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Trying to Get an Apartment

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm 19, my friend is 18. We are both college students, each with a part-time job. We've been considering getting an apartment because I can't stand living with my grandmother and she just wants her own place. We have decided on getting a one bedroom and set it up dormstyle with two beds and sharing the room. Rent is $731 plus electric and gas for heat. (We don't use a lot of electricity, take short showers, and will not be getting internet, cable, or phone service in the apartment.) We went for a tour of the apartment today and basically it is the apartment for us. They will charge an extra 10 a month for my cats, and my friend and I will carpool a lot since we will be going to the same college. Overall, its a good deal.

As for furniture, I will be bringing in a bed, couch, loveseat, chair, two bookcases, microwave, coffeepot, two t.vs, dvd player, and one or two other things to contribute to the apartment. The apartment comes with washer and dryer, refridgerator, garbage disposal, and stove at no extra cost. So, no need to get those. There is a pool, fitness center, and its close to both school, work, and family. According to how much we each make, my friend and I will be approved for the apartment, no need for parents to co-sign.

Here's the problem. My friend's mother doesn't want her to rent the apartment, because she's afraid my friend won't be able to handle it. She's afraid my friends car would break down (carpool? Hello?) and she says that my friend needs to pay off her other college first (which can be done in the next two months.) My mom is for me getting an apartment with someone because she knows how it is to live with my grandmother. No Privacy at all! So, I guess its all up in the air, but my friend and I really want to move into the apartment. We have decided to add up the next months paychecks and see how much we make on average, per week, and decide on whether or not we want to do it. My mom is willing to help (just not too much financially, as she is moving into her own apartment soon.).
post #2 of 28
May i ask why you dont live with your mother?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well I would, but according to me, there was just not enough space. She lives in two places, N.Va and here in Richmond. She is here anywhere from 3-4 days a week and up in N.Va for the rest of the time. She lives in a 3 bedroom house with my cousin and brother so there is no extra bedroom for me. She will be moving into a 3 bedroom apartment rather soon and so I can't live there either. If I could live with her, I would.
post #4 of 28
731 is very expensive for a one-br!

I live very near one of the largest schools in the country, and in an urban area, and mine is only 400$ a month. My apt before was a two-br and was still less than that!

If you are actually paying for it yourselves, you might find that's a bit pricy, as rent should be about 40% of the money you make in a month, less if you need to pay off school.

But if you've decided to go out on your own, do it! I never thought I could live alone, and I love it. You'll find it a little rocky at first, but the pros far outweigh the cons of moving out unless your parents are awesome and have enough space for you!
post #5 of 28
Man thats really expesnsive for a one room. YIKES! I pay $ 800 a month where I live. Its a house that is split up into 2 "apartments". I have the whole main floor and basement. Which includes 4 bedrooms a kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room and of course bathroom. The other "apartment" is the attic. Its just a bathroom and 1 open huge room. But so far no one has rented it. I hope it stayes that way. The house isnt in the geatest of shape but it's pretty cheap for what I get.
post #6 of 28
I don't know how the rents are there, but I live in a very expensive military town, and my 3BR, 1.5 bath very nice house is only $600 a month. I would look a little farther if I were you, unless time is a huge factor. I know it seems like it is, I have lived with grandma, but in the long run, you could be doing yourself a huge favor. Good luck, keep us posted.
post #7 of 28
Shop around a bit more for cheaper. Try not living so close to campus, and look for something maybe you can do a month to monthe lese. That way if money gets to be a problem your not stuck in a contract. Yearly ones can be hell.

I am the college apartment QUEEN...ive done it all lol.

good luck and let us know what else you find!
post #8 of 28
That area of the country is WAY overpriced, so that is probably about as low a rent as can be expected. Some friends of ours got jobs near Leesburg, and had to move an hour away in the country to get a home less than $400,000.

It's the DC factor, I think...
post #9 of 28
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
That area of the country is WAY overpriced, so that is probably about as low a rent as can be expected. Some friends of ours got jobs near Leesburg, and had to move an hour away in the country to get a home less than $400,000.

It's the DC factor, I think...
She isn't in DC though. She is in Richmond. I am assuming at least, she said her mom was in N VA, wich is DC area.

700 a month in richmond is high. 700 a month in DC for a one bedroom is high, depending on what part of town you rent it.

I was right off a metro line, well, 6 blocks off of Clerendon. Right on two major highways and right next to the GWMP. My rent for a small but cozy two bedroom one bath was 950. When I moved out a year ago, they raised the rent to 1200.

If I were you, i would look for a basement apartment, or a mother in law suite to rent. Or something for low income, or student housing (off campus, independent from the university)

700 for a one bedroom, while working part time seems realy high to me. Yes you won't get cable, yes you won't get internet. But electric is rising. VA gets hot, and cold. Your heating and cooling cost could be OUTRAGEOUS. Our highest bill in texas this year was 250 bucks. just for electricity, and we keep our air at 78 or 80.

Utilities have a way of sneeking up on you. Keep your rent costs down as much as possible. Living on your own can really blow when it comes to spending all your money on bills, and then still not having enough to make it to the next paycheck.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Apartments are VERY EXPENSIVE here in comparison to other areas of the united states. While I'm not in DC, prices are still high. If we were to go any lower, we'd be considering apartments in bad parts of town. Richmond can be a dangerous place if your in the wrong place, so we are trying to keep ourselves out of those areas. The cheapest we found was 650 and that did not cover utilities and it was literally five minutes from the start of the 'bad area' of town. All other places that are cheap are actually in that area. I don't want to have to walk out of my front door and be afraid someone will rob me. I'd rather pay a little more to be in a safe neighborhood.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
And 700 in N. Va is LOW. My mom was renting a one bedroom one bath for 900 a month. It was in Sterling, Va, so very very expensive.

Low here for a 'good' apartment is around 600. High is 900 and up. We have found some rents as low as 300 or 400 but looking at where it is on the map, I wouldn't live there if you paid me to.
post #12 of 28
$700 a month for a one-bedroom seems crazy to me, but you're right, you don't want to live in a bad part of town being two young females. It's so funny, the disparity in apartment prices in this country. I paid $290 a month (water, sewer, gas, trash paid by landlord) for a 1-bedroom studio about 2 blocks off campus. When my DH and I met, we lived in a 2 bdr one block off campus (i.e., people paid to park in our front yard during football games) for a whopping $345 a month.

Of course, now we pay a $1300 a month mortgage... I guess we got our due.
post #13 of 28
If it includes all utilites that is a good deal. I am asuming they pay water, trash and sewer. (the cheapest of utilities) But you still have to pay electric and gas. Gas shouldn't be too bad, and if your heating is off of gas, then your winter bill should be "Ok" But if both heat and air are off of Electric, which is most likely, you will have HIGH electric bills all year long. Expect to pay at least 100 a more a month in just electric costs.

On a GOOD month, meaning we didn't have to run ac or heat really at all, our bill was 80. The second you turn that ac/heat unit on, your bill skyrockets. Our highest, in the middle of summer, was 250. And we keep our air at 78. (which is too hot if you ask me!)

Taking long showers is the least of your worries, the complex pays water, and it looks like your water is heated by gas, gas is usually pretty cheap, maybe 50 a month. If you are running a washer and dryer, expect your elect to be over 100 a month every time.

you should survey the neighbors, ask them how long they have been living there, how much their utilities run, how often they run the air, do laundry, what they keep thier thermostat at.

You also need to consider, gas for your car, food costs, cell phone bills, credit car bills (If you have any) Extra money in case a car breaks down, you get sick and miss work, if the kitties get sick and need to go to the vet.

These are all things that need to be considered, and I am sure you already have, you seem to have thought this through. It is VERY difficult to make it out there when you barely have enough money to cover everything. Because something ALWAYS happens that requires more money from you, and that takes away money from your bills etc.

Just come up with all your expences vs your income. If you have a good amount of money left over afterward, then you should be good to go!

I have lived on my own since I was 17. If I could have done it a differnt way, I would have. I have been strugling for money since the day I left my parents house. It is still that way, but getting better at least. I would just hate to see that happen to someone still working their way through college. Even though it happens all the time.

Really, the best of luck to you! I hope it works out wonderfully!!
post #14 of 28
I'm not sure I'm seeing the problem.

You are both financially stable enough that you do not need your parents' signatures on the lease, and your friend is legally an adult.
Now while she certainly must take her mother's concerns seriously, there really is nothing that her mother can do to prevent it.
post #15 of 28
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I'm not sure I'm seeing the problem.

You are both financially stable enough that you do not need your parents' signatures on the lease, and your friend is legally an adult.
Now while she certainly must take her mother's concerns seriously, there really is nothing that her mother can do to prevent it.

The issue shouldn't be what her mother wants here. If you guys can handle this financially, that is all that matters.

How long have you been friends? Do you trust her not to run out on you if things got bad? That is another "roommate" type of issue.
post #16 of 28
Originally Posted by Yarra View Post

How long have you been friends? Do you trust her not to run out on you if things got bad? That is another "roommate" type of issue.
If finances are worked out and you can both budget effectively, then I don't see the real problem. As a PP said, you are both adults.

However, I agree with the above. This is one of THE main considerations for moving in with someone (especially a first apartment situation).
Often people don't take into account that while you may be good friends, some people just CAN'T live together. Difficulties can run anywhere from little annoyances (like agreeing on a cleaning schedule or different tastes in music or interior decorating), to larger ones like too much partying or having other people over to financial issues (like people running out on their lease or not coughing up the funds for bills)....

If I had to do the room-mate thing over again (this only lasted a year for me when I was young before I learned that I hate, hate, hate living with room-mates), I would sit down and hash out a kind of contract or "rules of the house" before you actually sign your name on the dotted line...

Good luck! New apartments can be so much fun!
post #17 of 28
I know in our area, apartments near the University actually advertise that they will split your rent if your roommate leaves for any reason... dropping out, problems with personality, etc. Maybe check into that, if that is one of the OP's concerns.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well some time has passes since my friend and I went looking at apartments. She doesn't seem as eager to get an apartment as I am, so instead I'm going to set my sights on something a little lower. I'm hoping to get into the college downtown and get an apartment down there as well. My girlfriend is also going to try and get into that college. If we both get in, we are going to get an apartment together and all yesterday we went looking around downtown for some cheap apartments. We found a couple.

The first one we looked at had studio apartments for 475 which included all utilities. It is right in the heart of the campus and within walking distance of everything. Pets are allowed (so I'd be able to bring my two kitties with me.) So far, this is our favorite. Unfortunatly, people most often chose to renew thier lease and trying to get an apartment there is hard. We are going to call back near May to see if there are any available apartments.

Another apartment sounded really good until we asked about pets. Pets are not allowed. So that one is out the window. I won't move in anywhere that I can't take my babies with me.

There are a few more we have not been able to check out because the offices closed, but we will be going back another day to find out more about them. One of those apartments not only gives you free utilities, but they also give you free internet and cable. Not sure what the rent is on that one though. Couldn't check it out cause it was late in the day and offices were closed.

But we are hopeful. I'm going to be working my butt off these next few months to improve my grades so i can get into that school and move in with my girlfriend. I can't wait.
post #19 of 28
Wow 731 seems high for rent on a 1 brd I live 3 blocks from the school here and i pay 450 for a 3brd house. I would look around more for a better price.
post #20 of 28
Well, I take it you are not planning to live in a dormortory, probably no pets. I am concerned about how young you guys are and living alone, so please be careful about who you invite up into your apartment. Some words of advice. If the two of you get a place together, make sure it is both your names and you both sign the lease. that way you will not be responsible for her share of the rent, should the landlord find a reason to sue you. Also, if you cannot afford it alone, you are taking a big risk, because she could move out and leave you there, not being able to pay.
You have to sit down and make a budget of how much it will cost to live. Include all rent expenses plus food, recreation, incidentals, cat food, vet bills, taxes, hygiene items, EVERYTHING. Then compare that to your take home pay. You should have an extra 100 to 200 dollars to save incase of an emergency. You should have three months rent in the bank for an emergency.
Maybe you could get another two girls and rent a nice house. That way you are not dependent on one person, there would be more people and maybe one of their parents would cosign for you. Good Luck
post #21 of 28
Prices for apartments in the northeast are OUTRAGEOUS! Living in NJ I don't think i could find a 1 bedroom apartment for less than $700, and no they werent made of gold. Somehow, someway, my b/f and his cousin found a 2 bedroom apartment w/a garage for only $1000 a month.

Soka i wish you the best of luck in finding a place and being safe.
post #22 of 28
I just want to say, that i will be living alone in 2 weeks onwards and it is very VERY HARD!
You really need to plan, budget and be a tight bum!
But just because youre going to live with a friend this doesnt mean its going to be great, there are going to be alot of disputes.
post #23 of 28
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
731 is very expensive for a one-br!

I live very near one of the largest schools in the country, and in an urban area, and mine is only 400$ a month. My apt before was a two-br and was still less than that!
Hahaha, I pay $800 for a studio! A STUDIO!!!

Anyway, I unfortunately have no good advice for you, other than what Zissou's Mom said. It's a pretty big commitment, having an apartment, and sometimes more of a pain than I would like to be dealing with while in school. Still, it's nice having my own space and a ton of freedom.

As long as you can work it out financially, that's what matters. You definitely need to keep things like student loan debt and credit card debt in mind...they'll come back to haunt you. Other than that, if you can budget the apartment in reasonably, best of luck to you!
post #24 of 28
I thought that was pricey for a one bedroom too. I pay $459 a month for my one bedroom condo and that includes the H.O.A fee. Is that a pretty standard price for one bedrooms in your area?
post #25 of 28
That sounds about right for a 1 bedroom to me..think about everything that comes with it...I guess I am thinking in Canadian dollars though

My one bedroom is $625 inc.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
731 is actually a good price for a one bedroom.

The studio we are hoping to get is 475 a month for the smallest, and trust me, I don't need tons of space. A kitchen a bathroom and a bed are all I need. If it comes down to it, and we can't get an apartment and have to live on campus in school housing, we are going to room together. Oh and just to clear it up, I'm planning on moving into the apartment (or dorm) with my fiance.

I've set up a rough budget, allowing for rent, tolls for going back and forth to work and seeing family, gas money, money for my cats, food (we'll be getting a meal plan with the school), leisure money, Savings, emergency, and money to get things for the house. All in all, it'll cost me around $650-$700 a month on my part. (Which I make). The only trouble I'll have is balancing school and work. At the moment, I'm doing horrible in school but that is mostly because I am lazy and procrastinate. My fiance is putting her foot down and demands I start doing my work, so I must obey. She also demands we split the rent down the middle, but because she makes less than I do, I've told her that she can pay her full half the rent when she gets a better job. Financially we are ok, and once she gets a better job, we shall be set to move into an apartment.

There is one problem that I'm not looking foreward to. My family is going to flip out big time. They hate my fiance and don't know we are engaged. I have a feeling that once I move in with her, I'm on my own for good. If that be the case, at least I will have some money saved away in case I need it. Because I fell off a ferris wheel when I was 5 I recieve checks. I've already recieved two and will recieve another two over the next two years. Each are for 17.5k, so thats a bit of money in case I ever really need it. (Ex. Can't make rent one month.) I get my next check in May. Woohoo!
post #27 of 28
I re-read your first and last post and I'm sure I wasn't reading this wrong... you said you and your friend were going to move into an apartment together in a "dorm stlye" set-up and then in your last post you said that you were engaged to your friend. Anyway that's another matter!

If indeed you are both financially independant and over 18 and now considered an adult then there is no reason why either of your parents should have a right to stop you. Yes, their opionions and good wishes/approval always help things!

I've recently moved in with my partner on a moments notice and this is the first time I've moved out of home and away from my mother and believe me I made myself sick with worry about telling her! She doesn't particularily like my partner but she's grown to like him and respect him over the past 3 years but he is not the best with money so she had her concerns! It also worried her that he couldn't financially support me when he is paying maintainence for his 2 children! Yes, we are struggling to meet the financial aspects of our new home but that isn't stopping us! We both have 2 full time jobs and I study part time from home! I love my new home and I'm proud we've made a committment to each other... we are proving everyone wrong!

If you feel that you are capable of handling this properly then do it! Btw... if you don't mind me asking... how long have the two of you been dating? I suggest you prove to both your family and her family (remember, the girls family is always the most important family) that you are committed to each other and this isn't just for freedom! They'll respect your decision more and they will also probably be alittle more willing to help out if anything negative does happen in the future - there won't be "I told ya so's"! The decision you are making is huge and you both have to be in this 50/50 - prove it to everyone!!!!!!

Good luck!
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
My friend and fiance are two different people. I've tried proving that we are commited to each other. Her family likes me, but mine hates her. (The reason is that we are both female) We've been together for 3 years (as of October 21st) I've spent most of those years trying to show my mother that we are happy together, but she doesn't care. So once I move in with my fiance, I'm on my own. We will both be in college and working. Money will be tight but we want to be together.

So here's another question. What do I do with my cats if I end up having to get on campus housing. (meaning cats can't come to live with me.) I'll be rooming with my fiance so there is a good chance my family will make me move all my stuff out of the house, including my cats. I can't have them in the dorm, and I can't give them away to new homes. (They are my babies) I'd rather live off of Ramen and Flinstones Vitamins before I get rid of my girls. Just last night, my fiance showed me where she used to live. A two bedroom apartment, she said, can be as low as 675. If we can find a third person to split rent, we'll be set. After she completes her four years of college, we might be moving out to California because by that time, I'll have finished college and will hopefully looking for a veterinary school out there.

Oy, who knows what's going to happen. All I know is that I want out of my grandmother's house. I've never had privacy and now I crave it. I'm very secretive around my family now and I think its because when I was a kid, I never had a lock on my bedroom door. People could go through my stuff whenever they wanted and my things were there for everyone to see. Now, my grandmother will come down to my room and 'clean' my room. I can understand if she's trying to be nice, but this is my space, and she just can't seem to understand that. I want a place of my own so that when I walk through the door, I can say. "This is MY place."
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