The Apartment Chronicles
What I Learned From My First Apartment
It's been a while since I've written in The Apartment Chronicles and because I'm moving next month I thought now would be a great time to share what I've learned from living in my first apartment! I moved into this apartment last May and signed a 15 month lease so technically my lease isn't up until August but I'm moving in July because I got a good deal at the new apartment. Since living here I've definitely encountered some problems and lessons that I can learn from before moving into the new place next month. So here we go!
1. Ask about what happens when the lease ends. I know this is an odd thing to be first on the list but trust me, it's IMPORTANT. My current place has a rule that they call a tiered system. For example, they have two types of one bedroom apartments on the property. I am in the bigger of the two and on the first floor. The tiered system they use says that if I wanted to move to a smaller one bedroom, I can't. I'd have to go up to a two or three bedroom. In addition, I also can't keep my current one bedroom size and simply move to another floor or building on the property. Crazy right? I'm pretty sure the reasoning behind this system is so that they don't have to pay to get another apartment ready. I'll be honest, I think that's a cheap and lazy way to get out of that and because of it it's one of the first questions I asked when I was searching for my new place. Thankfully, my new place thinks that the system is also ridiculous so it's not something I have to worry about when I move there. So, THAT is why you should ask what you are allowed to do when your lease is up. Otherwise, you may be stuck where you are unless you leave the property.
2. You will be able to hear your neighbors. Whatever idea you had about the possibility of not hearing your neighbors, you can put those to rest. If you live on the first or second floor you will definitely be able to hear the neighbors above you. The neighbors next to you, not so much unless their playing really loud music. I got really lucky with my neighbor next to me because we both like to play loud music and neither one of us mind it as long as it's not at some ridiculous hour.
3. Use Your Amenities. If your apartment has amenities, use them! Mine has two pools, two gyms, racquetball, and a billiards area. I don't use the billiards area or racquetball but I definitely use the gym and the pool. Paying $10 per month for a gym membership costs you $120 per year. Why not use the one that's already included in your rent and save that money for something else? As for the pool, well, I think that's a no brainer :).
4. Have Bug Spray Handy. Yes people, bug spray. If you've ever been to the south, you know that the bugs down here are larger than life. Well guess what, when you live in an apartment, they WILL find a way to get in regardless of the pest control the property provides. It won't happen everyday and maybe not even once a month but eventually, you will see a bug and you'll have to kill it. I don't know about you but I'd much rather spray it than have it's guts on my wall or on my shoe.
5. Don't Decorate Unless You Know You'll Be There For A While. I'm glad I didn't bother decorating this apartment because it'll make the move a lot easier and give the new apartment a fresh palette to work with. I'd say at least wait one month before decorating. Things may happen that need to be fixed, you may have a bug problem, you may even have terrible neighbors. For these three reasons alone I would wait to really start decorating until you know that you'll at least fulfill your lease.
Having an apartment is great but no apartment is going to be perfect. If you're looking for your first apartment I recommend doing all the research you can. Read the reviews online, weigh the pros and cons, and make sure it's somewhere you really want to be. I hope this post was helpful!
Have you learned any good lessons from living in your first apartment? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!