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Apartments Housing Moving to Boston Uncategorized

What Kind of Apartment is Right for You?

You want an apartment in Boston but don’t know which room is right for you? There are so many options it is difficult to know what is right for you and your lifestyle (or pocketbook). Some floor plans and sizes are better suited for the privacy seeker or the thrift shopper.  But there are some key things to watch out for with each!

Here are the different types of apartment and which could be best for you!

  • Studio: This will often be a single room with a bathroom and kitchenette attached. If you are lucky it might have a full stove and fridge, but many of them come with half fridges and a small two burner stove. A lot of people like the studio because of it’s privacy and ease. However, some people find that the studios can be overpriced and lacking on space due to the tight constraints of Boston’s old buildings. If you want to share a studio with a roommate, you should check with your landlord/building management because there are certain Boston city codes on how many people can live in a certain square footage.
    • Cost:
      • Low end: $1000-$1600/
      • High end: $1600-$2500
    • Pro’s: Your own space!
    • Con’s: Pricey and Amenities can be lacking

 

one bedroom floor plan

  • One Bedroom: One bedrooms are similar to a studio and can be almost the same square footage. However, someone bedrooms have the ability to fit two people, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. These apartments are called “one-bedroom-splits” or just “splits” to keep it simple. These can be economical and make the rent easier to handle. My roommate and I currently have this structure and were lucky to find a one bedroom that had two entrances. Make sure this is okay with your landlord before you turn a 1-bedroom unit into a split. (I put up an accordion door in mine to make it a split since the living room didn’t have a door.
    • Cost (per month):
      • Low: $1500- $2100
      • High: $2200-$2700
    • Pro: Fewer people involved, economical
    • Con: Harder to find

 

  • Two Bedroom: Two bedrooms can be great where you can find them. They offer both residents privacy and often come with a living room space that allows for you to have company. One bedrooms are a bit too crowded to have friends over. It’s not impossible but hard! Two bedrooms tend to be more expensive than their one-bedroom-split counterparts because they tend to be larger and are
    • Cost:
      • Low: $1700-$2500
      • High: $2500-$3000
    • Pro: Common area, won’t be lonely!
    • Con: More expensive than a split

 

  • Three Bedroom: Three bedrooms are a nice compromise for people that want to share an apartment but are trying to cut back on the amount of liability. When you have roommates there is always some risk factor. The more people pitching in the higher the chances that someone will: not be available right before you sign the lease, have financial difficulties, or other unforeseen circumstances that would cause them to be unable to offer their portion of the rent. The more bedrooms, the cheaper you can get a nice place as well, so it’s a trade-off.
    • Cost:
      • Low: $2100-$3000
      • High: $3000-$4000
    • Pro: More people, cheaper price
    • Con: Increased Liability, possibly only one bathroom

 

  • Four Bedroom: Four Bedroom apartments offer some of the best rates. Why? Because of how difficult it is to get four people to agree on an apartment! Often times there will be one or two people who do the looking and then decide on the place. If you do get a four bedroom, you will be able to find someone to take a room, but it may not be someone you want to live with. A great way to find roomies is to check your school website for housing connections and your grad program Facebook page. Emerson has a great one and that’s where I met my roommate!
    • Cost:
      • Low: $3000- $4000
      • High: $4000-$6000
    • Pro: Cheaper! Easier to find since not many people put in the time to get them
    • Con: Increased Liability, Application approval may be harder since each person has to apply for the room separately

 

  • Five Bedroom: The five-bedroom is a mystical place that I have seen on my searches, but never heard of anyone that made it work. This layout tends to apply to homes where there are common areas and multiple bathrooms.
    • Cost:
      • Low: $ 3500-$4500
      • High: $4500-5500
    • Pro: Cheaper, multiple bathrooms ensured
    • Con: May not be the newest location/ house comes with other problems (cutting the yard, increased utilities, etc.)

There are many different kinds of apartments. For myself, my parent’s were co-signers and wanted me to be with a reputable property management company. My one bedroom was perfect since they worked with me from afar and send pictures, floor layouts, and we did all our paperwork online

If you won’t be able to see the apartment before renting, this is called, “site unseen viewing.” Make sure that this is okay with the apartment or agent that you are working with. Not everyone is willing to do it for liability reasons. However, you will find many agents who are willing to show you a Skype or Google Hangouts video call and show you the apartment.

Thanks for reading! And check back next week for the Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Looking For an Apartment.

Until next week, Happy Friday Bookworms!

Sincerely,

Kime J. Sims.

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Apartments Housing Moving to Boston

Apartment 101 – pt 2

So you from 101, pt.1, you found out what people are involved in the apartment process, so now let’s talk about the nitty gritty- Money. Below are some details on what costs to expect and the process you will probably go through in getting that key to your first Boston apartment.

Broker’s Fee

The dreaded fee that many poor college students and professionals try to avoid.

  • This is a fee charged by the real estate agents for their time and effort.
  • On postings you will see “broker’s fee paid by owner” other times it will say, “broker’s fee paid by tenant”
  • The fee tends to be the cost of one month’s rent

Lease Deposit/ Security Deposit

The money you pay your landlord/building management BEFORE your application has been accepted.

  • The lease deposit is an amount of the building/owner’s choosing that allows you to say, “I definitely want this place and don’t want anyone to get it.” Because as much as it stinks, the housing market in Boston does move very fast. So if you like a place, it may not be there 2-3 weeks after you first put it on your “maybe” list.
  • Example:
    • I paid $300 to hold my room after I narrowed down my pics to three and had started the applications of all three. I paid it before I started the application process (see Rental Application).
  • Sometimes this fee is refundable.
  • Sometimes called the “holder’s fee”

Rental/ Lease Application

The legally binding document you sign before moving in that states the apartment rules and regulations for paying rent, company, pets, etc. READ CAREFULLY.

  • Be Cautious!
  • The application process can be a smooth and easy process or hard one
  • Things you will need:
    • Bank statements
    • Your credit score
    • Social security number
    • License
    • Proof of Income:
    • For co-signers, they need all of the above as well and have to fill out paper saying they are liable if the rent goes into default
      • Co-signers cannot be two parent’s combined, one parent must make enough/have enough in funds
    • If you work, you must show your last 2-3 pay stubs (or proof of earnings)
  • IMPORTANT: you or your cosigner must make 3x what the rent costs for the year
    • My apartment costs $2100 a month
      • So we had to prove we had 2100 x 12 = 25,000
      • And that 25,000 x 3 = 75,000
    • If you have multiple roommates, your cost can be a factor by how much you will be paying for rent.
  • Co-Signer
    • A person, normally a parent, who accepts financial responsibility for your apartment if you or your roommates are unable to pay.
    • Their credit will be dinged if the rent goes into default instead of the rentee.

Down Payment

The money you pay your landlord/building management AFTER your application has been accepted.

  • Okay so you paid your deposit, but that doesn’t mean the place is yours.
  • You have to 1st:
    • Submit the application
    • Get approved
    • Sign the Lease
    • And then here is where it differs…
  • Some locations ask you to pay before you move in the:
    • First month’s rent, and last month’s rent (and the broker’s fee if you are paying it)
    • If your rent is 2000 for a 1 bedroom in Brighton, then your down payment would be:
      • First (2000), Last (2000), and Brokers (2000)
      • These total= $6000 before you even move in!
    • Some locations will allow you to pay out the last and broker’s fee in terms for the first 6 months, so it’s worth it to ask!
    • A lot of times, they will apply your security deposit to this amount!

Parking

A luxury that you will not have when you first move-in unless you pay $100-$500 a month EXTRA on top of your rent.

Utilities

An all-encompassing term that means your: gas (cooking stove), gas (heat), electricity, Internet WiFi, and water.

  • Some apartments will offer some of these in the rent (my apartment covers water and heat)
  • You can find all utilities paid apartments
  • Expect to spend about $100 a month on utilities to be same
  • Summer can be cheaper, but watch out for A.C. units that pull a lot of energy because your electricity bill will feel it.

Pet

A cute furball or snuggler who you want to bring with you or get once you get here.

  • They are a lot of work but worth the love
  • Check with the landlord if you are not sure on pets
  • This tends to be in the lease as well
  • Cats can be easier to care for when it gets really cold, you don’t have to walk them!

Home

What you eventually call your apartment instead of referring to “back home.” A place to call your own.

  • That place that you will claim as your own for when you need a safe area to scream, laugh, and complete homework or just take a much-needed sleep.
  • A place that is worth all the craziness you will go through to find it!

That concludes the vocab section! If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a question below or send an interweb message my way from my “contact me.” Thanks again, everyone!

Until Next Time,

Happy Apartment Hunting Bookworms!

Sincerely,

Kime J. Sims.