First of all, I would like to say welcome to adulthood! You’ve grown out of the dorm life (thank the stars) and you’re ready to rent! Whether it’s alone or with a rad group of friends, renting a place will lead you down a road of excitement, tons of phone calls to your parents, maybe some tears and some serious “how will I afford this” freak out sessions, but hey, it’s all about how you look at it.
Find a place
Now, UWM does have a housing office that can help you with this process, its on the ground floor by the Union Station if you didn’t know. But a lot of people will use websites to look at houses and apartments.
You’re more than likely going to look at tons of places before you find one that’s reasonably affordable, or if you’re anything like me: will let you have a cat.
Tour the place
After you find the place, you need to see the place. This part is always really fun because it is so freaking awkward, especially if you go alone. For example, during my apartment showing the current resident was in the shower while I was walking around their bedroom, kitchen and living room, with the landlord asking me how I was feeling about it.
But no matter the situation it’s important to come prepared with a handy full page list of questions you should probably get from your parents.
List of questions from parents:
- What does my rent pay for?
- Internet provider?
- What is the heating system?
- Is it safe?
- How far away are your friends/significant other?
- What kitchen appliances do you have? How old are they?
But there are also questions you should be able to answer for yourself, such as:
- Can I picture my really cute tapestry on this wall, or that wall?
- IS THAT A DISHWASHER?!?!
- Is the closet big enough for all your clothes?
- Is there good selfie lighting?
- Is there a place to get that cliché group of friends in front of the American Flag pic?
Sign that lease!
After you have found a place that you can see yourself calling home, it’s time to get serious with a lease.
The lease is probably the most intimidating part of this process. You’re going to go to this appointment and sign a bunch of papers saying you will pay everything on time, not destroy anything and if you do you will pay for it. It’s basically you imagining to your bank account empty and your hours at work triple for the next few weeks.
Then you are (probably) going to sign the biggest check of your life.
Then you are (probably) going to go home and realize you need food and new clothes and cry because you can’t afford them.
(This is where my favorite bottle of wine came in handy while I pretended to shop on Pinterest.)
All in all, renting is exciting! It’s stressful and really scary at first but its all about adjusting to adulthood and making sacrifices of what you want for what you need. So, enjoy your renting process and go adult as best as you can.