Apartment Hunters- Great Advice for Students and First-Timers

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In PART 1 of Apartment Hunters Great Advice for Students and First-Timers, we explore commonly overlooked details in apartment hunting. Keep a sense of humor and READ ON!

The Hunt Begins

First things first; will you fly solo or are you considering a roommate? If you want to share the expenses, make sure you know that person REALLY WELL.  Before you set out on the apartment search, ask your potential roommate these questions.

Which locations work best and do they have their own transportation?  You have enough on your plate without someone constantly bumming a ride or asking to borrow your car.  What are their living habits?  Are they a slob, leave their wet towels on the floor and “borrow” your stuff?   Are your daily schedules compatible?  If you’re an early riser, is your roommate up all night playing Call of Duty, burning pizza rolls and setting off the smoke detector? What about pets- are you allergic to cats or hate snakes?  And finally, what are the ground rules for house guests- discuss it BEFORE their significant other keeps using all the hot water in the morning.

What about finances- do you plan to split the rent 50/50?  Does your potential roommate even have a job or do they expect you to front the money each month? What about the expense of items other than food, like toilet paper, laundry soap and cleaning supplies?  Do they even plan to clean at all?  Write up an agreement that is acceptable to the both of you and sign it.  Make sure you know what you’re getting into so you don’t get the urge to toss them off the balcony. Going solo has its advantages.

So… you decide to go it alone.  How much rent can you truly afford?  Are you a student or just striking out on your own for the first time? Make sure you aren’t getting in over your head or tying yourself down with a huge rent payment.  If you are working 50 hours a week to afford the rent, consider a different place.  You want to be able to shop for groceries, go on a date or take a weekend trip; plus there are always expenses you didn’t consider (think car repairs and Christmas presents).

Take some time to consider your options and mull over your choices. Part 2 of this blog will be published soon. 

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