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If you're moving into your first apartment, you might have some expectations about apartment living, and you might also have more than a few questions. Here is some useful information about apartment living for you to consider.
One of the most obvious and significant parts of apartment living is paying rent. It's also one of the most unpleasant parts of apartment living. Nonetheless, you've got to do it every month if you want to keep your apartment. Living in your own home can be costly too, of course, but rent takes a big chunk out of your monthly paycheck and you forget to budget for it at your own peril. You probably won't get thrown out of your apartment for being a few days late with the rent, but you may be expected to pay an additional fee, and it could cause some animosity with the landlord, so have that rent check ready at the beginning of the month.
The amount of your rent should be clearly stated in your lease, and it should not change during the term of the lease. If there is a renewal option, your landlord may include a standard increase of a few percent on the renewed lease. The intent to do this should also be provided to you in writing.
It can be a lot easier to handle that monthly rent bill if you take on one or two roommates. Usually, having roommates can give you a space advantage, because you can get a bigger place, and even though there are two or more of you, you will probably all be able to make use of a common area. This option gives you more room than you would have if you got smaller places individually. However, beware. Although having roommates can seem necessary to successful apartment living, some people are simply not good roommates, either because they cannot tolerate other people's habits, or their own habits are intolerable to others. If you think you can live reasonably peacefully with roommates, make sure your roommates are people you can get along with. You should probably resist rooming with your best friends, as problems encountered when living together could jeopardize a longer term relationship.
Taking Care of Your Apartment
Even though your apartment doesn't belong to you, you will still be expected to take care of it and everything in it. When you sign the lease, you will be asked to provide a security deposit; usually equivalent to about a month's rent. Any major damage done to your apartment while you are living there will be taken out of this deposit when you move out. Try to avoid this by taking care of your apartment. Living there doesn't give you the right to treat the place with disrespect. Remember it doesn't belong to you. Typically, rules regarding putting nails in walls or painting interior walls, as well as rules about keeping pets, are clearly stated in your lease.
What does belong to you are the possessions you keep inside the apartment. Be aware that those possessions are probably not covered by your landlord's insurance policy, so if you wish to protect your valuable items, you may want to consider purchasing renters' insurance. A renters' insurance policy will reimburse you if items in your apartment are damaged by fire or vandalism or are stolen. It can also provide you with money for other temporary living arrangements should your apartment become briefly uninhabitable due to something like a fire.
Another inescapable reality of apartment living is the moving-in process. You'll have to decide whether you want to move everything yourself, hire movers for everything, or some combination of the two. You'll have to pay for movers, but if you have a lot of heavy items, it may be worth it. After all, dropping and breaking valuables or straining your back so that you are incapacitated may be more costly to you than movers might have been.
Eventually, you may find yourself ready to leave your apartment. Perhaps you need a bigger place, have found something cheaper, or you're relocating to a new area. Maybe it's just that your lease has expired. Regardless of the reason, try to anticipate your intention to leave a few months in advance. Alert the landlord so he has ample time to replace you. If possible, try to time it so that you will be moving out when your lease is expired so that you don't have to break the lease. Start preparing well ahead of time so that you can make a smooth transition from your old apartment to your new apartment. Remember that if you want your security deposit back, you'll have to make sure that the place is in reasonably good condition when you leave it.
Finding an Apartment
Of course, before your apartment living can begin, you will have to find an apartment. If you've never gone apartment hunting before, you may not even be sure where to start. Fortunately it's easier than ever to find an apartment. All you really have to do to start is go to an apartment finder site like Rent.comÂ®. There you can fill out the fields for the city where you want to find an apartment, the size of the apartment you are looking for and your price range. Provide your email address and in a short time you can be provided with several apartment options.
Compare them to find the ones that interest you. Once you've narrowed down your search, you can head over to the locations and check out the apartments yourself. With all the things there are to think about when starting apartment living, you shouldn't have to stress out about how to find your apartment in the first place. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, you don't.