And so, it begins! The apartment hunt for the next year is here and I’m more than excited. Last year, I looked and looked but I kept putting everything on hold because I didn’t know where I wanted to live. I was going from having roommates to living by myself and it was something to really think about. I wasn’t going to need all the necessities that we had in our rented townhouse – no basement (finished or unfinished) would be needed nor would an actual dining room. It was a downsizing moving because I was going to a home for three people to a place for one person. It was a little bit more hectic. I was going to be living on my own and I needed to study areas and focus on places where I would be safe as an average size female… although don’t let my size fool you, I had older male cousins growing up and they made sure I knew how to handle myself.
Everything has to fit within a budget. As someone that graduated a year ago, it’s not like I’m making a six figure income and I’m still trying to get this adulting thing down. I still bring my mom to look at apartments with me, she asks all the important questions while I fawn over the interior and if I’m going to like where I’m at. This time around I’m taking more into consideration because it’ll be my second year on my own and I want it to be more homey.
- Budget. Don’t go for something that is out of your means. I’ve never paid over $500 in rent when I was in college or now. It’s a blessing honestly because I know so many people that pay double what I pay and it’s the struggle. I enjoy the fact that I have extra spending money after the fact. This next apartment I hold a full-time position and it’s nice because I can move closer to my job and go up in rent. Just remember to apply your utilities now and guess estimate how much they might increase or decrease.
- Area. I don’t live in the best area. It’s not scary or anything of the sort but if I look out my window, there’s a church and graveyard. Not the view someone wants to enjoy in the morning. It definitely looks sketch as you travel down the street but it’s quiet and quaint. There’s nothing big around me besides Kroger and Target though. My next area I’m looking at has everything and it’s nice, I love it.
- Pet Policy. I want a puppy and I’m determined to get one with my new place. That’s something I have to look into with pet rent and the deposit I have to put down. Compare prices of your top three places and figure out if there;s a dog park around, you don’t want your baby cooped up all day. I think it’s crazy there’s a breed restriction because dogs aren’t bad unless you make them bad… don’t stereotype a breed. Anyways, I will be getting a puppy in May or June and I can’t wait because it’ll be a little less lonely.
- Size. Size matters. It really does matter with the amount of furniture you have or what all you want to bring into your new place. A tiny living room might not be able to fit that sectional someone offers you or you might have to toss some things if they don’t fit in your new place. It’s really important to measure or envision where everything is going to go as you look at places. I have a small place now and I know the places I’m looking at are a upgrade and will provide more space.
- Expenses. Reoccurring verses One-time. Always make sure that you look into these expenses. There’s expenses that fall into the utility category that will be reoccurring. Pet rent will be reoccurring at some places while other places have a one-time deposit that isn’t refundable. There’s also parking expenses if you have a garage and assigned parking. One-time expenses fall into administrative fees and security deposits – luckily those security deposits are usually returned and hopefully the full amount.
Those are just five simple things that one can consider. I’m sure once I get older, a lot more is going to go into my living space and what I need to do or consider as my responsibilities change. As a twenty-three year old, these are what I’m considering as I look for a new place. The hunt is on and it’s going to be great. I’m hopeful for nice neighbors and people my age – fingers crossed everything works out in the end!
This was SO helpful! Living in a college town (Iowa State University) everything is so freaking expensive! I'll be moving with my boyfriend come December and I'm going to make him read this post so he knows all the extra expenses! Thanks girl, keep up the good work!