5 Tips For Post-Graduates Seeking Their First Apartment

Congratulations! You’ve graduated and made it to the first stage of adulthood: your first apartment. Not only are you an emotional wreck from the trauma of leaving the college world behind, you probably have a tight turnaround times between graduation and the first day of work. Not a lot of time for closure, let alone finding your first digs.

[ Related: More Tips for the 20-Something Living in Their First Apartment ]

We’ve got your back. As you begin your search, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You Won’t Find Your Dream Apartment

Forget Pinterest. That magical apartment doesn’t exist without professional photographers and a million dollars, so get accustomed to the idea that you’ll be dealing with less space than you’d like. Imagine your freshman dorm room with an attached kitchen and you get the idea.

Contemporary Apartment Building

Credit: by Dmitri Popov on StockSnap.io

Don’t worry—No matter how small your apartment is, you can definitely make it work. We’ve got you covered with tips and tricks to make any apartment a home. Whether that’s adding touches of greenery or your favorite photos, there’s plenty of ways to make your apartment yours.

[ Related: Interior Design for Your Small Apartment ]

  1. You’ll Need A Roommate

Though it’s possible to find a studio apartment, chances are you’ll need a roommate to help with the cost of rent. If you don’t have any close friends you can live with, or a significant other you’re ready to take that step with, you’ll have to do some searching.

That’s scary. Will you find someone who you’ll become best friends with or barely tolerate? Will they be weird? Steal their food? Or become your partner-in-crime for your post-grad circle of friends?
There’s a few ways to do this, whether you’re reaching out through your social networks, alumni pages on LinkedIn, or dating-like sites such as roommates.com.

  1. Know What’s Most Important

Once you’ve got your potential roommate or roommates, discuss what’s most important to you. Is it price? Location relative to your new office or the nearest metro station? Natural light? A big kitchen? There’s lots to consider when thinking about apartments, so narrowing down to what you really care about can help you make a decision. List out, in order, what you care about the most, and agree on it with your roommate-to-be.

  1. Do Your Homework

There are plenty of places to begin your research online. Going through what’s out there (and when the apartments will be available) can help you set expectations for your price point and signal matches between what’s important to you and what exists on the market.

Make sure you do your research!

Make sure you do your research and look at a number of different apartments before making your final decision. Credit: Number 558 by Orin Zebest on flickr creative commons.

When you start looking online, categorize the apartments you find by location, price, or amenities, and rank them in order of what’s most important to you. That way, as you start to contact landlords and realtors, you can make a better, more rational decision.

  1. Don’t Fall In Love At First Sight

It’s tempting to go with the first apartment you find and like because it’s easy. Unfortunately, finding a great apartment takes a little more work than that. Step through the space and visualize yourself there. If you’re joining pre-existing roommates, be sure to meet them. Get to know your neighborhood, potential commute, and be on the lookout for any red flags.

[ Related: How Many Apartments Should You See? ]

Never, ever go for an apartment sight unseen. It’s too easy for landlords to position their apartments in the best light online. You’ll need to make sure to see it for yourself before making a decision and signing on the dotted line.

No matter what, you’ll always remember your first apartment. Have any questions? Just ask us in the comments.

Find your next apartment in the area with Apartment Showcase.

Kayla Lewkowicz

Kayla Lewkowicz

Kayla Lewkowicz hails from the small town of Hopkinton, MA, home of the Boston Marathon. A digital marketer by day and freelance writer by night, she's a passionate storyteller, reader, hiker, swimmer, runner, and eater. Like what she has to say? Subscribe to her blog or say hello on Twitter @kllewkow.

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