Unlike a private home or condo, apartment living is less private. In order to find a situation that affords you a long term happy experience, there are just a few simple rules for finding an apartment. Young, old, or in between, the following criteria should help guide you in the right direction in securing an apartment situation you’ll love.

Foremost in your considerations is your budget. You need to determine what your income will sustain. Finding an appartment is easy. Finding one you can afford is another story. It’s safe to assume that you can afford to spend 25% of your income on housing.

It’s easy to assume that you can afford $50 more than that, but it’s safer to sharpen your pencil and list all of your expenses in a realistic manner. You may find an apartment that is everything you’d like to have, but exceeds that 25% by a mere $50. Either you cut other expenses by that much, or pass. Be sure you can afford the deposit as well.

You need to examine the location. Don’t rent an apartment in a seedy location unless you’re prepared to live with crime or danger. If you’re new to an area, do some research on the neighborhood. Before you go see the apartment, walk or drive around the neighborhood and assess the residents and facilities.

Part of the enjoyment or drawbacks of any apartment includes amenities or lack thereof. Again, finding an apartment to rent is easy. The apartment advertised in the paper may be beautiful, but if you absolutely despise going to the laundromat and your building doesn’t have one, you won’t like it for long.

If you’re a single or student, on a limited budget, finding an apartment for rent suitable to your taste may be more difficult. Going in with a roommate can ease the monthly expenses and up-front costs. This criteria is more subjective, but warrants a great deal of thought before jumping into a situation which you may regret.

If your fellow apartment seeker is your best friend of many years standing, this might be a good move. If your potential roommate is a more casual acquaintance, think carefully. If your apartment mate skips out on the rent, you’re in a bad position. Sublets can be a viable solution, especially if you’re new to an area.

Although this type of situation is short term, it gives you the opportunity to get to know your new city or town well before you make a serious commitment. If you’re short on furniture, this type of arrangement can serve you advantageously. While you sublet someone else’s apartment, you get a chance to collect your resources and gain a sense of your surroundings before finding an apartment of your own.

Finding an apartment situation you’ll be happy with in the long term is no easy undertaking. Considering these points when approaching your search will help you find that perfect spot.

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