So, you're getting your first apartment? That's great! This is an exciting time as you step out and enjoy independence, but it's also a time when planning is important. Before you sign on the dotted line for your first apartment, make sure you're not making one of these common first-time apartment dweller mistakes:
Paying Too Much
Many first-time apartment dwellers will sign up for the most expensive apartment in their believed budget. However, doing so can be costly, because it's easy to overlook other costs, like insurance and utilities, that you will also need to cover. You need to be completely honest with yourself about your budget and what you can afford, and make sure your total monthly budget isn’t going to leave you without money to enjoy a social life or purchase the stuff to furnish your apartment.
Being Wowed by Unneeded Amenities
Many apartment communities have amenities to make apartment life more comfortable. However, be careful not to be swayed by amenities alone. Make sure you know what amenities you need and actually use, and don't rent something that's too expensive just because it has a lavish business center that you’ll never need. That said, some amenities are very helpful! For example, if you have a gym membership, you might be able to drop that altogether if your apartment has a first-class fitness center and pocket the savings.
Having Too Much Clutter
Once you get settled into your apartment, it's easy to start filling it up with stuff. But be careful! Apartments, like any living space, don't have unlimited room, and you can quickly turn your abode into a place of clutter. For example, a bookshelf that seems like a good place for storage can quickly morph into a catch-all with no organization for your belongings. This can make the space look messy very quickly.
Failing to Consider Location
Make sure the location of your new apartment fits your needs. You need to be close enough to work or school and to the transportation option you use most. If you don't have a car, choose a location within walking distance of at least one store for necessities. If you do have a car, easy access to major highways or interstates is helpful. If you aren't close to these things, your transportation costs will increase and could outweigh savings on rent.
As you can see, there's more to consider when moving into an apartment than just the floor plan and rent cost. Make these considerations carefully, and you will get the best enjoyment out of your newly rented apartment home!