You just graduated your final year of official education, whether it be a technical school, undergraduate institution, graduate school or beyond. With one walk across a stage, a hand shake and a piece of paper, you walk off that stage thrown right into the mix of the real world. And while it’s obviously an exciting time, there are a herd of unanswered, downright scary questions, like where do you go now? No more college dorm assignments, set meal plans and times, and certainly no more 8:15 a.m. classes! Nope, you’ve officially traded all of that in for a real-world, big boy or girl job. So where do you begin?
The best bet is your living situation, something that should be planned and searched out long before graduation. Assuming you have a post-graduation job in place (this does not mean the usual summer-camp or table-bussing routine), that is what you will work your living arrangements around. Be open to anything, such as different apartment styles, locations and layouts. Keeping your options wide open is a crucial part to a first apartment, townhouse or home. You never know what you may find you actually like if you keep an open mind!
Things to consider:
- Proximity to work, cities, restaurants, nightlife, sporting events, malls and more. Finding something close to most of what you’re interested in could meaning saving hundreds on car expenses such as gas, maintenance and insurance. And never count out public transportation!
- What does the apartment come with? Will the apartment be fully furnished, or is it staged for photos and open houses?
- Are you living with a room mate? Moving can get lonely, especially in large cities. If you choose to find a room mate, be sure to choose wisely! Sometimes a best friend won’t necessarily make the best room mate
- Number of bedrooms/bathrooms, outside space, parking, pool. Is there a pet policy? All the fun stuff…
- Don’t be afraid to bring mom and dad along for the apartment-searching process, or any older siblings or friends. They’ve been in your shoes before and should be a great resource to have. You can never be “too cool” for mom and dad.
- Imagine yourself living in the apartment. As you walk around can you picture waking up, hanging out and living in the space and area?
- Money matters. While your first apartment may not be prime real estate, do the best you can with the budget you have. If you search hard and know what you want, you can find a suitable pad without breaking the bank
- See what’s available for on-campus resources. Many universities can give recommendations to students searching for apartments in the area. It never hurts to ask!
- Make positive sacrifices. You aren’t going to find everything you imagine for your ‘dream apartment’ to have. Consider what is most important to you in a living space, and search in order of importance.
Whether you’re searching for your very first apartment, or looking to move or upgrade your current living situation, keeping these tips in mind should make the experience that much easier and smooth.
Photo courtesy of (1) collegefashion.net
Check out some of Aspen Square’s prime college-area apartment listings:
- Carlyle Court: Orlando, FL (University of Central Florida, Full Sail University, Le Cordon Bleu)
- Campus Edge: Fresno, CA (Cal State University Fresno)
- Chardonnay Ridge: Modesto, CA (University of Phoenix)
- Stadium View Apartment Homes: College Station, TX (Texas A&M)
- Abbey Glenn Apartments: Waco, TX (Baylor University)
- Collins Crossing: Carrboro, NC (University of North Carolina)