Apartment Basics

Apartments. Usually, it’s someone’s first home when they are just starting. Depending on where you live, apartments can run you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a month.

So what does one do when looking for an apartment? Believe it or not, there are many different types, styles, and pay plans involved. 

Apartment Basics

Starting small there is your basic studio apartment. A studio apartment is usually 1 room with a kitchen and bath. A room is any room other than your kitchen and bath. Bathrooms do not count as rooms at all because they are required by law. Kitchens are a little different. Most walk-in kitchens are considered half of a room. 

If the kitchen is simply an area in the apartment that is not cut off from the other rooms then it is not counted as a room. So a studio 1 room would have a kitchen area that’s part of the 1 room, meaning it probably comes with just a refrigerator and a stove and sink. A studio 1 1/2 room would have a kitchen that is separated from the rest of the apartment by a wall and has a doorway. Most studio apartments are 1 room.

Studio apartments, contrary to what most people think, are not cheap. A studio in New York City can cost you $1000 a month. In some areas, you can get a studio for about $500.

In apartments, there is seldom a basement. Most apartments are assigned a basement area in the main basement used for the entire complex. In some cases, each apartment section or group of apartments has a basement nearby.

Aside from the number of rooms, there is also the issue of layout. Most apartments are single level, meaning all the rooms are on one floor. But in some cases, there are apartment complexes that are what they call duplexes. These are two apartments side by side in each complex and each apartment is two floors as opposed to the 4 apartment complexes where each apartment is on a single level. In two-level apartments, the living room and dining area are usually downstairs with the bedrooms upstairs. Most two-level apartments are 4 1/2 rooms.

Apartment Fees

Then there is the issue of what services come with the apartment and what services have to be paid for separately.

In some apartments, your gas and electricity and water utilities are included in the cost of the rent. In other apartments, only the water is paid for and your gas and electricity are paid to your local public service company. 

Some apartments don’t cover any of your costs. So when you get an apartment, make sure you find out just what your rent covers. The reason for this is that an apartment for $900 a month with all utilities paid may be a better deal than an apartment for $750 a month if the latter apartment doesn’t include any utilities at all.

Finally, in securing an apartment many require a security deposit equal to the rent of the apartment. Some require one-month security and some require two months. This is paid back to you when your lease expires if you decide to leave. Breaking a lease will usually mean forfeiture of your deposit.

Which brings us to apartment rules. This is why there is nothing like owning your own home. Most apartments allow no pets. Playing music after a certain hour will bring complaints from your neighbors. Your freedom to do what you want in an apartment is limited.

Some people love the idea of not having to worry about repairs, as the super usually takes care of that, and live in apartments their whole life. Others can’t wait until they can get into their own home. 

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