Millennials are graduating from college and moving out of their parent’s homes. Many are choosing to move into apartment rentals over purchasing homes for many reasons including not having enough saved for down payments and the fact that they are stuck now in one place. Also, with housing prices on the rise, renting is a really great option because amenities that you might not have been able to afford when owning a home are now literally right outside your door like dry cleaners or deli’s. With wanderlust on the rise, Millennials are flocking to larger cities like Los Angeles to rent apartments. However, they are making some major money mistakes when renting their first apartments.
1. Making the Apartment a Pinterest Dream
While having marquee lights that spell out your name over your couch that has funky patterned pillows next to your vintage coffee bar is cool, you might want to think twice about this major purchase. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas to make your apartment the decorated dream that you’ve always wanted but it can also be unrealistic and quite expensive.
2. Hiring a Broker
Millennials have grown up with the Internet literally at their fingertips. Don’t waste time with a broker who can charge you up to the price of your first month’s rent for finding an apartment rental. Get on the Internet and use skills that you already have to find an apartment. Many times you can go right to an apartment complex that you like and speak directly with the rental team and can skip spending money on a broker. Visiting a larger community is super easy that offers the amenity of an onsite leasing office. Take your hard earned money and put it toward something tangible in your apartment that you might need like a bed or a couch.
3. Using Craigslist the Wrong Way
I know I said not to use a broker but you still should have your guard up when searching for an apartment. Millennials could find the perfect apartment rental on Craigslist in a sought out area at a price that seems to good to be true because most likely, it is too good to be true. Don’t trust people who tell you to send them a deposit to secure that amazing apartment. Chances are that you’ll never hear from them again and there goes your money. Remember Craigslist does not protect its users from fraud, etc. Going directly to the onsite leasing office is always your best safest bet.
4. Not Having a Budget or Not Sticking to One
According to the White House in 15 Economic Facts about Millennials, Millennials are moving to urban areas like Los Angeles more than any previous generation. In turn, they are spending much more on rent, which is not always a bad thing but make sure to stick to your budget. One common pitfall that Millennials fall into is that they are not sure what to involve in an apartment budget. A budget needs to include more than rent – you have to factor in utilities (water, gas, and electric), cable, Internet, food, fun, and furnishings. Being apartment poor is not fun; don’t let it happen to you.
5. Not Getting Renters Insurance
Taking the time to get proper renter’s insurance is a must! Since Millennials are choosing to rent over buy, maybe in the interest of saving money. So to save money, they skip out on renter’s insurance which is only around $300 for the year. Protect your valuables!
6. Refusing to Accommodate
It’s hard to give up that dream of the beautiful loft apartment overlooking the PCH but for now, you might have to put it on the backburner. You may not get everything you want in your apartment so I suggest choosing your top three things that you truly must have. However, there are apartment communities that could offer everything you are looking for like a rooftop retreat, pool, and a fitness center. Bonus if you choose an apartment rental with a fitness center, you can save money on your gym membership. Get in shape and save money!
7. Buying Brand New Furniture
Many apartments do not come furnished and brand new furniture can cost thousands of dollars. Shop around for the best deals on furniture. Go to Goodwill and other second hand stores. You can find some sweet deals on top quality furniture that lost its allure to its previous owner. Remember one man’s treasure is another man’s junk. Also, many previous trends are coming back into favor so you’re essentially ahead of the times!
8. Eating Out, A Lot
After coming home from work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. And Seamless is just so easy! Millennials are turning more and more to ordering food versus making a home cooked meal. This is one of the easiest ways to waste money in an apartment. Five meals a week can easily equal $100 with tip and delivery. Put that money away for savings or toward groceries and get more bang for your buck. If you don’t have the time to cook, choose an apartment community that is close to shopping and dining. In our apartment community of Casa Mira View, you are within walking distance of bowling, cafes, and many dining options.