If you’re just starting out, it’s likely time for you to get your own place. Moving out of your parents' house and into a space of your own is a big step, and one that’s both exciting and challenging. You might think that getting an apartment or home might be as simple as signing a lease, but in reality it’s not.
When you decide to rent, you’re going to occupy a property that someone else owns. You have to make your residence there convenient for all parties in the deal. That means keeping your finances secure, and in most cases, getting renters insurance. So, before you move in, take the time to get all of your ducks in a row.
Don’t Rent Unless You Can Afford It
Many young adults are working their first jobs, and often making smaller a paycheck. While there’s plenty of time to climb the income ladder, you also have to see to your needs now.
When you decide to rent a home, live within your means. Paying too much rent means you might not be able to afford many of the other costs of living. One rule of thumb is to pay about 30 percent of your income in housing costs. So, if you’re making $3,000 per month, you should try to pay $1,000 or less for your rent. However, this rule is not steadfast. You might decide to pay a little more or a little less for your housing. Still, take a close look at your assets. You should be able to pay your rent every month, without exception.
Get Atlanta Renters Insurance
Because you’re moving into someone else’s property, you will face risks, and bring risks with you. You usually have an obligation to protect yourself and others. Renters insurance can protect serve as one form of protection.
Generally, renters insurance is very affordable. In fact, some policies can cost renters under $20 per month. Usually, these policies come with two distinct elements of coverage:
- Liability Protection: Many landlords require renters to carry this form of protection. It helps protect the renter in case they cause physical harm or property damage to someone else. For example, if a guest falls and breaks a leg in your home, they might sue you. Liability coverage can compensate that person for their losses or cover legal fees.
- Possessions Coverage: Even though you live in someone else’s property, you’re going to own personal possessions. These include personal items like appliances, furniture, clothing, electronics and other belongings. If a hazard damages these items, possessions protection might help you repair or replace them. Usually, possessions coverage will pay up to a limit for items in your home. Set your policy limits after you review the value of your personal belongings.
Remember to review your coverage when you get it, as exclusions may exist. Some expensive items, like jewelry or art, may not have possessions protection. Other liability events might not have coverage as well. To cover such risks, you might have to invest in extra coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about the best way to structure your policy.
Keep in mind that renters insurance may not cover damage to the structure of the home or items you do not own. These items likely fall under the coverage of the property owner’s insurance. Talk to the landlord or property owner about their coverage before you buy your own. You might be able to better coordinate the coverage you need.
Invest in Financial and Personal Security Now
As you prepare to move, you’re going to have to take care of yourself in more ways that with just insurance. If you can save money and invest in proper home protection, you might lessen the impact of potential hazards.
Commit to put money away into a nest egg each month. Think of your nest egg as a rainy day fund, or savings that you will want to build over time. You will only want to dip into this money in case of an emergency. In the event of small damage, you might be able use a bit of your nest egg for repairs. It might save you from having to make an insurance claim. Furthermore, your insurance likely won’t cover instances of normal wear and tear. So, you will likely need this savings in the event of small damages.
Furthermore, if you take the time to make your rental property safer, you might be able to prevent or lessen damage that might otherwise result in a claim. For example, using a home security system and keeping your valuables under lock and key may prevent certain instances of theft. Keeping up with home repairs might stay on top of hazards that could lead to guest injuries. There’s no limit to what you should do to make your rental property safer. Of course, always talk to your landlord before making any modifications to the home. You don't want to put the homeowner's liabilities on the line. By working with your landlord and your rental insurer, you can ensure you have a safe, happy home.