Published: August 10, 2017
You’ve done it. You’re finally a “real” adult. You’ve gotten your own apartment and taken one of the first steps into the exciting world of grown-up independence. However, there’s a steep learning curve that comes along with renting your own place that living with your parents and dorm life never taught you. Get a jump start on all the lessons you’ll learn after moving into your first apartment with UNITS:
Brand new furniture isn’t essential for comfort
It’s tempting to run to IKEA and buy the brand new couches, chairs, coffee table and dresser you inner interior decorator desperately craves. However, don’t overlook the wear and tear that brand new furniture is going to undergo over the next year. From beer spills to pizza grease stains, your fresh, beautiful furniture won’t stay that way for long. Also, once you’ve forked over all the dough for new furniture, you’ll feel you have no choice but to tote it around with you when you move again. Avoid all of this by hitting up Craigslist and your local thrift shops. That gently used couch for $50 will be just a comfortable as a brand new one, and you won’t panic when you get wine on it.
Become your own handyman/handywoman
Yes, it’s time to invest in a toolbox. You’ll find that owning a hammer, wrench, screwdriver, toilet plunger and a flashlight are essential to living alone. Clogged toilets and broken garbage disposals will be fixed much quicker if you take the initiative instead of waiting on your landlord. Before moving out, you’ll need to become an expert in repairing small holes in walls or you can expect to kiss that security deposit goodbye. With a combination of internet tutorials and your own intuition, you’ll be an expert at making small repairs around the house in no time.
Really take time to read your lease and any other legal documents you sign
For many, their first binding legal agreement will be an apartment lease. Don’t think you can get away with just skimming the agreement before scribbling your signature. Does your apartment have set quiet hours or allocated parking spaces? Knowing these things beforehand allows you to avoid trouble with your landlord and neighbors. In addition to getting acquainted with the rules, reading your apartment lease gives you the opportunity to request changes. If you really want to paint your bedroom walls, ask your landlord if he or she would be willing to add the agreement into the lease. They may not always agree, but it’s worth a shot. You aren’t likely to find any hidden deal-breaker clauses, but it’s good to get into the habit of reading legal documents before signing.
Keeping the temperature at a constant 68° all summer will cost you
Are you one of those people that will only sleep if your room is the exact right temperature? Well, it’s time to break that habit. Air conditioning during the summer and heating during the winter will cost you a pretty penny. Once you get your first utilities bill, you’ll understand why your mom always got onto you for cranking up the air conditioning. If you have a tight budget, invest in a warm pair of slippers for the winter and a fan for the summer to keep your heating and cooling costs as low as possible.
Don’t underestimate the importance of location
You’ve heard it before: location, location, location. True, you aren’t purchasing the property, but your quality of life will still be greatly affected by the quality of the neighborhood around you. It might seem fun to rent an apartment in the heart of downtown, but the fun will stop when it’s 2 a.m. on the night before work or a big test, and it sounds like there’s a block party going on outside. Check out the apartment’s relative distance to the nearest grocery stores, gas stations and your favorite restaurants before signing the lease. Google the crime rates in the area. Renting in some parts of town may raise your car insurance costs. Find out how close you are to public transportation and major roadways. Don’t underestimate the importance of location for your first apartment.
While there’s a lot to learn, renting your first apartment will still be a memorable, exciting event in your adult life. And when it comes time to move on to life’s next adventure, count on UNITS Moving and Portable Storage to be there to help you.