It’s every Millennial’s dream to find their first home after college. Unfortunately, many Millennials are forced to move back in with their parents when they graduate college until they can save enough money for their own place.
According to a new study by the Federal Reserve, 36 percent of young adults are living at home with their parents. While this might seem like a shock to many young people, it’s a daunting reality many Millennials must face.
So why are Millennials moving back home with their parents? Well, you might think it’s the cost of living or the job market. In fact, young adults are living at home because of the high costs associated with financing their college education. Many Millennials cannot afford to pay for rent and their student loans.
If you’ve been looking to get your own place, you’re probably looking to cut costs as much as possible. As you continue to look for your first apartment after college, here are five tips to keep in mind that will help you with finding your first place:
Know your budget and stick to it
After college, it’ll be tempting to want to find an apartment in a trendy district for young professionals. Unfortunately, these places can come with very high price tags.
When you begin your search, it’s important to create a budget you can stick to. Once you determine your budget, you’ll be able to research apartments or homes that are in neighborhoods you can afford. Even if it means living in a suburb of a big city, do your best to find a place that you can afford. Don’t forget to include the cost of commuting in your budget as well.
Find roommates, if possible
One of the best ways to cut costs of post-grad living is to find roommates. Even if you can only find one or two roommates, this will help you drastically cut your living expenses.
If you’re in a pinch and need to find roommates quickly, there are a number of apps available to help you find a new roommate. Apps such as Roommates.com or Easy Roommate are available for you to get matched with a roommate fast.
Don’t pay for anything until you see the apartment
Regardless of how desperate you are to find a place, do your best to check out the apartment before putting down a deposit. Even if it means receiving a virtual tour of the apartment via Skype or FaceTime, don’t commit to anything until you see the apartment. If there are any damages or items that need repair, be sure they are noted on the lease so that you don’t get charged for them later.
Be aware if your landlord is eager for payment
You might encounter landlords who will skip paperwork and credit checks before letting you see a lease. If this happens, it is possible that your landlord might fail to follow proper regulations for renting properties.
If your landlord only cares about getting your deposit as quickly as possible with no questions asked, this could be a red flag that the landlord doesn’t care about who lives in their properties. When you meet with your landlord, try to gauge their personality and figure out if they’re renting to your for the right reasons.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Although it might be difficult to negotiate the cost of rent, it is possible to negotiate your lease before signing. Politely ask your landlord if certain utilities, like water, sewer, trash or electricity can be included in your lease. You could also check if there’s anything you could do to help lower the cost of rent or receive a reduced rate on utilities.
For example, ask the landlord if you could receive a discount for doing some repairs or adding some curb appeal that would require them to pay someone else. You could also negotiate things like parking, snow removal, or extending your lease to get a better rate. These items could reduce your monthly rent by $50 or $100. Just be sure to get any discounts in writing.
Finding your own affordable place is definitely a challenge, but it’s not impossible. As long as you create a plan, do your research, and follow your budget, you’ll be able to find your own place that feels like home.
By Ivan Serrano, Staff Writer