Apartments are often a convenient, cost effective housing option, and making the most of your apartment experience is important. This guide includes ideas for everything from choosing the right place to creating storage space to getting along with neighbors who live on the opposite side of a thin wall. So read on to find out everything you need ti know about living in an apartment.
First, you have to decide how much you are willing to spend on rent. After which, multiply that number by three. If the product of these numbers is greater than your income, you may want to consider lowering the amount you wish to spend on housing each month. Many apartment complexes use a similar formula for determining if an applicant meets basic income requirements for their complex.
Choosing the right apartment can be a difficult process as you stack up various factors against the cost of living in a particular spot. Choosing a comfortable location that is close to work sounds easier than it is, after all. Things to consider outside of location include amenities, complex rules, neighbors and other costs.
Amenities can include everything from having an on-call maintenance staff to sand volleyball courts. Basketball courts, clubhouses, and Olympic size pools are all options that many complexes offer, but these type of facilities are definitely reflected in the monthly rent. If you have found that these places are a little out of your price range, then you may have to consider other options.
For singles, one option is to find a roommate. This can be as simple as asking that guy in your chemistry class if he wants to share an apartment, or as complex as using a roommate matching service. (These can be found online; The best I found was www.roommates.com. Many colleges and universities also offer this service for their students.)
For those who aren’t interested in sharing an apartment, or aren’t sure they want to live in a complex, search alternative publications, art districts, and the classified ads that aren’t in bold print. These are the places that you will find nontraditional apartments. For example, you here you might find a landlord who owns less then ten apartments, and they are located above stores or art studios. These types of places are often large and well lit, as well as inexpensive.
A nontraditional apartment will be a unique space that looks nothing like the one across the hall. When searching for this type of home, always ask the landlord if more than one is available. If the answer is “yes”, ask to see them all, as this will allow you to decide if you belong in the retro apartment with 1970’s paneling, or the one with black and white checked floors throughout. (Yes, I actually toured these two apartments; both were in art districts, and both were moderately priced.) These places also often have flexible leases, if any at all.
However, if complex living sounds right for you, it may be wise to read through the entire rule book before you sign the lease. Those who rent without finding out the rules may find themselves stuck in a place they won’t be happy. For instance, if you smoke, you should make sure that your building allows this. Another big problem that often arises is the pet problem. Those who don’t find out about rules regarding pets may find themselves bound by a lease that doesn’t allow your best friend.
Whatever type of apartment you decide to rent, one of the largest challenges will be storage space. If you have chosen to live in a traditional apartment complex, there may be storage space available in other parts of the building. These are often available for the entire apartment community to use, but aren’t secure, since all residents will have access.
For those who don’t have this option, or don’t wish to use it, renting an outside space may work for you. The smallest units usually start at about $25.00/month. Prices increase with the size of the storage unit. If you don’t want to rent a space, then you will have to create your own storage plans.
Covering a Rubbermaid storage tote with wallpaper is in excellent place to begin. This should be one of the largest totes available, in order to maximize storage space, but also so that you can use it for a coffee table. Choosing the larger size will ensure that it is large enough to fit with the other furniture in the room. The wallpaper that you choose should match the rest of the accents in the room.
Using your space wisely also helps. Make sure you keep closets, cupboards, and drawers carefully organized. Use shower caddies in the bathroom, not just for the shower, but for organizing personal care products that you keep on the counter. The most important parts of creating storage space are to be inventive and flexible; This will allow you dream up interesting ways to keep your stuff organized.
Neighbors aren’t usually a problem, but occasionally someone rude or inconsiderate will move in and drive you crazy. Loud music, door slamming, and annoying pets can get old fast, not to mention window peepers, fighting couples, or bong smokers. Whatever it is that your neighbor does that drives you nuts, be reasonable. The first time it happens, try not to react to harshly, it may be a one time thing. If the behavior becomes persistent, talk privately with the neighbor, and propose some sort of agreement about the behavior. If the neighbor isn’t receptive, or doesn’t keep up their end of the bargain, talk to the landlord. They will be able to deal with the problem most effectively.
If your apartment search is spurred by a need to relocate to a new state, try using a website to find a new place. Two of my favorites are www.Rent.com, and www.apartmentguide.com. These are useful in searching for apartments you can afford, view floor plans, and search for amenities. These sites are also helpful if you are just looking for a new place, as are classified ads and asking friends about where they live.
Remember that finding a new apartment doesn’t have to be a chore, just make sure that you are taking the time to learn the particulars about any place you are seriously considering. Happy hunting!