Apartment living has many advantages over owning a home. Chief among them is the freedom from commitment. Although you might sign a lease to rent, you haven’t signed onto a 15 or 30 year mortgage. Not only are renters free from that long term commitment, they are also not responsible for repairs. Those costs add up quickly. The expense to repair or replace major appliances is typically substantial. But even these big ticket items pale in comparison to structural problems or roof repairs.
Another advantage of apartment living comes from the ability to be mobile. When tenants want a little more space, management is often accommodating. Tenants can easily move into a larger space. Conversely, those wishing to save a bit of money each month can downsize. Those alternatives aren’t possible when straddled with a mortgage.
However, as with any apartment, it seems there is often not enough space. That is usually not the case with a the right strategic planning and a little inside information. Any space can be made to look and feel more open. You don’t need to be a professional home stager or interior design guru to make your apartment look great with out breaking the bank.
Count Your Coins
Before you begin the transformation, determine your budget. Go over it at least two times to ensure your calculations are correct. If you don’t, you run the risk of either overspending or becoming discouraged when the cash runs out. Add up a realistic budget and stick to it. Going over budget will not only leave you short financially, it will be a real emotional downer.
Start With A Blank Canvas
Imagination can be blunted by physical obstructions. The solution is to start with an empty space. Clear out the furniture and take down all decor in your apartment. It should be no more than bare walls and a bare floor, just as it was before you moved in.
Now, let your imagination take over. Begin to visualize an open, continuous space. To get some ideas, flip through some magazines or visit a few sites online. Take careful notice how the furniture and decor is arranged. Generally, you’ll notice a “theme”, less is more. Furniture is not pushed against the wall. Decor compliments the furnishings. Accent colors set off walls. Area rugs serve as “boundaries”.
Paint is inexpensive. To keep your budget reasonable, start with the simplest transformers. Paint can completely change a space without spending a lot of money. Again, use websites and magazines for ideas. You’ll be surprised what you come up with. Moreover, you’ll be astounded at the results.
Reuse And Recycle
Keeping the budget in check means putting a new face on old furniture. This is as easy as painting a wall, primarily because it is painting. Garage/yard sales, thrift stores and office supply auctions all sell pre-owned furniture. Strip it down with mineral spirits and sandpaper. Give it a fresh coat of paint, stain or varnish for a new life. If paint isn’t your thing, dress up old furniture pieces in slip covers.
Don’t neglect online classifieds and dollar stores. You’ll not only be able to find some bargain furniture, decor abounds within these sources. Area rugs are going to be your best purchases. But don’t ignore wall shelves, sconces and mirrors. Forgo the “too cheap” price tag stigma and look ahead. You’ll find some real deals and it won’t dent your wallet.
Lastly, don’t be above begging profusely. Okay, begging might be too strong a word. Politely ask family, friends and coworkers for items they’ve noticeably outgrown. You can find real visual value in old pieces.
Compose An Arrangement Masterpiece
Now that you’ve got fresh paint on the walls, have some furniture and decor, it’s time to make interior design history. Plop down the area rugs. Place them on the floor as a kind of anchor. Any furniture you place in your apartment will go directly on or around the edges of the area rugs. This will create several defined spaces, while leaving distinct walkways.
Armed with realistic budget parameters and these how-to tips, you’ll be able to redecorate your apartment without having to take out a line of credit at the bank. Keep in mind that new is generally more expensive than better.
Finding a roommate is not as simple as it sounds. There are many points of conflict that could arise between people that intend to reside in a common domicile. Before selecting a roommate, each person should interview their prospective candidates to determine if each roommate would be compatible with their particular lifestyle.
Some of the most common compatibility issues are listed below:
Lifestyle Issues. Many people keep different hours. Some people prefer to work during the day and sleep or party at night. Other people prefer to work at night and sleep all day. This is a personal preference. If your roommate’s partying is going to disturb you, then you may want to consider a different roommate or devise some rules to prevent any disturbance.
Cleanliness Issues. Cleanliness issues are major source of contention. The cleaner roommate is always annoyed and bears most of the responsibility of maintaining a clean household. Roommates should establish a chart to determine each roommate’s responsibility. Organization will reduce conflict in the household.
Privacy Issues. Are you a private person or an open book? Would you mind if your roommate entered your room without permission or are you the person that allows everyone into your room to pry? Everyone has a different level of privacy that they prefer to maintain. If you are a private person, an open person may overstep boundaries and make you uncomfortable. Consider this factor before selecting a roommate.
Morality Issues. Realistically, roommates are not going to agree on all points of view, but you should not compromise your basic moral principles. For instance, a Christian church person may feel uncomfortable in a home with a person filming a porn movie with their girlfriend every night. Express your deal breakers regarding morality, before you enter into an agreement with a roommate.
Financial Issues. Friends are typically aware of each other’s financial situation. But, you may not be aware of the financial situation with a roommate candidate. While you do not want to pry and make your roommate feel incredibly uncomfortable, you should determine if the roommate is capable of meeting their financial obligations.
Visitors. You may trust your roommate, but their friends are a different situation. Your roommate may not violate your rules or steal from you, but their visitors might. Ensure that you know the type of company your roommates keep to determine if the visitors will become a point of contention.
Roommates and Kids. Roommates with kids may be difficult for a person with no kids. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to monitor a young person’s behavior than an adult. Be certain that your temperament and sleep patterns can handle kids.
Where to Find a Roommate
Several websites online list apartments and roommates. ApartmentQuest.com offers people that are moving a number of different options to find an apartment. Whether you are moving into a one, two or three bedroom apartment, there will be plenty of apartment options to help people meet their financial obligations. Rent an apartment through Apartment Quest and all of the resources are listed in one location. Apartment rental listings will identify appropriate apartments to meet your rental needs.
Just do a search in google for “roommates” and you will find numerous websites that are available to help you locate one. Do not limit your search to online sites. Expand the search by communicating your need to friends, family and other people that may be able to aid in your search. College campuses are a good place to find roommates as well. Some people also find that co-workers are good potential roommate candidates. Keep in mind that if you are working and living with the person this may be more than a person could have anticipated.
Before selecting a roommate, find a number of apartments in your price range. Communicate your budget to your roommate, so they will know their portion of the rent. Two roommates will probably prefer a two bedroom apartment. This is typically preferable than sharing a room if the two people are not intimately involved.
Finding apartments for rent and roommates may be facilitated by using websites such as the ApartmentQuest.com. Local apartments in your area can be found easily to accommodate the needs of both you and your roommates. Search the listings on Apartment Quest to find the most compatible apartments in your area. Good luck in your roommate search.