How much should I expect to pay upfront when renting an apartment?
You will need 40x the rent for any landlord to consider you. Then there is typically first [month’s rent], last [month’s rent], and a one-month deposit. Sometimes there will be more of a deposit depending on your credit, pet situation, and other considerations.
If there’s a broker, commission will be 15% of the yearly rent.
What should I expect to pay in addition to monthly rent or mortgage?
Renters: There may be an application fee, move-in move-out fees, utility fees and, of course, broker’s fees. Every rental is unique.
Buyers: There may be an application fee, move-in, and move-out fees. You’ll make insurance payments, monthly common charges and taxes or maintenance (similar to HOA payments in another part of the country) as well as any utilities not included in the monthly charges.
What is a broker fee and why am I paying it?
For a rental, you’ll pay 15% of the yearly rent in fees. There’s no fee for buyers, as the broker’s fee is paid by the sellers to all agents involved in the deal. The broker’s commission is payment for the service of marketing, showing, negotiating, and facilitating all the details of making a deal happen.
Do I need a cosigner or a guarantor?
If your annual salary is not at least 40x the monthly rent, expect to need a guarantor.
What questions should I be asking about the apartments I see?
[It depends on] what you’re looking at (e.g. rentals, coops, condos, artist-in-residence). With 14 years of knowledge, I could really write a book! I would say the best thing to do is get an experienced real estate agent who will walk you through ALL the potential questions you could seek for a property. Depending on the type of property, a good agent should know what to look for and how to best assist you. Remember, with online searches now available, an agent’s value is not in their ability to send you an online listing, but in their intimate knowledge of location, history, market conditions, value, board packages, negotiation and overall buying/renting process.