Tag Archives: apartment hunting on a budget

Helping your College Student move in without (ALL OF) the Stress

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 —

college-living

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.

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How to Reduce Stress while Apartment Hunting

apartment

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. 

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Check out these Amenities that Drive Up Rent

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.

2. Elevator

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

 

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How to be a Good Neighbor – Without the Inconvenience

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.
hanging-bicycles

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How to Lower Electricity Bill During the Summer

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!

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How to Negotiate a Lease Renewal!

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?

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Tips on How to Make Moving (Mostly) Painless

Moving into your place is extremely exciting – until you factor in packing, transporting your stuff AND unpacking. Here are some tips on how to make morning 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, add what room they’ll be going into, as well.

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.

4. Pack plates vertically – They’ll be less likely to break.

5. If you’re renting, take photos of your cleaned-out old home and your new home before moving in.

This is the most vital tip! Make sure that you take a picture of you rental before you move in to show any previous damage so that you do not get charged when your lease is up.

 

Happy moving!

 

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How to Sublease Your Apartment

Taking a trip? Want to move but don’t want to break your lease? We have compiled some tips to help guide you while subletting your apartment —

Get your landlord’s permission

You don’t want to get caught subletting without permission. That could end in a lawsuit or you getting evicted. Make sure to tell your landlord and sign the appropriate paperwork to avoid any mishaps.

Find a trust-worthy leaser

Nothing is worse than getting someone to rent your place and not being able to rely on a payment or they completely destroy your place. Make sure you either know the person or they put down a deposit to keep you from losing yours when your lease is up.

Questions to ask a potential subletter:

  • Where are you employed and what is your monthly after-tax income?
  • Why are you seeking short-term housing?
  • How many people will be living the apartment? Any children? Any pets?
  • Do you plan on having any social events or guests staying at the apartment?

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Tips You Need Before Moving in With Your Partner

Moving in with your significant other can be exciting – and also really scary. Here are some tips to help maneuver through the transition and also keep your relationship healthy —

1. Ask the person moving in, “How can we make this space more yours?”

You want to make sure that it feels like a shared space and not one person has all of the say. That may make one of you feel as if you don’t belong in your own home.

2. Split the bills up accordingly.

Decide (before you move in) what you each are able to afford. Are one of you willing to pay a little more than the other person because you make more? These are things to figure out before signing the lease and/or getting cable when you might want to just go with WIFI for the smaller bill.

3. Figure out your schedules.

Know how to keep the house balanced. Whoever gets home first can tidy up or start dinner. If you want up first water the plants and feed the dog. Make sure that you are splitting whatever chores according to your schedules.

4. Have a housewarming.

Make this official! Have a housewarming party and let your friends and family join in on the celebration of you and your partner getting your own place and taking a HUGE step in your relationship. This also gets FREE food to your house if you do a potluck.

5. Give each other space

As much as you love each other, everyone needs some alone time. Carve out some times in the day or week to give each other some space – Distance makes the heart grow fonder!

gf


Good luck and happy moving! Remember, EVERYONE gets stressed while moving, but the best part is – you’re getting to call this new space “home” with the person you love – or at least really like and would like to live with.

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