Posted Jan 2, 2015
Apartment Hunting: Which Type of Apartment is Right for You?
With so many different buildings out there, the types of apartments you can get are quite numerous. From studio to three bedrooms to a duplex, your options vary just as much as your neighborhood choices.
When apartment hunting, what type of place should you look for? It all depends on several criteria, so let’s examine the things you should consider when searching for the perfect apartment:
Before you start analyzing various details of your life that may influence your renting decisions, let’s look at your options. Apartments are initially described by bedroom number.
There’s the studio, which has no formal bedroom and living room. Rather, you have one big open space that’s often connected to a kitchen and a bathroom. It’s tiny, but it works for many people. When I first moved out of my parents house, I rented a studio apartment. I don’t like big spaces (they creep me out), so the size of my place was perfect. I felt right at home, and I managed to fit everything I needed.
The next step up when it comes to living alone is a one-bedroom apartment. It has more space than a studio, which often means a bigger price range. If you want roommates, you can pick an apartment that has enough rooms for all of you.
Then there’s building types. You can stay in a building that has multiple units, or move into a house that’s being rented. Sometimes, these homes are split into two separate living spaces. As you can see, your options are fairly open, so you’ll have to narrow it down based on various elements, such as …
Money always factors into major decisions while apartment hunting, so you’ll want to look at your bank statements when deciding the kind of living space for you.
For instance, a studio is cheaper than a one-bedroom apartment, but it’s likely more costly than renting with roommates. Check rental prices in the area where you want to live too see what’s available and what you can afford.
Although you may want to live alone, you might have to settle for getting a roommate if studios near you come with a price tag your budget can’t support.
After college, I didn’t want to have roommates. One girl I lived with never cleaned, and I ended up frustrated with her all the time. It’s not the kind of feeling I wanted to have again, so I decided to live alone for a year.
This, coupled with budget constraints, led me to rent a studio. Those 12 months were pretty great – I got to play Netflix as loud as I wanted, keep the place in order and decorate to my tastes – all things I couldn’t have done living with someone else.
Think about the lifestyle you want to lead while in your next apartment. Do you want to spend more money going out to dinner or does living alone trump social expenses? You might even prefer to share a space with someone because you’ll always have a friend close by.
I was lucky. My last apartment was rather large for a studio. The kitchen was in its own room, and I had a hallway and multiple closets. Ergo, my vast amount of stuff fit.
However, I recently moved in with my boyfriend into a tiny apartment, and more than half of my belongings are now crammed into a tiny hall closet or cluttering the living room. I even threw a bunch of items away before moving!
What fits comfortably in one space may not belong in another, so it’s important to consider how much you own before selecting your apartment. Also, plan ahead. If you get a huge place now but plan on downsizing later, don’t stock up on bulky furniture.
Conversely, if you move into a large place later, you’ll have to shell out money to fill it with furniture – an empty apartment just doesn’t feel homey. This ties back to budget. Plan on spending money for furnishings if you decide to move into a one, two, three, etc. bedroom apartment.
Your furry friends may influence your moving decision, as they limit the size of apartment you can get and roommates. If you want a multi-bedroom unit, you have to make sure the people you live with are OK with your animal.
Bring up your pet in conversations before you start apartment hunting with another person. As for apartment size, it all depends on your pet. I have a rabbit, so she fit well in my small studio. However, I wouldn’t have gotten the place if I had a dog.
Think about how much room your furry friend needs, and look for an apartment that fits. You may also want a space that’s close to parks or has a yard, though you’ll be paying for such features.
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