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Tips for Finding an Apartment After College

You did it. After four years (or maybe five or six, no judgements here) you graduated from college! Goodbye all night study sessions, finals, and term papers. It also means the end of your student apartment.

One of the biggest transitions you’ll have to make post-college is getting your own real world apartment. With more than 100 colleges and universities in LA County alone, this is a challenge that many Angelinos face. If you’re in the middle of finding your first apartment, keep this list close by!

Write Out Your Wish List

What do you want in an apartment? What amenities do you absolutely need, and what can you live without? If you have a car, will you need a garage, or are you cool with parking on the street? Keep in mind that parking in LA can be dicey (think resident permits, street sweeping, parking restrictions) so make sure this won’t be an issue when you decide on a new pad. If your ideal roommate meows or barks, make sure to keep pet friendly rentals in mind.

Set Your Budget

Know this before you start looking at apartments. Nothing is more heartbreaking than finding your dream place and realizing you can’t afford it. Don’t forget, budgets include more than just rent—you’ll be responsible for the electricity and gas, cable TV and Internet. More often than not, water is included in rent, but it’s not a bad idea to factor that expense into your budget as well. Your budget will also help determine what LA neighborhood you can afford.

Roommates vs Living Solo

Decide if you want to with find roommates or strike it out on your own. While living alone guarantees more privacy and all control over the apartment décor, it also limits your budget. Sharing a place with roommates may allow you to stretch your dollar since you’ll be paying for a fraction of a house or apartment, plus splitting all bills. It may also help you acclimate to post-college life easier if you have a buddy or two. Weigh out the pros and cons.

Buy or Rent Furniture

With a new apartment comes new furniture. Will you buy or rent? While running to the store to pick out a new sofa or table is tempting, chances are you’ll be on a limited budget, and it’s also likely you’ll be moving every year (roommates move out, rent goes up, you know the drill). Who wants to lug an apartment’s worth of  sub-par furniture through the streets of LA? Consider renting furniture instead! With furniture rental, you’ll get everything you need in one neat and convenient package, from your living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, to linens and kitchen supplies. No moving required! Questions about renting furniture? Contact our Customer Care team:

Ready, set, find your perfect apartment!


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  3. John Mahoney

    5:09 pm

    I am having trouble finding a good apartment to rent. Thank you for talking about the importance of setting up a reasonable budget when looking for a god place to live. It makes sense that understanding this can help you make sure you are not overpaying for a rental and that you find the best quality for your money.

  4. Lisa Smith

    11:06 am

    Great advice! We advise most people to quickly jot down their “must have” items when beginning their apartment search. They’ll find it comes in handy more often than they think!

  5. Barbera Peters

    6:12 am

    I am really glad that I found this article. My boyfriend and I are getting serious and want to find a place together but neither of us have lived on our own and have any clue on what to do. It was really awesome how you mention writing out what we want in a place and the amenities we will want. We haven’t discussed anything like that yet and now I will be sure to pass it on. I also really like that you mention setting a budget and to be realistic about it since rent isn’t the only thing we will be paying for. Now all we need is a location.

  6. Ridley Fitzgerald

    2:18 pm

    I really want to find a good apartment now that I’ve graduated. I like how you said that I need to plan out what I can actually afford. I’ll have to make a plan before I really start looking, like you said.

  7. Ashley Turns

    5:12 pm

    Thanks for letting us know that we should figure out what amenities we want and which ones we absolutely need. My husband and I are looking to rent a new apartment since our lease is up, so we are wondering how to go about the process. We’ll be sure to start our search for an apartment to rent by first figuring out what amenities we really need.

  8. Larry Weaver

    10:13 am

    Thanks for mentioning that setting a budget includes more than just rent, but it also includes electricity, gas, internet, and even water in some cases. My son is getting close to completing his degree in college, and he has expressed interest in moving out of the house and living on his own. I’ll be sure to work out a budget with him so that he can find an apartment that will meet his needs and provides comfort at a fair price.

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