If you’re feeling burned out from the dorm life after your first couple years in college, now is the perfect time to dive into the apartment living experience off campus. Your first real apartment can be scary, especially when you start to think about living on your own and about the responsibility associated with it. But it’s a turning point in your adult life and is definitely exciting, so take a look at these few tips to help you along your first apartment hunting journey:
Know Your Budget
Calculating exactly how much you can afford to spend living in an off-campus apartment is the first step. Without this, you will inevitably find the stress associated with not affording rent down the line. Living in a dorm gave you access to various features and amenities that you might not find during your first experience with apartment living off campus. Many college students rough it out in order to live in an apartment they can afford.
Pick the Right Neighborhood
You will want and need to feel comfortable and safe in your new neighborhood, so be smart, research crime statistics, and drive through the area at various times of the day and night to see if you have a good feeling about the neighborhood. Ensure all your necessities are convenient to your new apartment. For example, access to public transportation is crucial if you’re apartment living without a vehicle.
Consider a Roommate
Once you dive into apartment searching, you will come to find the cost of rent and utilities will cut deeply into any leftover funds in your budget for fun and recreation. Sharing an apartment with roommates may mean less privacy, but if you choose who you live with wisely, a roommate apartment living situation can work for you like it does for many students. Plus, you will earn how to deal with others in cozy quarters, which will prepare you for various scenarios in life after college.
Compromise on Apartment Amenities
Be realistic about your expectations for your first apartment, because finding the perfect one is not easy. The chances of finding your dream apartment easily and flawlessly are slim, so be prepared to make some concessions. You have to know what you and your roommates can live without, such as designated parking spaces, a fitness center, storage space, a patio or balcony or whether laundry is on-site or not.