your best advice for someone who is getting their own place for the first time?

Asked by onesecondregrets (2591points) June 14th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

Renter’s insurance.

Get it as soon as possible.

This q was asked a while ago and had some good answers, I’ll see if I can find the link for ya.

Aethelwine's avatar

Visit during evening hours and the weekend to see what the neighborhood is like when most people are home.

eponymoushipster's avatar

like @Likeradar said, renter’s insurance.

onesecondregrets's avatar

Thumbs up for that Likeradar. :).
I’m researching renter’s insurance as we speak.

I haven’t been on fluther in a while..feel like I forgot how it works- NOW I find the older, similar questions after I redundantly ask mine. Haha, thanks guys.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Take pictures before you move anything in. Of everything. With a date stamp if possible. Put them somewhere safe—stored electronically AND printed. Generally, you should keep them with the lease.

Try to always contact your landlord via email. That way you have documentation AND know they got it.

mcbealer's avatar

Depending on your geo/rental agreement (not sure if this applies or not) make plans now for winter by creating a budget or setting up a payment plan with the utility company that will be supplying you with heat.

jrpowell's avatar

Buy stuff as you need it. Going on a huge shopping spree might be fun but you will end up with a bunch of crap you will never use.

WifeOfBath's avatar

Get a wonderfully comfortable couch and make a list of things you need and post it to aunts, uncles and friends and ask them if they have any of these as spares to donate them to you. I think many of us would like to donate things we have many of to family and friends. At least I would…:D

filmfann's avatar

Initial purchase of itchen stables can be very expensive. Katsup, salt, mustard… You will be amazed how much food stuff that you need is.

Judi's avatar

Take pictures at your move in inspection. (let me step back a second…..) Do a detailed move in inspection, take pictures and send copies of anything not perfect to the landlord and ask them to keep them in your file. Also make sure you keep a file as well, both of the pictures and the detailed written inspection along with your lease and security deposit receipt.)

Note anything dirty. Things often missed: Window tracks, windows, the rail above the shower door, behind the refrigerator or stove (if they provide them,) crumbs in the cupboards, inside the medicine cabinet, under the sinks.
Also make note of the general “smell” when you move in. Does it smell clean? If not, make a not of that on you move in inspection paperwork.
Document document document. Every time you have a maintenance request, jot down (maybe on the outside of your “Rental File”) when you called and what the complaint was about. If you think about it, jotting down when the work was completed could come in handy too.
Even if you have the nicest landlord in the world, documentation is imperative. Your landlord could move or get fired tomorrow and if all you have is verbal promises the new landlord may not be willing or able to follow through.
As a landlord for 20+ years, I know what I’m talking about here!

Now, for the advice from mama landlord Judi:
If you want to party, do it at someone else’s house.
PAY YOUR RENT ON TIME!
Don’t bother your neighbors.
Following the above rules will be the best insurance that you won’t have any problems with your rental experience.

Darwin's avatar

Check and see what others can see through your open door or windows and act accordingly. Make sure expensive electronics or other easily fenced items can’t be spied from outside. That will reduce your risk of burglary. And make sure what you think is a private area is truly private. That can reduce your risk of peeping toms or problems with the neighbors.

Visit the apartment during the time you would typically be home, to be certain none of your neighbors ignore Judi’s advice about partying somewhere else. My first apartment was terrific until I got a night job and had to sleep during the day. My first condo was terrific until I discovered how thin the walls were and how energetic my single male neighbor’s sex life was.

Make sure your chosen unit is not too close to the dumpster but that it is easily accessible, and find out when it is emptied and by what route. Under your windows is not recommended.

Check to see that you can park fairly close to your unit in a well-lighted area.

Do what @Judi says.

And never play bongos naked in front of the picture window in your living room while stoned. He was my parents’ backdoor neighbor (they weren’t the ones who called the cops, though).

chyna's avatar

Go to yard sales for things like cups, mugs, silverware, towels. You can get some of this stuff dirt cheap there and some of it has never been used.

Darwin's avatar

And then there is the Dollar Store! :-)

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