First-time Renter Advice | Home Properties
Home Properties

First-time Renter Advice


Congratulations! When you decide to rent, you not only get a new home — you get a flexible lifestyle. You’re no longer locked into a long-term financial commitment the way you can be with a house. At Home Properties, we offer even more flexibility with the Home Properties Pledge, your satisfaction guarantee.

Here is some advice to help make renting your first apartment a positive experience:


Private Landlord vs. Management Company

Before you begin your search, you may want to decide whether you want your apartment run by a private landlord or a management company. There is an important distinction. A private landlord might be hoping to get rich quickly from their commercial real estate investment. Read more...


Choosing a Roommate

You may need to consider getting a roommate to share expenses. Think about your friends first. Is there someone you already know with whom you would consider living? This is an important decision and one that shouldn't be made too quickly. Read more...


Find Your Home!

Compare Apartment Community Amenities
Many Home Properties communities offer various amenities — swimming pools, fitness centers, computer facilities, outdoor trails, etc. Take the time to compare offerings of several area communities and consider the potential savings if you don't need a separate gym membership, for example.


Apartment Layout
Take the time to review different layouts available to you — one- and two-bedroom apartments with one or more bathrooms and other amenities such as dens, dining rooms, extra storage, etc. Pick a floor plan that fits your lifestyle today, and one you can live with for the next few years.

Reserve your Apartment Online
Once you find the perfect apartment, act quickly. Take just a minute to visit the Home Properties website and reserve your apartment online.

Application Fee
After you place a hold on an apartment, the next step will be a credit screening and a residency application. You can download a standard residency application right here on our website. Once you submit the application, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable application processing fee to cover the costs of ordering a credit report, checking references, and processing your application.


Finalizing the Apartment Selection

Following approval of your residency application and credit report, it's time to take a closer look at the exact apartment you will be moving into at your chosen community. You may be interested in a two-bedroom, but there may be several two-bedroom apartments available. Every Home Properties community has a process they follow to prepare apartments for your arrival. Learn more about the Benefits of Renting with Us.


The Lease Agreement

Once you are ready to make a commitment to a specific apartment and community, you will be presented with a lease agreement. The lease is a legal document that is binding for both the resident and landlord. You can view the standard lease agreement used in your state here on our website. Read more...


Security Deposit

You will be required to put down a security deposit that is roughly equal to one or two months' rent. This will be held by the property manager and applied to the cost of repairing any damages to the apartment. After deducting the proper amount to cover damages and repairs, the remainder of the security deposit is refundable when you move out of the apartment. Read more...


Pet Fees and Deposits
Most Home Properties communities are pet friendly. In some cases, you may be charged a small, upfront fee and/or a monthly charge to cover the extra cleaning and repair costs related to a dog or cat living in the apartment. Terms for holding and refunding the pet deposit are spelled out in the lease agreement.


Renters' Insurance

Before you move in, it is required that you obtain renters' insurance. This is a special insurance policy that protects the contents of your apartment from loss or damage due to fire or theft. A policy of this type is really quite affordable, and premiums are calculated based upon the value of your furniture and other personal possessions. Read more...


Apartment Walk-through

Right before you are scheduled to move in, it is important to walk through the apartment with the leasing consultant. This allows you to confirm that all preparations have been completed and the apartment is prepared to your satisfaction. If you have a digital camera, it is a good idea to take a few "before shots" of each room in the apartment.


Arrange for Utilities

Because utilities such as gas and electric, cable television, Internet service, and telephone service will be placed in your name, it is your responsibility to call and order service before you move in. Depending upon your credit history, these suppliers may request a refundable deposit. This will also help you start building a credit history in your own name.


Furnishing Your New Apartment

Before moving in, you will want to give some thought to furnishing your apartment. The most important component is having a good bed. After that, consider hunting for furniture and supplies at garage or yard sales, thrift stores, and the attic or basement of close relatives! Read more...


Arranging the Move

You have found your perfect apartment, completed the paperwork, and have a move-in date in mind now it's time to locate a moving company. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Unless you choose to pay for the expensive packing service, you will be responsible for packing everything yourself. Read more...

Find more first-time renter survival tips at:
the and Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Apartment Search

Our Pledge to You

Home Properties cares about our residents and we want you to be happy in your new home. Read about Our Pledge to You, a written guarantee of satisfaction.

Going Green

Home Properties is committed to caring for the environment in our apartments, townhomes, and offices. Learn more about our green initiatives.


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