College Apartment Living – Be Smart About It

Who doesn’t want their own space? Who doesn’t want to brag about their brand new place with the 72” flat-screen television? Right. When we think about apartment living the great things come to mind. We think about the luxuries, the place we will park our new car, the great neighbors we will meet, the pet, the potential girlfriend/boyfriend and of course the social gatherings. 

However, we cannot forget the process. We have to be extremely smart when it come to apartment living.  We cannot forget to think about roommates. Will I have a roommate or can I afford to live alone? We have to make sure our credit is up to excellent standards. How can I move into a place with bad credit? One must have a steady income. How will you pay every month with no job? One must find an affordable range of rent. Lastly, but certainly not least, you must take the area into consideration. Who wants to worry about getting robbed everyday? Allow me to expand on the importance of being smart about apartment living.

I am sure that most people would prefer to be alone with their own personal space and belongings. When I think about getting an apartment the first thing that comes to mind is me. I never overthink someone else’s living situation nor do I think about that person being a potential roommate. Unfortunately, it is not that simple when it comes to deciding rather to stay alone or not.  The realistic question is rather you can afford to live alone or not. Rent can be pretty expensive, especially in a big city like Los Angeles. Sometimes you must put your preferences aside and think smart.

A preference is going to get the mot luxurious apartment you can find and bathe in your own company. Sounds great right? Nevertheless, the rent will eventually start to eat your entire paycheck leaving no remains. Then you will find yourself with no money left over to afford any other expenses. This will continue to happen month to month until you make a change. This change may be relocating in entirety or it could be something as simple as getting a roommate.

A roommate may take you back to college days where you had to decide who would clean the dishes on which day, yet, a roommate will also cut all your expenses in half.  That expensive rent is not so burdensome any more. The electric bill becomes trivial because it is the cheapest that it has ever been.  Now you have someone there to keep you company when you thought that you preferred to be alone. Now, preferences go out the window because you now have spending money to buy some of the things you always wanted.

What about that bill you never paid from years ago? Do you think it will never come back to haunt you? Wrong.  Credit is a major part of being smart about apartment living. For every bill that you thought would magically disappear, it reappears on your credit score. Apartment owners will not take you into consideration without a descent credit score. Thus, it is imperative that any bills are taken care of so that there is no problem. Also student loans come into play.

All loans must be handled. To be considered for an apartment, loans can certainly hold the process up due to the direct effect it has on your credit score. You must make sure there is a payment plan in order to pay off all loans. Contrary to the hard aspect of credit, there can be some advantages of good credit. Good credit can cut your deposit fee as up to as half of the initial fee. Good credit can also speed up the process of renting an apartment. Credit has a direct correlation to character in the business world. When one has good credit, property owners view this person as dependable, responsible, and an overall respectable person. The owner will see no reason as to why you would not complete your monthly rent payments.

Speaking of rent, one must have a steady income also known as a job. Without a job, there is no dependable way to pay for your living arrangements. With no job, it is almost impossible to assure that your rent will be paid. Many people make the mistake of getting a large amount of money and renting an apartment with no substantial means to pay long term. The key to being smart about apartment living is getting a job prior to renting. After obtaining a job it is important that there is money put aside for rent no matter what. It is not cool to be homeless, so you want to make rent your first priority.

Lastly, do an area check. Thoroughly inspect the environment that you will be living in. See what kind of people are around the area. Are there many drug users? I’m not too sure what the typical neighborhood is but I know that I do not want to live in an area with illegal activity. Also it is important that you do your research. Are there any recent criminal activity reported in the neighborhood?

I want to live in a place where I can forget to lock my door and not panic about my apartment being rampaged through when I return. I want to leave my car door unlocked and have no fears that it may not be there when I come back. When apartment searching you want to be able to walk with your child at night without worrying.  When moving to a new apartment you must make sure you feel safe. If you see a lot of suspicious people in the area chances are there is just as much suspicious activity going on.

In conclusion, apartment hunting may not be easy. There can be tedious work involved but it is certainly worth it in the end. My experience as an apartment renter has its ups and downs but I assure you that you can make it easier by thinking before making decisions. We all have an ideal apartment arrangement in our mind but nothing overweighs a smart apartment arrangement. Therefore, when one is smart about apartment living everything else will fall into place.