Whether you’re a pro at moving or you’re moving into your first apartment, moving is stressful. Moving to a more expensive city is even more stressful, especially when it comes to finding an affordable and safe apartment that you love. Don’t worry, though. Do your research, and you’ll find an apartment suitable to you and your budget.
Here are 6 tips for finding an apartment in a more expensive city that will help you stay on budget.
Choose an Apartment Near But Not in the Trendiest Neighborhood
Even if you are used to living in the trendiest neighborhood with all the popular restaurants and stores, it probably won’t fit into your budget in your new city. Try finding an apartment close to the neighborhood you want that will allow you to easily drive or take public transportation to the restaurants and shops you want to visit. If the neighborhood is close by, you can take advantage of its appeal without going over budget on an apartment.
Find a Roommate
Living alone may be ideal; you have an apartment all to yourself and never have to worry about the stress that sometimes comes with having a roommate. Paying the entire rent and necessary bills, however, is not ideal. If you’re moving to a more expensive city, you will already be on a tight budget. Find a roommate who will split the cost of rent, utilities, internet, and any other services you both use. Even if you decide to forgo a roommate when you renew your lease, think of all the money you would save by having a roommate for the first year and perhaps getting a new friend in a new city.
Check all of the Apartment Amenities
Are you planning to join a gym? Do you like to frequent movie theaters? Choose an apartment that offers these type of amenities on-site. If you find an apartment that offers these amenities for free, you may benefit and save money. Found an apartment with a gym? Now you don’t have to join a gym and pay a membership fee. Found an apartment that shows newly released movies? Now you don’t have to spend money at a movie theater because you can watch them in your apartment complex.
Take Advantage of Your Apartment Building’s Events
Many apartment complexes host events for residents. Your apartment may host a holiday party or a Friday night block party to celebrate the upcoming summer. Ask if your apartment complex hosts such events, and if so, take advantage of the free meal they offer. If may not sound like much to get a free muffin in the morning or a meal a few times – or even once – per month, but every little bit helps when you are living on a tight budget.
Location, Location, Location
We’ve all heard how important location is, especially when we’re trying to stay within a budget. Save money on transportation by choosing an apartment close to work and activities you’ll often attend. Also, try to find an apartment with access to public transportation to save more on gas and vehicle maintenance. Even better, if you are within walking or biking distance and have time, forgo driving and walk or bike to your destination.
Be Prepared to Compromise
Make a list with all of the pros vs. cons of each apartment you visit so you can easily compare which apartment offers the most for your money. However, the sad truth is that if you are moving to one of the most expensive cities, even with the recent declines in rents you may need to compromise a lot more. Maybe you need to have 2-3 roommates and live in a 4th floor walk-up with no amenities, in order to make your budget work. If that’s the case, just enjoy the ride. In a year’s time you’ll be probably moving again, most likely to a nicer place!