1. List your Must-Have’s
a. For most people, this includes the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, access to transportation or major commuter routes, and community guidelines such as whether they offer pet friendly apartments.
b. Once you’ve identified the features you can’t live without, you can start narrowing down your search.
2. List your Nice-to-Have’s
a. The nice-to-have features on your list may include utilities, features such as a pool, patio or deck, or fitness center, or amenities like on-site laundry.
3. Determine Your Budget
a. According to recent figures, many experts agree that your total housing payment should be no more than 1/3rd of your monthly gross income. If the rest of your budget is in balance, this should allow you to cover all monthly expenses easily, and still have funds left over for saving or investing.
b. If you plan to have a roommate, be sure to take their portion of the rent and utilities, into account when factoring your budget.