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Tips for Your Young Adult and their 1st Apartment

May 28, 2020 | by amanda ryan

One day your children are in diapers and the next they’re moving into their own apartment!

That saying, “The days are long, but the years are short,” is so incredibly true in parenting. As emotional as your child moving out and being on their own is, there are a lot of exciting things that come with this transition.

They get to host dinners for you, invite you over, and then there’s the decorating! Since you have years of experience in this area, you’ll be a vital resource for your child as they navigate this change.

For tips on helping your young adult adjust to living in their first apartment, keep reading!

Educate Them

One of the best things you can do for your child, in general, is to help them learn to be independent. This same idea applies when they’re moving into their first apartment.

Walk them through the most vital information you’ve learned by living on your own. For example, a cleaning schedule. Trying to get all the housework done, especially with the responsibilities of work or school, can feel overwhelming. (This is particularly important if you’ve been magically making their dirty dishes, laundry, etc. disappear for them over the years).

But before they can figure out the cleaning and caring of their living space, they first need to find an apartment. This is not something to dive blindly into, there are things to consider and questions to ask. Apartmentguide shares these 13 questions to ask before renting an apartment: 

1. What are the lease terms? You’ll want to know when the lease begins and ends, as well as how much rent is per month. (Be sure to find out what the late rent policy is and if there is a grace period).

2. What does it cost to move in? Do they require first and last month’s rent? What about a security deposit? Are there any moving or elevator fees?

3. Are utilities included in the cost?

4. What’s the pet policy? Whether you currently own a pet or are considering adopting, it’s important to know going in if pets are allowed (and if a separate deposit is needed for that).

5. How about the guest policy?

6. Is renters insurance required? Renters insurance provides coverage for your property in the event of things like a fire, flood and often even theft. This type of coverage tends to come at minimal expense, so it’s a good idea to have regardless of whether or not it’s required.

7. How is the rent paid? It’s not only about how much rent is, but how are you getting the money from you to your landlord? 

8. How are repairs taken care of, especially in an emergency? Is maintenance available 24/7? How quickly do they typically respond? What about non-emergency repairs? Are these things tenants are expected to handle; what about the costs?

9. How secure is the property? It’s important to not only get the ins and outs of the building’s security, but to look into the surrounding neighborhood as well.

10. How often does rent increase? By how much?

11. What is the parking situation?

12. Are there plans to update the building?

13. Is there a penalty for breaking the lease? Be sure to understand if there are any penalties for early termination (or if subletting is an option). For a month-to-month lease, be sure to learn how early you have to notify the landlord, should you want to move.

Once they’ve found the space that’s right for them…

Help Them Find Great Deals

When you’ve lived in your parents’ home your whole life, the reality of stocking up your house can be shocking.

Between the food, cookware and flatware, spices, cleaning supplies, and linens, you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars! This doesn’t even include any of the main furniture. While starting out can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.

Check out garage sales if it’s that time of year for you. You can typically find cookware and furniture for as much as 90% off! If it’s not time for garage sales yet, consider visiting a secondhand store. Or utilize the online garage sales that regularly pop up.

Buying the essentials gently used will give them an opportunity to slowly upgrade as their budget allows them to, without putting a huge hole in their pocket right away.

Plan a Budget

We can all vouch for the fact that there are so many expenses associated with living on your own that we never knew about before starting said adventure. These can blindside you if there isn’t an experienced adult to help.

Go over the lease with your child and help them plan a budget with their income. Account for trash, sewer, water, utilities, rent, and any other recurring expenses (phone/Internet, gas, insurance…). This is one of the hardest adjustments for young adults, so your help will be essential.

Finding a first apartment and moving out is an exciting event for all of us. As much as we love our parents and want to live with them, there comes a time when we need to be independent. As they get ready for the big move, offer help and encouragement in any way that you can. Feeling excited and being involved in the move may also make the transition easier for you!

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