That down payment on your new place put a dent in your finances. So there's nothing sweeter than getting the full deposit back from your old place. Here are some tips on how to get your deposit back:
- Clean the carpet, tile, and hardwood floors. Some leases require you to get the carpets and floors professionally cleaned before moving out.
- Patch & Paint. Any holes in the wall from pictures or decorations will need to be to be patched. Also you might need to apply touch up paint to parts of the wall that have been damaged.
- The bathroom... EW. It's finally that time - the shower and toilet need scrubbed. Maybe you put off doing it for months or even years. But this is one time to roll up your sleeves and do a deep clean. A little bit of bleach and elbow grease goes a long way.
- Don't leave furniture behind. That couch you decided to leave behind isn't going to move itself. Someone will move it and I bet your landlord will charge for the moving fee.
- The stove... Yummy. Been frying bacon for 2 years? Yup that is caked on the stove top. What about the oven? Set aside an extra hour for cleaning the stove and oven.
Apartment searching doesn't have to be miserable. It's possible to find the perfect place that fits your needs and also shows off your individuality. We've got some tips on how to make your apartment search a walk in the park.
Do your homework: what area are you considering living in? How much can you afford? What amenities are must-haves for you? These are all things to know before going into a showing. The professional apartment pictures and smooth talking tour guides make can make the place seem perfect. Just keep in mind what your deal breakers are.
Show and tell: you've scheduled a showing... so now what? Ask lots of questions, this is one time where there truly aren't dumb questions. You might live there right? Then don't be shy, speak up and sniff out any issues. What is the neighborhood like? How much are utilities? When was the last time the place was inspected?
Finding the one: ok you've checked out 5 places now and weighing the pros and cons has gotten you nowhere. After about 8-10 apartment showings it's going to be tough to tell a difference. You did your homework, you asked the right questions. If it's not fitting your needs then keep searching but at some point you have to trust your gut and make a decision. Does the place capture who you are? Then go with it.
Signing the lease: this is one day to be on your game. Leases can be filled legal language that makes zero sense. Suddenly you sign the lease and have to do your own maintenance and notice hidden fees popping up 2 months into living there. Don't fall into the trap. Take your time reviewing all the documents before signing.
The big move: The earlier you start packing and planning the better. What things do you want to take to the new place? Who is going to help move the couch? Do you need professional movers? It might be a long day but it can be easier with the right planning.