When choosing your next apartment, budgeting for the rent you can afford is typically your first step. But there are many other monthly living expenses to consider when choosing your perfect apartment. From utilities, insurance, fees, and more, these living expenses may add up and push an affordable apartment out of your price range. Here are a few of the most common apartment living expenses to expect when planning your budget:
Your monthly utility expenses will depend on your location, the construction of your building, and the apartment you choose. Older apartment buildings will typically be less energy efficient. Two-level apartments will cost more to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Typical utilities include electricity, water, gas, and internet. Next to your rent, this will be the largest living cost to budget for. You can discuss average utility expenses with the leasing agent or landlord to give you an idea of what to budget before signing a lease.
Renter’s insurance may or may not be required by the leasing office or landlord. Even if it’s not required, this affordable insurance is always a good idea. The average renter’s insurance cost in the U.S. is $168 per year, or about $14 per month. We have covered more about the benefits of Renter’s Insurance previously on our blog.
If you are bringing a pet to your apartment, be prepared to budget for additional pet rent. Pet rent often averages $25-50 per month. You may also be required to put down an additional deposit, which is refundable at the end of your lease, given there is no pet-related damage. So there are no surprises, be sure to ask your landlord or leasing office before signing your lease because these fees are highly variable.
Parking Fee Or Public Transportation Costs
Parking is another potential cost to consider, depending on your area. Find out if your apartment provides parking, if there is a parking fee, or if you will have to rely on on-street parking. If your family has more than one vehicle, you may have to pay for an additional space. Many communities also offer covered garage space for an additional fee, which you might prefer.
If you plan to use public transportation instead of a vehicle, you should consider budgeting for public transportation costs to your frequently visited locations. Such as your job, school, grocery store, shopping centers, downtown, friends’ places, or any other frequently visited places. While an apartment on the outskirts of town may be less expensive, the use of public transportation may make that apartment community inconvenient and isolating.
Living in an apartment often means that storage is limited. Many apartment renters solve this by renting additional storage space, either directly from their apartment community or off-site. If you need additional storage, ask the leasing office if they have storage units to rent or what storage company they suggest, and factor these additional costs into your monthly budget.
The average cost to rent a storage unit is about $190 per month, but prices vary depending on size and availability. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient to rent a larger apartment and use an extra room or loft space for storage.
If your chosen apartment does not include an in-apartment washer/dryer, you should budget for laundry costs. The average household washes approximately 8-loads of laundry every week. At most laundromats, the cost per load for the wash and the dryer is about $2. This means you are looking at $100-$150 in laundromat expenses each month, not including the cost of your detergents, stain removers, dryer sheets, etc. Not to mention the time and inconvenience of having to babysit your laundry. You may consider it worthwhile to pay more for an apartment that includes laundry equipment.
Finding Your Perfect Apartment
The monthly expenses you’ll have when renting an apartment will vary depending on the property, location, and available amenities. Whether you’re new to the area or just looking to shift to a new property in Charlottesville, Brookdale Apartments offers spacious apartments with a variety of floorplans and amenities available. Contact us today to see what Brookdale Apartments has to offer!