Trying to plan your first big move and want to know what to expect? Read along as I discuss fees associated with moving into a new place. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out the first post Guide to Relocation: Apartment Hunting & Moving Budgets. Already have? Then read on.
When you move into a new rental property (home, apartment, condo, or otherwise) there are a few fees that can be expected.
Deposit: Usually a payment of some sort is required upfront. This could be a fee (not associated with rent) or first and last month’s rent. The fee may range depending on your credit. Typically I’ve seen $300-600 as the range.
First Months Rent: If it isn’t included in the deposit then this will be paid upon move-in. If you move in the middle of the month then it will probably be prorated.
Renters Insurance: Most leasing offices require residents to have renter’s insurance. Check to see if the office has any requirements. Like the deposit, the amount may depend on your credit. I paid about $275 for my insurance.
If utilities are not added to your rent through your leasing office then you will need to set them up separately. You’ll get your bill for most of them a month after you move in. However, it’s good to go ahead and add them to your budget.
Water & Sewage: If utilities are “included” these are usually the two you can expect. They will be added onto your rent when you receive your bill. For me it was about $20. Check with your leasing office to see if they can give you an estimate.
Gas: If you have a gas stove this bill may be a little higher than usual. When I did I paid about $20/month and I used the stove a lot. The security deposit and installation fee (both on the first bill only) was $30 and $25, respectively. My first payment was due two and a half months after I moved in. Again, it’s something you may just want to plan ahead for.
Power: Similar to the gas bill, I received a bill two months after moving in. My power bill was bi-monthly. It came to about $55/month or $110/bi-month. There was a $200 deposit. It was returned once the service was shut off.
TV & Internet: If possible, try to go with a company that offers a bundle package. So far I’ve had DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse. I haven’t had an issue with either of them. Of the two DIRECTV has been cheaper, but AT&T was able to offer rebates for my area.
Unless your place comes furnished you’re probably going to need to buy furniture. If you’re on a tight budget you should prioritize. A bed was my first priority. I bought quite a few items from Ikea. Friends and family were also a big help. Other helpful sites were Craigslist and Freecycle. I know Craigslist has developed a reputation for being sketchy. I advise meeting in public places and/or taking a friend. Other places worth browsing are Target, Walmart, thrift shops, and furniture consignment shops near you.
If you have a large budget and don’t care about saving, go crazy!
If you’ve got a pet, then you’ve got another deposit. The pet deposit. The prices I’ve seen range from $300-500 (the latter being the most common). Additionally, most complexes also have a monthly rent ($25-50) that has to be paid. They will probably add the fee to your monthly bill. You’ll need to check and see if your complex prohibits certain animals or has breed restrictions.