Renting your apartment can allow you greater freedom and flexibility, but if you haven’t done it before, it can seem like a daunting process. It doesn’t have to be. Just take a look these guidelines to help you find a good place that meets your needs and your budget. How is your budget? Before you even begin looking for your apartment, you should determine how much rent you can comfortably pay. Experts vary on the percentage of your income that should go to rent, but the generally accepted range is usually 30 percent of your income. However, you also need to consider your debt payments, daily living expenses (groceries, eating out, and entertainment), and other bills. Take time to look at your budget before you start looking for your apartment, and make sure you leave enough money to put toward getting out of debt and saving money in addition to your rent and other expenses. Area Where You Want to Live You need to determine the best place for you to live in relation to where you work. In general, the farther away you are from work, the higher your transportation costs will be. But nowadays with Grab or Goviet this cost will be very cheap, but you have to accept bad traffic to work If your office in a central area (D1 or D3) you will likely find that the housing costs decrease the farther away you live. You can begin by searching online with keyword as “cheap apartment for rent in Saigon” or “apartments for rent in Ho Chi Minh” or “huosing in Saigon” to get a general idea of the pricing in the area. Many apartment-hunting websites and apps allow you to limit your apartment search to a particular area and see the range of rent prices within that area. Looking at Five Properties Once you have decided on one or two areas that you want to live in you should look online. You may be surprised at the deals that you can find there. You may also want to call a few property management companies to find out what they have available. Only choose five properties to view at a time. Otherwise, you risk not only exhaustion from coordinating and making all of the viewings, but you might find that all of the properties start to blur together. Consider taking pictures of each of the exteriors and interiors so that you can remember the apartments. To learn about Utilities The last thing you want to do is move into the first apartment of your dreams only to realize that you can’t afford the heat, electricity, and gas bills that come with it. Find out which utilities are included in the rent for each property you look at and also which ones are not. For the utilities that aren’t included, get an estimate of how much you can expect to pay each month from the broker, landlord, or utility company. Many landlords include utilities such as heat and hot water in your rent, and some also include all gas and electricity. Other apartments might also include things like internet, phone, and cable access with the rent. The more amenities offered generally means higher rent. However, if you find a good deal, you may end up saving money if you were to purchase cable, a gym membership, and a phone line. Don’t be rush. Take your time and save others’ time Although you may feel pressured to make an immediate choice, generally you should take at least 24 hours to think about whether or not you want to apply for an apartment. Consider all factors when making a choice. If you simply go for the apartment with the cheapest rent but feel that the building is rundown or unsafe, then that’s not a wise decision. You should also consider safety if you are going to be living alone — a second-story apartment is safer than one on the first story. Make sure you feel good about both the price and the apartment itself. Read the Lease Carefully Before Signing Take the time to review your lease before signing it. Doing so will save you big headaches later because it will help you make sure you’re getting what you think you’re getting and also ensure you don’t inadvertently break it and get into legal trouble. Generally, you’ll pay a deposit along with the first month (and sometimes last month) of rent when you sign a lease.