What It's Really Like To Live In An Apartment

November 01, 2017

What It's Really Like To Live In An Apartment

Now that I have offically had my own palce, I can share with you what I have learned in my time there.  This is my first official apartment and it's nothing like I thought it would be, but in a good way.  There is so much more that goes into owning or renting your own home than I ever thought possible.  When Omar and I first started looking for our own place we were obviously focused on the price, but didn't put much thought into anything else.  I must say, we got really lucky with how nice our apartment complex is.  This post is also based on my personal experiences and may not apply to everyone, but hopefully it'll make you think about some of these things ahead of time.



So, what is it really like to live in an apartment?

Honestly, I love it.  I like having my own space and as I said before, our apartment complex is really nice.  We are on the second floor which means we only have one step of flights to go up and down (Tip #1: Be picky with what floor you want to live on.  You may think the third floor has a better view, but when you go grocery shopping or have to walk the dog, it can be a real pain).  We have a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment that comes with a sunroom.  We had the option of a balcony or the sunroom and in our opinion the sunroom was much bigger and put to more use than a balcony ever would.  As we settled in we learned about all of the amenitites that came with the apartment.  Starting with the dog park and the doggy bags on every corner (Tip #2:  If you have a dog, or are planning on getting one, make sure you pay attention to these things.  I love how there's an area in our apartment complex where Oliver can run around off the leash and I've never had to spend a dime on doggy bags when he uses the bathroom.  It's really convenient for a dog owner).  The next thing was the pool!  I've never not had a pool so I loved that the apartment complex has an outdoor pool that's open all year long- thanks to North Carolina weather.  The only downside is not hot tub, but then again it's North Carolina, I doubt I would have ever used it.  Even the winter days are pretty humid.  The gym situation was a bigger deal to Omar than it was to me.  I personally love the tiny gym that comes with the apartment, but to make up for their tiny gym they offer a free Golds Gym Membership for one person in the household.  That obviously went to Omar, but it wasn't exactly "free."  They take $40 off of our rent and Omar pays the $40 to pay for his membership at the gym.  Still, it's a nice bonus feature and he defintely gets his money worth.  I don't really care to make friends with my neighbors, but that's the Northerner in me I guess, but I must say everyone is really friendly (Tip #3:  There are apartments where your front door leads to outside or inside, like a hotel almost.  Our front door leads to the outside which we prefer better because we don't get any noise complaints.  We've had parties and loud nights at the apartment, but our walls are so thick or it's because we live in a Marine town and everyone is as loud as us.  Make sure you know what type of "front entrance" you want in your home.)

The most important thing when getting your own place is the financial aspect of it all.  Obviously look at where the rent is each month, but make sure you keep in mind all of the other payments that go wit the rent (Tip #4:  On top of your rent, you will have additional fess such as the security deposit, trash fee, insurance, pet fees, and other bills depending on the complex.  For a few months we had a garage for Omar's Jeep and that was an additional cost.  Keep these things in mind that even though your rent is a certain amount, there are going to be additional bills that you will have to pay for).  You'll also neeed to setup some basic necessities such as electric, heat, cable and wifi.  We got really lucky, because our apartment complex includes water in our monthly bill and we only pay one set fee every month.  Which is great, because your girl loves bubble baths!  I'm not sure how other apartments do it, but that's how ours is done (Tip #5:  Do your research on these necessities.  See what type of cable and internet providers are in the area and DO YOUR RESEARCH.  I cannot stress this enough.  Compare prices and find which company better suits your needs.  Also find out if there are more options for heat and electric.  In our area there was only one provider, but larger cities will probably have more for you to choose from).  Sadly, only Time Warner Cable came to our apartment and I do NOT recommend them at all.  The service is completely crappy, but we were stuck with it.  After a few months of paying for "high-speed" internet and basic cable, we realized how little we actually watch live television.  We quickly cancelled the cable part and just paid for internet (Tip #6:  Try to keep your bills as organized as possible.  We keep a monthly calendar on a white board and keep track of what bills are due when that month.  Some bills will be the same every month, but others, like electric, will vary month to month.  Keep track of your finances and keep in mind what you owe and at what time you owe it).

After you've picked your perfect apartment and have your finances in order it's time to start living.  There are things that you never though about until you are living alone.  Like the fact that you can leave a weird amount of leftovers in the fridge and no one else will touch it!  Or how relaxing it is to light some candles and take a long hot bubble bath.  Don't forget how exciting it is when you get your mail for the first time.  When I got my first wedding invitation and Christmas card that had my name and my address on it, it was pretty cool.  It was such an adult moment and things like that make living on your own very exciting.

Don't get me wrong though, I love when Mama Katz comes down to visit and takes me grocery shopping, but for the most part I have really loved living on my own and feeling accomplished knowing that I did this.  Sure there were some bumps along the way.  Nights where all I had for dinner was a peanutbutter and jelly sandwhich.  Some days I never even left the apartment simply because I didn't feel like "adulting" today.  All in all though, I wouldn't have traded this experience for anything.  It helped me grow up and think more like a responsible adult rather than a care free teen, though I still have my moments.  I'm very grateful for what I have learned and for my friends and family who helped me along the way.

I hope this helped all of you who are about to make your first big move and got you thinking about all of the minor things that come along with living in your own place.  I promise to share all that I learn next time, if you promise to keep reading along.


xoxo, Michele

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