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If you grew up watching TV shows like Friends, you might’ve imagined that one day you’d have an apartment just like theirs, complete with a funky floor rug, fluffy couch pillows, and a beautiful Eames chair. But real life doesn’t always work out that way.

Unless you’re already accustomed to a certain lifestyle (ahem, trust fund baby) you’ve learned that good things take time, that includes landing a great apartment. Looking at ads online, you’ve seen that finding that Monica and Rachel apartment lookalike is well out of your price range. Besides, remember this: Monica sublet the apartment (illegally, it should be added) when her grandmother moved to Florida.

As a first-time renter, things are going to be a little different for you, but you’ll still have your own apartment! To make sure the move into your new place is a smooth transition, write up a list of what you want in an apartment and above all, get renters insurance. All you have to do is compare renters insurance quotes with CoverHound for a great package!

What’s in Your Budget?
Before you make any big decisions, you’re going to need to figure out what you can afford, and not just when it comes to rent. According to the Social Security Administration, the national average wage index was $48,098.63 as of 2015. So, imagine that you make $48,000 a year at your job. Divide your take-home pay by the cost of rent, groceries and other bills. What does that leave you with at the end of the month? If it leaves your bank account dry, you need to look for a place with cheaper rent or think about getting a roommate.

What Are You Looking for?
What type of amenities do you want your apartment to have? Does it need to include a tenant gym and free parking? Would you prefer having your apartment located on the top floor or have it be wheelchair accessible? Write up a list of the features you want your apartment to have and cross-check it with what it costs and what you can afford. When it comes to your first apartment, there are some things you’ll most likely have to go without.

Will You Have Roommates?
TV makes it look like having roommates is fun, especially if you live with your best friend. Unfortunately, things can head south pretty quickly. Do they leave their dishes in the sink? Do you take too long to get ready in the bathroom in the mornings? Little annoyances can add up to cost your friendship. When deciding on your roommate situation, Study suggests considering the following things:

− Do you both have similar schedules
− Do you have the same hygiene habits
− Are you clear communicators
− Can they afford their portion of rent and bills

If the answers are all positive, it might be a good match. Just remember not to rush into a living arrangement you’re not immediately comfortable with.

When you do finally move in to your new place, make sure you’ve signed up for a renters insurance plan. Visit CoverHound for your free quote today.

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