Moving into your dorm or apartment as a college student is extremely exciting – until you factor in packing, transporting your stuff AND unpacking. Here are some tips on how to make moving in a little less painful —
1. Pack an overnight bag containing all the essentials.
The worst part about moving is never knowing where any of your stuff is when you first touch down at your new place. Relieve some of your stress by packing an overnight bag that has everything you need for a day or two so you can shower and decompress after a long day of moving.
2. Wrap your breakables (dishes, glasses, etc.) in clothing.
3. In addition to labeling what’s in your boxes, so you know what to unpack first.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting everything in your new place and then having no clue where it goes. Have your boxes labeled so that you (or your movers) can drop the boxes off in the rooms they are meant to go in. Saves you time in the long run.
Moving in with your partner?! Congratulations! Other than not stepping on each other’s toes when you first move in together, the most important thing to focus on is money. No matter how much you love your partner and trust them, you always have to be smart about your bank account and credit. Here are three things to lookout for —
Talk about money
Know how much you both can afford with it comes to rent and INCLUDE the expenses for utilities. Can you afford cable or will you only have enough for internet and stick to Netflix? Make sure that you both know what kind of prices you can handle and figure out if you should split the cost, or if someone is able to pay a little more. Get it in writing.
Keep your finances separate
A joint account may seem like the smart thing to do – BUT if heaven forbid you break up, that is one more thing to deal with. Keep your finances separate – or – get a joint account that is solely used for bills. You can each deposit the set amount that is owed each month without the hassle.
Put both of your names on the lease
Again, if you guys were to break up, it is better to have both names on the lease rather than one. You don’t want to leave the payments up to your partner if you are to move out – and vice versa. If it doesn’t work out, you’re both able go to the landlord and figure out next steps.
1. Make a list of your needs.
Know what kind of budget you’re working with, what kind of amenities you need and what you’re willing to go with out – and what you absolutely can’t.
2. Prepare your paperwork and your bank account.
Organization can make your life easier when things get hectic.
- Three Recent Pay Stubs
- Landlord reference or letter
- Photo ID
3. Do some research
Make sure you know what kind of neighborhood you’re about to move into. Is it safe? Put in the address on http://www.watchdog.com and call the local sheriff’s office to see what the crime in like in the area.
4. Don’t be afraid to be thorough.
Don’t be afraid to check the plumbing, open closets, ask about typical utility bills, or inquire about any potential pests or problems like leaks. Often agents will rush you through a showing and into a decision. Take your time, take pictures, and ask any questions that you feel are important.
5. Bring a trusted friend.
A trusted friend can be an important source of support during the apartment search.
While you’re apartment hunting it is important to know that there are key factors that may raise the price of your monthly rent. Here the scoop—
1. Living near an interstate
If living near the interstate or a highway is important to you, then the added cost of having an apartment a mile or so away from one may drive the cost of your rent up.
The convenience of having an elevator in your building can still be pretty costly. On average, Priceonomics estimates that an elevator will add $120 to your monthly rent.
3. Fitness center
Priceonomics’ study shows that people pay an average of $90 a month for a fitness center, so if working out in your own building isn’t all that important to you, consider spending your money elsewhere.
4. Laundry in building
Sometimes being a good neighbor can be extremely inconvenient – but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some simple tips to making your neighbor’s life easier and not having to get that dreaded knock on your door —
Keep it down!
You like to play music, have people over or even have a dog that might be a little overactive. But there are simple solutions to these everyday problems. Once you put your music on, step outside to see how if you can hear it if you were to walk down your hallway and then adjust accordingly.
Give your neighbors a heads up that friends will be over and to text you if things get a little loud.
Take your dog for walks throughout the day to keep them from pent up energy that turns into barking at late hours.
The hallway is not an extension of your apartment.
Try not to loiter in the halls, you have an ENTIRE apartment to lounge around in. Why else are you paying rent?
If you need extra storage, try putting it on your back patio or hanging it in the front of your apartment or inside – rather than clogging up the hallway.
Just because the temperature is rising outside doesn’t mean your electric bill has to! Here are some tips that we have scoured the internet for to help you save a little extra cash during these hot summer months—
- Unplugging an appliance because certain appliances use energy even if they are turned off.
- Consult with roommates or coworkers before unplugging a shared appliance.
- Close blinds, storm windows, or shades during the day.
- Most central air conditioners will also have internal fans to help circulate the air in your house while reducing your need to use the air conditioner. Turn the fan on “auto.”
- Using fans at night will help a natural breeze cool down your house; this will only work if you live in an area that drops in temperature at night.
- Turn a fan directly towards yourself or guests if the temperature is very hot.
We hope these tips keep your energy bill down while you’re trying to stay cool this summer!
So you really like your place but you’re worried that renewing your lease might mean that your rent will raise – or maybe you want to see if you can lower your rent since you’re a trustworthy renter. Here are some tips on how to negotiate your lease renewal!
1. Show off what a great tenant you are
Note that you haven’t burned the place down, bounced a check, disturbed the neighbors, snuck a pet in, or broken a window.
2. Try to extend your lease.
Guaranteeing that you’ll stick with them might be worth more than an increased rent.
3. Offer money up-front.
4. Come up with some requests. Would you be willing to pay the increased rent if they’d just replace those awful, drafty windows? Or the crumbling grout in your bathroom? What if they agreed to bring an exterminator twice a month instead of once? How about access to the backyard?