What To Look For Before You Sign A Lease
By: Krysten C.
As a recent college grad, I’ve learned a lesson or two about crappy apartments and how it can give your wallet a real beating. So, here’s to sharing the knowledge that I wish I had had before signing on the dotted line (and to venting).
WHAT OUR EYES SEE
There are a few factors that persuade us into deciding to live at a specific apartment or house: location, cost, and space. These factors can really make or break your decision. However, what about the things that are going to matter when you’re actually living in that location and paying the utilities for that space?
My freshman year of college, I lived in a 9’ x 12’, un-air conditioned shoe box of a dorm room that I shared with a roommate. While the location was on campus, which meant that I practically could roll out of bed and into class, there were very few perks to actually living there. Location: check, anything else: negative.
Sophomore year, I was looking for something much better and landed in a newly built, luxury apartment complex where I rented a two-bedroom town-home with a friend. Furniture was included, energy bills were low, and the appliances and space were perfect. However, I was writing a fat check for rent each month and I had to drive 5-10 minutes to park at the university stadium, to catch a bus, to get to class. Space and utilities: check, location and rent: negative.
Junior year, my roommate and I decided that the luxury wasn’t worth the hassle. We were prepared to downgrade for a better location and cheaper rent. We were college kids, which meant our priorities were definitely set on proximity to class (and *cough* parties) and how much we were taking out of our wallets each month (or badgering our parents to pay). We moved. It wasn’t the nicest of apartments, but it worked. Well, until reality set in that is.
WHAT WE HOLD A BLIND EYE TO