10 Tips for Searching for Your First Apartment
Finding your first apartment can be both exciting and nerve wracking. Here are ten tips to help you find that perfect place!
1. Set a budget
It is easy to go into this process with a broad price range in mind. But, if you do not set a distinct budget then you may find yourself getting lost in the moment and going overboard. Be realistic with yourself and calculate a budget that will allow you to live comfortably.
2. Tour every apartment
Pictures and computer simulations are a great way to give you an idea of an apartment, but there is something different about actually touring the place. This will allow you to get a true representation of what you are getting into.
3. Take your future roommate with you
When you go to find an apartment, take along whoever you will be living with. That way, you are both on the same page and receiving the same information at the same time. Everyone needs to be happy!
4. Get advice from your parents
Even though you may be an adult now, the truth is that parents have been around longer and know a bit (or a lot) more. They are likely to give you honest advice and feedback you may need.
5. Consider amenities
Does a potential apartment complex have a gym? A tanning bed? If you normally pay outside memberships for these amenities, then having these included could save you a lot of money.
6. Take the neighborhood into consideration
Is this neighborhood safe? Are there a lot of college students or is it mostly elderly people? If you are new to the area and looking to make friends, then you may want to live in a complex full of college students. If you are a nontraditional student who is looking for more quiet, then you may want to stray farther from campus.
7. Learn about the pet policy
For those of you pet lovers who have dogs and cats - find out what the pet policy is. Is there a monthly fee or pet deposit? Is the pet deposit refundable? All of these expenses can add up.
8. Ask your friends for advice
Your friends are likely also looking for an apartment. Ask around and read reviews online. Where did they love living? Where were the most complaints? Your friends are the ones who will be honest with you!
9. Don’t be impulsive
It can be easy to get overly excited and sign a lease right away. However, it is important you explore different options and think about everything. Make sure you sleep on it, as it is a big commitment.
10. Consider living on campus
Living in an apartment on campus is definitely an upgrade from the dorms. Plus, you’ll be right there, so you don’t have to get up as early for class!
Happy apartment hunting, and good luck!