Once landing a job, the next thing on the agenda for many post grads is finding the perfect apartment. Since college friends often move in different directions after graduating, you may be faced with the decision to live alone in your first grad place or move in at least one random roommate. The thought of a new living situation can be both exciting and completely overwhelming. (As is most of post grad life, huh?)
I’ve lived in every possible roommate situation. I lived with friends during college, the year after graduation I lived with two girls I found through Craigslist, and now I live alone. Each of these situations forced me to examine my living habits and really determine how I wanted to spend time in my apartment. Here’s a few things to consider when trying to decide how you’d like to set up your post grad apartment life.
1. Money! This is the most important factor of them all. Take your finances into consideration! Yes, the recently renovated one bedroom apartment that’s walking distance to your favorite restaurants seems perfect, but set yourself a strict budget when renting. According to business experts, monthly living expenses should only take up 1/3 (or less) of your monthly salary. Don’t forget to add on money for utilities, cable, internet to the rent when calculating your budget. If one bedroom or studio apartments in your area stretch your wallet too thin, it’s time to consider roommates.
2. Stay true to who you are. Think long and hard about the activities you enjoy, the time you like to go to sleep, and whether you are an introvert or extrovert. Are you okay with sharing a bathroom, or will you be annoyed every morning as you wait for your roommate to dry her hair? Do you prefer time to yourself at nights or would you rather watch t.v. marathons with a buddy? Be honest with yourself before jumping into a living situation.
3. Think outside of the box when searching for apartment-mate floor plans. If you’re naturally an introvert, but can’t afford to rent your own apartment, then consider the layout of an apartment with roommates and how you can make it work for you. A lot of roommate floor plans will have private entrances, more than one bathroom, and often have rooms at opposite ends of the apartment. These little things can give you the space you so desperately need, without emptying your wallet.
4. Remember that one isn’t always the loneliest number. If you’re an extrovert that is thinking about renting your own place but worried about being too lonely, don’t be. In my opinion, living alone is only as lonely as you make it out to be. Inviting friends over often, starting a weekly book club, or even hosting a few “get to know your neighbors” dinners can help ease the loneliness factor of living alone.
What do you consider when deciding to rent alone or with housemates?