While you may not be thinking about next year’s living situation at the start of this school year, local leasing companies want you to be. Someone decided that the start of the fall semester was a good time for students to sign leases for the following year. It may be easy to get caught up in the flurry of choosing a new apartment, but don’t let the rush force you to make a bad decision. There are plenty of things to consider when selecting an apartment.

Price: Don’t choose an apartment that’s beyond your means. Make sure you can pay your rent while still living comfortably. If your parents are paying for you, that’s great. But for those of you (like me) who have to support yourselves, don’t sign a lease with a monthly rent payment that’s out of your reach.

Utilities: You may find an awesomely cheap apartment, but you come to find out that utilities are not included. There’s nothing wrong with paying utilities separate from your rent, just be sure to know whether or not your rent includes utilities. You don’t want to find yourself with an unexpected cost.

Cable/Internet: These two are also good things to check to see if they are included in your rent. Cable isn’t as big a deal for me, but I need to have Internet. Many apartments around here come with basic Internet but require a router if you want wireless. Cable was also recently removed from being included in many rents. I know at my apartment, for example, I would have to start from scratch with cable. The cost of that is too much for me to afford each month so I’ve opted to not have cable.

Commute to class: You should be realistic about your commute to class depending on where you live. Generally the farther out you are from campus, the cheaper the rent becomes. But if you don’t have a car or way to easily get to campus, living way off campus may not be the best choice for you.

Furniture: Although most apartments around here come with furniture, be sure to find out what is included when you sign. You may still need to get some items depending on what’s included.

Roommates: Don’t be in such a haste to sign that you end up signing with people you may not be crazy about living with. While your friends may get caught up in the madness to immediately find an apartment, I promise you there will still be many left to choose from. Living in your first apartment is an exciting time so be with people you want to be around.

What do you wish you had considered when signing for an apartment?

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