The apartment that you choose will be your home for the duration of the lease you sign. Home is a place where we find peace and solace from the hustle and bustle of the work, school, and play we call life. Before you make this pivotal decision in your life, there is one important aspect you have to thoroughly consider: your needs in comparison to your wants.
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Evaluating your needsOne category takes clear precedence over the other—your needs. You may want a variety of things that you do not necessarily need or even truly fit your lifestyle or personality. You may want a lavishly spacious three-bedroom penthouse, overlooking a rainbow-filled waterfall off the coast of the Virgin Islands. But if you are single with a moderate income, do you really need so much extra exaggerated space? That fantasy should be locked away with your ambitions of eventually winning the lottery. The task at hand is finding a balance between your budget, lifestyle, and the awesome living space you dream of.
Listing your wantsThe best way to figure out your wants versus your needs is to make a long list of everything you desire in an apartment. This includes hardwood versus carpet, eat-in versus studio type kitchen, and quiet versus happening neighborhoods. Once you have compiled this long list (be sure to include everything), step outside yourself and put on your serious adult pants and separate the single list into two columns: “Realistic Needs” and the “I Wishes.”
Balancing needs and wants
If you are single with no children, you need a studio, maybe even a one-bedroom, although you may want a lot of extra space. If you have a pet, you need a complex that will allow you to have pets. If you are a single young female, you need an apartment that offers a sense of security. You should also consider your lifestyle. If you are young and enjoy entertaining guests, then an apartment above an elderly couple may not be the best fit. We can go on and on with the list of needs, but you get the idea, and you know you the best, so plug away.
Now that we have appeased the adult within (being responsible and all), we can focus a little on our inner child, the part of us that wants, regardless of need. Since you have compiled a financially doable “needs” column, you can reassess your situation and revisit some of the “wish” items on your list. If you can reasonably afford extras, you can now delve into your list of wants and desires and tailor your apartment search to your personality. This is your chance to focus on things that come secondary to your needs, such as extra closet space, a pool, and a laundry room. Apartment amenities are also important, so take a moment to consider what will help make you comfortable in your new home.
The perfect apartment
If you want an apartment with a fantastic view, there is no clause in this system that states that you cannot seek this in an apartment. Just remember to never overshadow your needs with your wants. In the long run, you can live without your wants, but it is hard to live without your needs. Ultimately, everyone seeks happiness and comfortable living in a complex with reasonable prices and high-quality apartments so you can have more of what you want without hurting your budget.