It's an exciting time when you rent your first apartment. Getting your own place and living where you choose has great advantages. If you haven't rented before, you might just jump at the first place you see. This is usually not a good idea and you might miss out on somewhere even better.

Here are some steps to take before renting your first apartment that will help you find the right one.

Think About The Right Place For You

Even before you head out looking at apartments or even searching through listings for rentals, you need to think about what the right building or place would be for you. For example, what can you afford to pay? Rentals vary in price and a building you would love to live in might be out of your budget.

Sit down and make a list of what you would like to have in a building and what you need to have. For example, is it close to work or near transit? Is it a safe neighborhood and building? And then think of things that would be nice to have in the building like a pool, fitness room, or even ensuite washer and dryer.

Make Appointments At Your Chosen Places

After checking rental listings for apartments in your chosen area that fit your criteria, make appointments at several of them. Call the landlords and ask your most important questions on the phone. This will prevent you from wasting time at buildings that don't have openings or don't have items you need.

Go to the appointments on time and dress appropriately. First impressions are important. Just in case you like any of the places you see, make sure you have your paperwork and all required ID in order to apply. You might have to be prepared to pay a deposit and at least a month's rent along with your application.

Inspect The Apartments

At each apartment you check out, inspect the unit carefully. You don't want any surprises after you move in. Check to see that the heating, plumbing, appliances, and electricity are working properly. You can ask other tenants if they have had issues and if they were fixed in a timely manner.

Check for signs of pests or rodents like mice or cockroaches. Check to see that the doors to the unit are safe and secure as well as sturdy. Also, check to see the building's entrances are safe and secure too. Check to see if the building has a security system or cameras.

Also, check the elevators to see how large they are, and ask tenants how they run if possible. Look for signs of structural problems along the walls and floors too. This can show whether the building is being maintained properly or not.

For more information about apartment listings, reach out to a local real estate agent.