Living at your parents' house is typically the easiest option in terms of monthly costs. They might have started charging a small amount of rent once you turned 18, but it generally stops there. When you are ready to start looking for apartments, it means that you have a job and have saved up some money. Keeping it simple with your first place is a good idea to avoid high costs from luxury amenities. But, you should also consider the other ways that you can reduce your expenses on a monthly basis.
It is crucial not to underestimate how much transportation can cost you over time. Walking to most places or riding a bike will often be the most affordable form of transportation. But, you want large sidewalks, dedicated biking paths, and lots of businesses nearby to make this your primary means to get around. Grocery stores, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, hospitals, and parks are a few places to keep in mind. A distant grocery store can prevent you from truly relying on your feet or a bike for transportation.
Local Gas Prices
If you intend on owning a vehicle while living in the apartment, you should take a look at local gas prices. It is common for these prices to fluctuate based on the neighborhood you are in. Fortunately, you can install and download a number of apps on your phone to thoroughly inspect nearby prices. This should help prevent you from moving into a place where you have to drive several miles to get lower gas rates.
If you are moving to a hot climate, you should try to avoid an apartment that gets a lot of sun. This is especially true if you are responsible for paying the utility bill as you may have to use the air conditioner almost nonstop. On the other hand, a cold climate can benefit from sunlight to keep heating costs down. Although it is most noticeable when light shines through the windows, the walls make a difference as well. So, even if you look at an apartment that does not get much light coming through the windows, you can still enjoy the benefits when the sunlight makes contact with the exterior walls for most of the day.
Going in-depth with research while apartment hunting will help you land an affordable apartment, but it will also help you pick one that leads to consistent savings in other ways.