Top 5 Apartment Hunting Tips for College Grads on a Budget

If you’re a college graduate, first let us commend you on your commitment to your education. It’s pretty amazing that you were able to figure out what you wanted to major in and then go to school to earn your degree. However, we know that going to college was a great sacrifice, especially financially.

So as you’re in the process of looking for a new job and a new place to live, we wanted to offer you five tips on how you can find a great apartment, even if you happen to be on a tight budget below:

Create a budget (first). The first thing that you need to do is sit down and decide what you actually can afford. You can do this by creating a budget. As it relates to your living costs, make sure that as you’re writing down how much money you have vs. how much you can spend that you don’t only factor in the price of rent but utilities too.

Ask about deals. Just about all apartment complexes have special deals. It’s all about making the time to seek them out. So, as you’re looking at different prices and floor plans, also talk to the apartment manager about if they have offers like half off of the first month or a free washer and dryer unit.

Be close to your job. Just like you probably knew that it was a good idea to look for a place that was close to your school when you were a student, it’s now a good idea to look for a place that’s close to your job (even if it’s just a temporary part-time position for now). That way, you won’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on gas as you make the commute back and forth.

Sign a 6 or 9 month lease. When you’re a college graduate, it’s pretty common to look for jobs that are in your city and state as well as outside of them too. That’s why we recommend that you sign no more than a 6 or 9 month lease. That way, should you get an offer on a position that requires you to move away, you won’t have to worry so much about spending a ton of money in fees by breaking your lease.

Skip amenities. Gyms, pools and master suites are nice but they also can cause your rent to increase. So, if you’re on a tight budget, do your best to skip out on the amenities; except when it comes to security. Gated communities are always well worth the price.

Get one (or two) roommates. Say that you applied to graduate school and you’re planning to stay at a place like Fairfax Properties Student and Family Housing. Something that you can do to significantly reduce your rent and utilities is get one or two roommates. Just make sure that as you’re in the process of selecting a roommate that it’s someone you’re comfortable with who respects your study schedule, has a stable source of income and a few references as well. That way, you won’t have to worry about paying them coming up short every month. Good luck!

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