Before Moving Up in Apartments, Consider This

So here’s the situation:  I live an apartment the size of a walk-in closet (400-something square feet.)  It’s my starter apartment, you know, the one that is super cheap so you can save up some money and pay down some student loan debt.  I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to move up to a larger apartment?  But, before I move up, I have to make sure I can afford it.

  • Rent increases are the first thing that comes to mind.  So, we’re going to add the rent increase to the budget.
  • Lease terms are next.  I’m at a pretty onerous place at the moment (sorry, landlord, you don’t need two months notice, 30 days is standard and everybody else does fine with that.  Sheesh.)  I’d like a lease that isn’t quite as restrictive.
  • Pet deposits matter to me.  I have a dog of size.  She is non-negotiable, and no, I will not give the landlord a $500 non-refundable security deposit for a non-destructive dog.  Please.

Of course, this isn’t all.  Since you increase utility needs when you get a bigger apartment, you have to take a look at the impact that will have on the budget.

  • Increases in electricity costs may not occur, especially if you’re moving from a very old el cheapo apartment to a newer, more insulated apartment.  Nevertheless, check out the previous tenant’s average cost.
  • Will there be a utility you didn’t have before?  You don’t need a “surprise” gas oven or water heater.  (It’s rare, but could happen.)
  • How are the new landlords going to calculate water, sewer, and trash?  You need to get an estimate for that expense, and see how the change will affect the budget.

Finally, can you handle the deposits and moving costs?  You may have to put down another deposit for all the utilities (you’ll have to talk to the companies to get the full scoop.)  Also, will you need professional movers?  (I do.)  What do they want to charge?

I’m not sure I’m going to move just yet.  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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