How to choose the right college apartment
First of all, let us say congratulations! If you are looking at this article that most likely means that you have decided to find your own apartment. Since you are in college chances are that you are doing this for the first time and that you will be subletting it. So, before you even think about moving, let’s make sure that you have chosen the right apartment to move into. We are also going to take a wild guess here and presume that you will be living with roommates. We will make a special post dedicated entirely on how to pick them, but, in case that you don’t get to read it, we will throw a couple of advices here as well. Take notes and let’s begin.
1. Take surroundings into consideration
When picking the right college apartment, don’t forget that you have to find the appropriate neighborhood as
well. Make sure that you know what it that you want and then go from there. Is there a market nearby? Is it open 24/7? Is there a pharmacy close? Coffee shops, bars, libraries, fast food restaurants? When it’s the middle of the night and you are craving food, drink or an aspirin, it would be nice to know how fast you can get one. Another things is the building itself. How tall is it, how well preserved? Is there an intersection or a highway nearby? Are there a lot of kids screaming and yelling, or elderlies that would frown upon your lifestyle? Are the walls think and the windows lack isolation? All of those questions, or better yet the answers for them, can make a big difference when it comes to finding your college apartment. Regardless how much time you will actually spend there, you won’t that time to be as stress free as possible. And if you sense there is something fishy about the apartment complex, you can always go on websites like Yelp, and check out what other people are saying too.
2. Know your limits
When picking your first college apartment you might find yourself overly excited by that one very charming looking apartment that is just a little above your pricing range. We are here to tell you – do not do that. Although while looking you will often stumble upon on apartments like that, it is not wise to go for it. The best option you can pick is an apartment slightly below your budget, so you will leave yourself enough space for additional costs. Which ones, you might ask? All of them! When you switch from dorm room to apartment, or even when you switch from one flat to another, you will have to invest in a lot of things, some as small as light bulbs and other as large as furniture. It is way smarter to pick a cheap college apartment that perhaps isn’t so appealing and fill it with nice things that you can take with you when you leave, then decide to go for something luxurious that while stretch your budget thin.
3. Leave no stone unturned
You came up with a few options, and now it’s time to check them out! It would be much easier to choose your college apartment if you go prepared to those visits. First of all make a check list and stick to it. (You can find some helpful ideas here!) It doesn’t matter if your visit it taking too long and you can see that your future landlord is getting restless. That probably means there is something he doesn’t want you to discover while looking. Perhaps there is a leak, or the windows don’t have the best isolations and that will cause you problems in the future. That is why your job is to check all of it, and be perfectly comfortable when you are picking your college apartment. And when you decide that you have found the one, sign an airtight lease with the owner. Read all of the parts of the contract (So boring, we know!), come up with changes if necessary and make sure you are completely protected in case there is a problem. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for references from previous tenants although that might be a little difficult to come up with. Try not to leave anything to chance, so you wouldn’t wake up to rain in your room anytime there is a storm, or in a sauna when there is a heat wave.
4. Choosing your roommate
Although this is a very wide and complex topic, we will try to cover up the basics. When choosing the right
college apartment, people often forget that if their roommate sucks, it will all be for nothing. Best thing you can do is pick someone you have already lived with, but if that is not an option, don’t go to your comfort zone and pick a cousin or close friend. You might know that person for years, but if you have never really lived with them you might be in for a treat. And then, when you actually pick a “stranger” to live with first sit down with them and tell them everything. And we mean everything! When you wake up, do you cook often, do you take long showers, do you have friends over, and does your mom come every weekend… They need to know because if they can’t fit into your schedule and you don’t fit into theirs it is better to know that from the beginning. If you do think you are a match make an agreement from the start and try sticking to it – cleaning, paying bills, making parties… Write it down if you have to, it might seem too formal, but it will save your life. Or at least your nerves.
Let us congratulate you once more for taking on such an important life decision and wish you a spectacular time in this new endeavor of yours. Make sure to continue checking our blog for more useful tips as well as some horror stories when it comes to picking your college apartment.