I recently started a new job, so my big focus at the moment is finding a new apartment. This will be my first “big kid” apartment (my college apartment doesn’t count!) so I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve spent a lot of time researching apartments online and going to showings, but so far, I haven’t found the right place. I’m realizing that there are a lot of different factors and costs that I have to take into consideration before signing a lease—more than I initially expected!
The main thing I’m finding out is that when you’re looking for an apartment, you often have to look beyond the listed rent price. For example, I found a nice place that rented for about $750 a month—sounds pretty reasonable. But I soon found out that utilities and other extras weren’t included in that price. I checked some average prices and added everything up to see about how much I would actually be paying each month:
- Rent: $750
- Heat: + $40
- Water: + $10
- Electricity: + $30
- Parking: + $40
- Internet: + $30
Those utilities and extras would put me at about $900 a month. And that’s not taking into account my other regular expenses, like groceries, gas, and my cellphone. After looking at the hard numbers, I decided to keep looking for something more affordable.
I’m now trying to focus on apartments that have some or all utilities included (especially heat and hot water). And if I can find an apartment with some of those other extras included as well, that’s even better. I’ll save more money, and I’ll have a more concrete idea of how much I need to budget each month.
Do you have any apartment-hunting tips?