I’ve gotten some email requests about my apartment, so I thought I would do a post about my process and guide of moving out on my own and renting my first apartment. The pictures are of my first apartment where I lived for the past 3 years, I recently moved and had to say goodbye to the amazing 652square feet I enjoyed. Moving into your own space can be a very exciting period of your life, but for those of you that have gone through the process you know that it comes at a high price. Monthly rent, new furniture, monthly expenses. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to decorate this apartment to its potential. I was so busy with school, work, and the blog that it was just a space for me to do work and sleep. Sadly to say, I hardly sat in my livingroom, cooked dinners or had people over. I was always out and about. So when looking for an apartment, also consider this fact. Are you looking for a space to sleep in, a roof over your head while at school, a space to entertain or an apartment to truly make it your home?
How Much Rent Can You Afford
The rent of an apartment may seem affordable on its own, but you also need to factor in all the other monthly expenses that will pile up. Also, ensure that your building covers utilities. I cannot stretch how important this is. Having your utilities covered is one less thing for you to deal with. Utilities may not be a lot, but you can use that money for something else. Look at your monthly expenses and track how much money you spend for:
- Cell phone bills
- Cable TV
- Car Insurance
- Metro Pass
- Beauty Expenses
- Credit Card bills
- Student Loans
If your monthly expenses are too high but you are desperate to move out of your parents, consider having a room-mate. Not always ideal, but it can really give a break on your monthly expenses.
Choose Your New Neighbourhood Wisely
Location is the first thing you want to look at. Do not get ahead of yourself by searching for apartments first. The location will determine if your search is successful or not. When I was looking for my apartment, I had many things to consider. I wanted my apartment to be close to the subway and highway, in equal distance between work and school (was doing my Masters at the time), overall in an area that had goodwill. Some questions you may want to ask yourself…
- Do you want to be downtown, midtown or uptown?
- Do you want to live close to the subway? How far are you willing to walk?
- Do you want to be close to the grocery store?
- Is it important to live close to work, family, boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Do you want to be in a hip urban area with active night-life or in a family oriented neighbourhood?
- Is it a safe neighbourhood? Is there a lot of crime?
Types of Apartments and Available Amenities
Next step is what kind of apartment are you looking for? I wanted a spacious, one bedroom apartment that had some character to it. Once you know what you can spend and where you want to live, think about the kind of apartment you want and the features that are important to you. Think about the following:
- Do you want to live in a new condo or something with an eclectic charm?
- Number of bedrooms (one bedroom, two bedrooms, a den, or a bachelor).
- Do you need a parking spot? Is there parking available or street parking?
- Guest parking?
- Is security important to you? Will a superintendent or concierge be available to you at all times in case of emergency? As a single female, this was extremely important to me. I once had a flood in my bathroom and it was such a relief to have a superintendent on call 24/7.
- How much closet space do you need? Is closet storage available in the building?
- Do you want a washer and dryer in your unit, in the building or are you ok with using a laundromat?
- For the pet lovers, are pets allowed in the building and apartment?
- Do you want a gym, steam room or pool in your building?
What was your number one must for your first apartment?