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Looking for an apartment

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Looking for an apartment

Looking for an apartment

Taking the plunge and moving into an apartment might seem simple, but there are many things to consider.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve your project.

You must identify your needs and have access to all the tools needed to establish criteria for rating possible apartments and ranking them in order of importance.

Rental prices are affected by:

  • location: is the apartment downtown or in a residential neighbourhood?
  • number of rooms
  • floor: is it a basement unit or on an upper floor?
  • accessibility of public transportation

Start looking

  • Check classified ads in local papers and online to see what apartments rent for.
  • Write down the addresses of any apartments that meet your criteria.
  • Compare their rents to what you have budgeted.
  • If the rent exceeds 35% of revenue, consider possible solutions
    • get a roommate
    • choose a basement unit or an apartment with fewer rooms
  • Explore neighbourhoods, on foot or by car. Visit apartments you've found in the classified ads.
  • Make appointments for these visits.

Rank what you find, based on your criteria

  • Rank potential apartments in order of preference.
  • Contact the landlord if you have questions:
    • What utilities are included in the rent (e.g., heat, electricity)?
    • What kind of heat is there?
    • How long is the term of the lease?
    • How many rooms does the apartment have? Are they large? Well-lit?
    • Is the apartment located near services and public transportation?

Drawing up a monthly budget helps you figure out exactly what goes in your pockets and what goes out. It takes a little planning at first, but you will have the satisfaction of getting a clear picture of your spending as compared to your income. Learn how to draw up a monthly budget in 3 steps.

Furthermore, to get an accurate picture of your income and spending, check out the My budget management tool or use the Budget for post-secondary students (PDF, 522 KB) - This link will open in a new window..

Keep in mind:

  • Plan to set aside between 25% and 35% of net monthly revenue for rent each month.
  • Ask utility and service providers to estimate monthly costs for expenses like heat, electricity, Internet, etc.
  • Build future purchases into your budget (for buying furniture and other necessary items).
  • Include projections for the moving truck, installing and turning on certain services, etc.

Once you've found an apartment that suits your criteria and budget, it's time to sign the lease. Because this is a contract with legal ramifications, it's essential to:

  • understand what the lease says
  • ask the landlord to make necessary repairs, if needed, and add this to the lease agreement

Tip

To make paying rent easier, check if your landlord accepts money transfers (Interac e-TransfersTM or Desjardins money transfers).

Make an inventory of items you'll want to gather or purchase, including furniture and appliances.

Solutions that won't break the bank:

  • Find out if family or friends can donate anything
  • Buy second-hand furniture or appliances
  • Use your creativity when furnishing that first apartment!
    • Buy easy-to-install shelving instead of a new armoire
    • Mix and match chairs
    • And so on

Get peace of mind: rental insurance starting at just $18 a month

To learn more or to get a quote, see Home insurance.

Tenant insurance protects you against bodily injury and property damage you may involuntarily cause another person, even if you’re held responsible. To learn why it’s important to insure your apartment, read Insuring your home: That's thinking ahead!

Did you know?

If your parents are insured with Desjardins, their home insurance could cover you.

Test your insurance knowledge

Have fun answering our insurance quiz: Make sure you're covered: car, home, accidents and more  - This link will open in a new window.

If your budget is balanced or shows a surplus, the coast is clear for you to put some money aside. A contingency fund is the best way to get ready for the unexpected.

Learn how to build a contingency plan in 3 steps.

To help you achieve your goals, take advantage of My Savings Plan, a flexible term savings, for Desjardins members aged 13 to 30.

To make sure you have some breathing room, there are many financing possibilities.

Credit card

Credit cards can be friends or foes, depending on how you use them.

Used wisely, credit cards can be useful in more ways than one. Being careful and thinking ahead is the right attitude to have when using credit. See the 6 tips to make the most of your credit card..

Learn more about the credit card that matches your profile in the Student offer.

Line of credit

A credit line is another flexible financing tool that you can use under certain conditions. When you're studying, you have a lot of expenses and not much income. It could be a useful tool to help you make ends meet. Learn more about financing products.

Learn more about the line of credit that matches your profile in the Student offer.

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