Are you afraid you can't afford an apartment? When you first decide to look for a new place to rent, it's easy to worry about whether you'll be able to pay for the apartment of your dreams. About.com will help you ease your fears and decide what you can afford.
First of all, don't let yourself be crippled by fear over the fact that you will be paying a lot towards your rent. Paying for housing will take up the bulk of your income, whether you rent or own. The rule of thumb is to spend no more than 33% of your income on rent. However, some people choose to spend more so they can get the exact location they want or a bigger place, that's something you'll need to calculate for yourself.
Also, it's helpful to get a grip on what other costs will be associated with living in your apartment. Security deposits, first and last month's rent, monthly utility payments, and renter's insurance can all surprise you if you aren't prepared. Read your lease carefully and do a little research to be sure you have a firm grasp of what costs you'll be responsible for above and beyond your rent.
Speaking of renter's insurance, consider buying a policy. It covers you if your belongings are damaged, destroyed or even stolen. Your landlord's insurance doesn't cover your personal belongings. Also, it's a great idea to create a budget so you know exactly what you can afford before you start the apartment search.
Finally, if you have done all your math and discover you just can't afford an apartment, consider low-income apartments. These are apartments specially set aside for people who make a lower income and are subsidized by the government. Austin Apartment Specialists can help you locate these apartments and let you know whether you qualify for them. If you don't qualify, we can also help you find apartments in your price range. Just give us a call at 512-241-1111.