10 Tips: Moving Into Your First Apartment
Maybe you just graduated college or you are ready to fly the nest. There comes a time when you anxiously await to get your hands on your first apartment key. But however exciting it can be, it can also become intimidating and stressful. And that’s okay. Moving into your first apartment is a momentous deal. There are plenty of things to consider and check off your mental list before you move in.
J Home Improvement went through and listed tips to consider before you start your apartment first journey. We hope it helps you avoid a lot of rookie mistakes.
1. Initial Cost
While we apartment hunt, we mainly think about which apartment has the most cost-effective monthly rent. Therefore, sometimes we forget about the initial or upfront costs of renting an apartment brings. Be prepared to pay for a security deposit, which protects the landlord in case you wreck the place or leave town. As long as you keep the apartment nice and follow the rules, you should get your deposit back in full. You may have to pay application fees or even your first month’s rent before you move in.
2. Reoccurring Costs
Again, rent is not the only financial responsibility you have. You also are responsible to pay your utilities that encompass electricity, gas, and heat, or various combinations of those features. Different apartment complexes have different agreements about what tenants are responsible to pay for and what is covered in your rent. Also, there’s renter’s insurance. Many landlords require tenants to take out renter’s insurance. Insurance policies protect tenants in the event of theft or other external damages. Furthermore, renter’s insurance is usually one of the smallest bills tenants pay per month.
3. The Essentials
Before you think too much about the design and look of your first apartment, you need to consider the essentials first: a bed, linens, couch, table, chairs, kitchen appliances, towels, utensils, cookware, etc.
4. The Giveaways
Don’t get tempted to take every item you’ve ever owned or little trinkets with you to your first place. Even though having a lot of stuff seems to make your new place looked “lived in,” it’ll most likely stress you out once you actually start decorating with new pieces. Junk is junk. Things become outdated. Toss it.
Instead of lugging around every item from back home with you into your first place, use moving as a way t purge all the things you no longer need. Ask yourself, “what’s useful and what’s not?” Donate unwanted, unused items; throw away what needs to be thrown away; recycle what you can – many feel great and recharged afterward.
5. Your Lease
Always carefully read your lease and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. Your lease is most likely the first legal document you’ll come across; therefore, you want to be extra cautious before you sign anything. You can even ask your landlord for a day or two to look your lease over before signing anything.
Roommates are a great way to break up the rent and save some cash every month. But make sure every roommate that is living with you will sign your apartment lease. If one of your roommates is complaining about signing the lease or refusing to, that’s a red flag. Because later on, they may stop paying rent or leave the apartment spontaneously and you would get stuck paying their share of the rent. Also, get to know the people you’re expecting to live with before you decide to live together. Different people have different routines. For example, some people are morning people, others are night people. If you’re someone who likes waking up early to make breakfast and make all kinds of noise, your roommate may not or vice versa.
Of course, you can always live with people who have different habits and schedules and be considerate of their space and differences. However, there are differences that are sometimes incompatible; for instance, some people are extremely cleanly, while others forget to take out the trash or wash their dishes. Try to find people who are compatible with you or mindful enough to respect everyone’s space. It’s a mission sometimes believe it or not. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to talk about what matters to you in your shared space.
Taking a pet with you to your first apartment may seem simple and comforting. However, you should always talk with your landlord about your pet before you move in. First, find out if your building allows pets or not. Additionally, some apartments charge tenants with pets a pet rent to keep their animals at their complex. There are also some restrictions on different breeds at various apartments. And many complexes ask for a pet deposit before you move in with your furry friend. Therefore, if you must bring your pet along, be ready to fork up the extra cost.
Have you considered how your new space fits in with your pet’s size and needs? If you have a larger pet and you’re planning on living in a tiny studio, consider how that will affect your pet’s walking space. Have an idea of where you’ll keep your pet’s bed, food, toys in relation to the space you are considering moving into and where they will get their exercise before you sign a lease.
Before you fall in love with an apartment space, examine the area you’ll be living in. Does it meet your safety standards? Is it in an area that is close to your college, job, or shops you’ll need access to? Are you someone who doesn’t mind driving out to needed grocery stores or banks or are you someone who wants to walk to your most important places? Think about which areas match you and how a location can meet your specific needs.
Maybe you’re moving into an apartment with tons of storage space. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Many first apartments do not have tons of closet space. Never fear! There are some pretty resourceful storage solutions out there now for those with space constrictions. There are under-bed storage bins, bookshelves, hanging closet organizers, etc. Rolling up your delicates instead of laying them out is also a good way to save space in your drawers. You can even buy a used trunk for a vintage, industrial feel and use it as a coffee table to hide some items inside it for extra storage.
10. Decoration and Design Plan
Decorating a space is easier to do when you just move into a new place. You’ve tossed out the old and introduced the new. Furthermore, your belongings are already laid out and ready to be compartmentalized into a new design plan. Do you want something simple and minimalistic? Maybe you rather have a space that is more rustic or completely modern? Whatever design changes you make to your new home, check with your landlord first to see if they are changes you can make.
For example, when drilling a hole into the wall to hang photos or artwork, make sure you cover those holes later on instead of leaving them exposed for the next tenant. Also, major revisions are usually not allowed in many apartment complexes like changing cabinetry or flooring. Most apartments allow you to paint walls whatever color you see fit as long as you repaint it white before you move out. Be sure to check with your landlord before you commit yourself to certain decoration or design changes.