Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Free Apartment Lease Form

January 12, 2013

Lisa asks…

How is requiring a form ID to vote discriminating against “minorities”?

First off, ID cards cost between $5 and $30 depending on in which state you reside and are required for many activities like signing a lease for an apartment, any responsible adult should be able to afford this fee.
Second, the media, both right and left keep using the word “minority”. In my town I would be considered a minority, but I, as well as many of my fellow European Americans have one or more forms of ID.

Administrator answers:

Its actually free now if your don’t have one to avoid any appearance of impropriety

Mary asks…

How do you rent an apartment?

Thinking of moving out on my own, and i’m not quite sure what to do. Also, when I do manage to rent an apartment, how do I pay the rent? Am I sent a bill every month?

I am completely clueless and I am going to end up going through this by myself.

Administrator answers:

Lol…it’s ok. I’ve talked to a ton of first time renters, who are absolutely clueless…don’t worry about how you pay your rent. If there is one thing that absolutely EVERY LANDLORD in America is clear about, it is how you pay them!

Getting an apartment will involve credit and background checks. You also may have to prove income. If you have no income, you will have to find a place that accepts persons with co-signers. More importantly, you’ll need a co-signer.

Best advice: walk away from every place you view without submitting an application, and sleep on it. Consider everything. I’ve talked to so many people who fall for a free month, if they sign a lease for a place that looks alright during the day but turns into a shooting range at night.

View AT LEAST 15 apartments. I would suggest 20-30. Get as much info as possible, write everything down. If they are offering you an amazing special, ask yourself why. The rental market in america is hurting, so you should be able to get a good special somewhere. Just make sure it is a good place!

Assume every apartment you look at is exactly how it will be when you move in. Don’t believe leasing agents who tell you about upgrades that will be made, until you see them. Don’t sign anything until you get them.

Try to talk to a resident or two if you see them on the property. Seriously, if you see someone walking out approach them and ask their opinion (try to do it out of the company of the leasing agent). They will almost always be completely honest.

Oh and don’t be so convinced that buying has a huge advantage over renting. A year or two of rental history DOES PAY FOR ITSELF. In the form of lowered interest rates! Most lenders will be hesitant to give you a good rate without any rental history. Don’t believe me? Go ask any lender!

You are investing in your own credit.

Good luck!

Robert asks…

Can I be forced to move out of my apartment in Austin, TX without notice if I haven’t broken any rules?

I received a move-out form from my apartment complex in Austin, TX, though my lease does not expire till two months from now. I have not broken any rules, nor have I ever been late with rent.

Administrator answers:

A peer said it correctly; it seems as though it was posted on the wrong door.
Call the mgr and find out what’s up.

Or, look at the names and phone and addresses on the FORM.

If you wish my intervention help, for free, email me

Mandy asks…

I live in a n apartment looking to go back to school will financial aid cover my lease?

I’m 27 yrs old looking to go to college full time. I filled out the FASFA forms my EFC is 0 which is great. What I’m nervous about is will it cover my lease if I already live here and I get paid UTT, how to explain living costs, rent, etc, with little or no proof of income?

Administrator answers:

I have no idea what UTT is but it is doubtful the “free” financial aid will cover both your tuition and your living expenses. You would need to take out loans, which have to be paid back with interest. My advise would be to get a part time job and help cut down on how much you borrow. Borrowing money to live off of is a bad idea anyway. You’ll be paying off that rent and living expenses for 10 years or more and if you can’t get a job after graduation, you’ll end up having to move in with someone to be able to afford your loans.

Thomas asks…

What are the best steps to take as a novice real estate investor looking to get into rental properties?

By rental properties I mean apartment buildings, houses, condo’s, multifamily unit dwellings, ect. Please feel free to make any suggestions or any I didn’t include. Thank You

Administrator answers:

Get ahold of a mortgage broker or lender to find out what you qualify for to purchase a rental property. Keep in mind that you probably won’t find a non-owner-occupied loan that requires less than a 25% down payment (maybe 20%, but I haven’t seen them for awhile). You’ll also pay significantly higher rates on non-owner-occupied loans. And, realize that you can’t include future rents as income for the purpose of determining your debt to income ratio when purchasing this property. It doesn’t exist yet and must usually have been coming in for about a year (to where it shows up on Schedule E of your tax returns) for it to count as such.

Then check rental properties for sale in your price range and in the desired area, as well as similar properties for rent . You’ll want to verify that you can actually rent the property for more than you pay for it (positive cash flow). For condos and townhouses, consider that this will include howmeowner’s association dues, as well as the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and possibly things like water and sewer that you may not pass on to the tenant.

You should also have a certain amount of cash on hand for repairs, maintenance, and renovation. You may also have to buy new appliances. You can usually pass these expenses on to the tennant in the form of higher rent payments. But, remember that you will have a certain market value that people will not pay more than.

You should also have extra cash on hand to pay the mortgage when the property is vacant. And, realize that the IRS lets you deduct mortgage interest, taxes, and incidental costs of upkeep and repair of the unit. But, if you make a certain amount of money, this starts to phase out and you can only deduct a certain percentage of the cost of a rental, and eventually none of the costs. And, the amount of rent you make is considered taxable income.

You might also want to look into hiring a property manager, at least for the shortest term they will allow you to after they do the tenant screening. They usually charge some up-front fee to find the tenant, and then have some minimum term where they charge like 8% of the rent to do the management. I hired one for a rental to find the tenant. They charged nothing up front. But, they have a minimum term of 1 year (the lease term) at 8% of the rent as their fee. After that, I can choose not to retain their services. But, it was worth the peace of mind that they are professionals and got me a good tenant.

Also, study rental laws in your state. You can usually find good information from the state department of consumer affairs that isn’t as confusing as the actual state civil codes.

Jenny asks…

How Much Money Should I Have Saved To Move Out?

I am planning on moving out of my parents house and I was curious as to how much I should have saved. Me and a close friend are planning to get a 2 bedroom apartment near Manteca Ca and split all living costs (rent, food, pge, cable, etc). How much should we each have saved to move into an apartment that costs about 700-800??

Administrator answers:

Build a budget including all income and expenses. Typical monthly expenses include: Rent, Loans, Water, Cable, Internet, Phone, Electricity, Car Insurance, Renter’s insurance, Groceries, Gasoline, and spending money. The cost of bills depends on where you live. There are lots of free budget forms for download; also check out DaveRamsey.com and mint.com for help budgeting. Rent should never be more than a third of income; many landlords verify this before they’ll offer a lease. If you don’t have enough money coming in to cover these expenses, consider getting a roommate.

Make a savings plan to prepare for moving out. There are lots of “start-up” costs involved in moving out the first time. Deposits for apartment and deposits/installation fees for bills are the largest factor. Other things to save for are: Furniture (bed, couch/chairs, coffee/side tables, TV stand), electronics (TV, Computer, Microwave), Pots & pans, Dishware, Silverware, Bedding, towels, and the list goes on. Buy items that are easy to move before moving to decrease the amount you’re spending at one time. In addition to saving for the items listed above, put some in savings for a “rainy day” in case of job loss, medical emergency or car accident. $1,000 is the minimum, 3-6 months bills is recommended.

A great way to prepare for living on your own is to live by this budget before you move out and put what you expect to pay in bills into a savings account. Not only does this get you in the habit of living off the money budgeted for non-essential items, but it’s a great way to build up savings.

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