The First Two Things to Decide Before You Start Your Apartment Hunt

Photo by Koalazy Monkey

It’s May and you know what that means — the beginning of summer rental season.  If you act fast you may luck out but otherwise, get ready for rentals to go bat-shit crazy.

To give you a head start on your hunt, the first two questions you need to ask yourself right now, this very second are:

1) How much $ can I spend on rent?

2) Do I want to live with roommates. If so, do I know of anyone also looking? If I do. . . would living with them ruin the relationship?

Of course, I can’t answer either question for you. However, I’m happy to give some pointers!

Regarding rent, the common equation is don’t spend more than 1/4 of your salary on rent. You’ll never see that money again and that’s not a productive way to save. However, there are exceptions, for instance, for all of us who choose to live in New York City. If you live here, I’d say that as long as you are not spending more than 1/2 of your income  (after taxes) on rent, you’re doing nicely. Also, until you earn a touch more, you may have no other choice than to spend more on rent than you’d like. And that’s OK. Just think hard on what amenities you need (i.e. nice, safe neighborhood) vs what amenities you want (i.e. dishwasher).

Ah, and roommates. If you don’t have anyone, think about whether or not you’d be lonely living alone. Some friends of mine love it while others end up online all the time so they can feel ‘connected.’ If you want to live with a friend, awesome. But…if you’re messy and they are clean or ya’ll have any other “Odd Couple” like quirks, be sure to hash them out up front. Once you’re living in the same nest, people can start getting touchy and territorial.

Stay tuned for how to start the hunt once you know what you’re looking for!

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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