Moving into your first apartment is exciting. It comes with a lot of freedom and the ability to make a place your own. Whether you’re skipping out on living in the dorms or just moving out of them, apartment living is something to look forward to. However, moving into an apartment requires a lot of responsibility, and there is a lot to think about before you commit to signing a lease.
For that reason, we have put together a list of tasks that should be completed or considered during the moving process. We have also created an Oklahoma Student Apartment Living Guide map of great student apartments around many Oklahoma universities to make your search a little bit easier.
Student Living Tips:
1. Inspect the apartment you’re looking at before you sign the lease.
Avoid moving into a damaged apartment, and thoroughly inspect any apartment you look at before you sign a lease. This will give you the opportunity to speak to your landlord about any damage you find, so you can decide if the apartment is a place you want to live. You don’t want to get snubbed on your security deposit for damage that was there before you move in. Here are some things to check for:
- Broken or not working windows
- Broken or loud floorboards
- Water damage
- Damaged walls
- Leaky or broken faucets
- Appliances and locks that do not work
- Rodents or bugs
2. Ask Questions about bills.
Aside from rent, the cost of bills can add up quickly. Having a good guess of how much your bills will cost can help you better budget your monthly expenses. It’s good to ask what utilities are included in the rent, if any. You can also ask for typical monthly costs of water, heat, electricity, and gas. Do you have a pet or are you considering adopting one? Check out the apartment’s pet policy and pet fees as well. If you’re looking for a pet friendly apartment in Oklahoma City, check out our Pet Friendly Apartments in OKC blog.
3. Review the lease.
There is a lot to consider when signing a lease, so it is important to go through and read it as extensively as possible so you don’t run into an issue later. Some things that you should consider before signing a lease are the number of people allowed to live in the apartment, early exit policy, noise regulations, parking, and who is responsible for fixing broken appliances.
4. Fill out evaluation forms and trust your instincts.
Congratulations! You’ve found an apartment you love and you’ve decided to sign the lease. Before you move all of your things in, however, you should extensively fill out an evaluation form, or a form that asks you what damage you see in the apartment before you move in. Trust your instincts, and point out everything you feel like could be written off as damage at the end of your lease. You don’t want damage from before you moved in to come out of your security deposit. Be completely honest, and it will help you when it’s time to move out.
5. Look for inexpensive outlets for buying furniture.
So, you’ve signed your lease and you’re preparing to move into your new apartment, but now you need to fill it with furniture. Furniture can be expensive, and on a college student’s budget, it can be hard to pay for all of it. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can find good furniture on the cheap. Check out local yard sale Facebook groups, where people are trying to cut deals on old furniture. You can also try out Craigslist for other local furniture finds.
6. Have a tool box.
Most apartments will help you out when appliances break. However, sometimes minor issues will arise that are a quick fix on your own. It’s good to have a tool box on hand in the event you need to nail something into a wall, screw together pieces of furniture, or repair something with a wrench. You’ll be glad you have it in a time of need.
7. Know how to meal prep.
Something you might not immediately think about when moving off campus and into an apartment is that you don’t have the convenience of the on-campus cafeteria anymore. You now have the responsibility of grocery shopping and cooking your own food. This can be pretty difficult when you have an extensive class and work schedule, so meal prepping is a life saver. Practice making large meals that can last you through the week so you always have meals on hand to accommodate your busy schedule.
8. Save energy for cheaper bills.
Saving energy is not only good for the environment, but it can save you lots of money, too. Simply turning off electronics when you aren’t home or leaving your thermostat at a conservative temperature can make a huge difference.
There you have it, our best tips for moving into an apartment as a college student. Hopefully you find these tips helpful in your apartment hunting journey. Need help finding an apartment? View our map below to view our apartments listed near your university.