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Me and my girlfriend who have been together for more then 2 and half year spend almost every hour together and it’s been that way forever. Hardly ever disagree never argue and have been put in severley stressful financial situations but always pulled through. I am good with money, she is not. I have $ 20,000 to invest in moving out. I am only 20 years old, and she is 18. We would like to move out soon and I have found a really nice place but before I walk in I want a little advice, is it usually not like buying a house in the sense of there being downpayments (a deposit instead is what you pay for an apartment, right?) and how much in general are the apartments deposits + insurance? (I heard and, of course I realize all apartments vary but I heard that it’s generally only $ 20.00 – $ 50.00 for insurance) and the deposit i’m not sure on. So they charge roughly $ 1000.00 monthly to live there, me and her make $ 3,400 monthly combined, this obviously leaves us $ 2400 for gas,food, and our jobs are in the area not even a 10 minute drive so gas is conserved in general, food i’m only expecting to pay maybe $ 800 a month for. ALSO ARE UTILITIES FREE TO USE WITHOUT PAYMENT in most apartment settings? Any real bills besides rent? This is urgent we need to move out I currently reside at my parents and while i’m grateful they let me live here still and don’t dump me in the street it’s an abusive household and i’ve done all I could and tried to get them help but they refuse anything and I don’t have the heart to turn over my family (brother 15, beats on sister, 9) and even though I hate him I just can’t tear them apart. I’ve seen enough though. Basically I just need a few questions answered.
– Do you think based on the information and calculations provided we can make this move work?
– Will the landlord care if my girlfriend lives there with me or will she have to sign a form as well?
– Since we are not legally married who’s name should I put it in if i’m making most of the payment (mine?)

Sorry if I appear to lack common sense I really have no concept or experience in moving out and finding a place but I am talking about Folsom, California.

3 Thoughts on What is involved in renting an apartment?
  1. Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Yes you can do it, but you should try on your own first. While I see that it is important for you to move is it so much for her? Why not just have the seperation. Just in case you need your space, you are too young to start to experience that and believe me it is very different to live with someone. My boyfriend and I were together 10 yrs. before we moved in together and I am sooooo glad, we had our space and friends were able to feel comfortable around us and the space is so that you can still grow and learn to manage the strains a relationship brings, nuf said we are now married with two kids and it has been18yrs. but if we would have lived together first I would not be telling this story with a happy ending I know it. As for rent you can put the apt. under your name but if you decide to ignore me (which you probably will since kids like to learn the hard way) just make sure you put her on the lease as well, let the landlord know exactly what your situation is or else they can evict you. You will see that if you budget your money right with the amount you are talking about, you can soon save up for a place of your own, maybe townhome or starter home of your own, just be frugal and don’t support anyone, everyone should carry their own weight unless you want to resent them.

  2. Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    OK if u alone can afford the 1000$ month
    rent then u can consider it.
    however if it is more 1/3 your take home pay
    find some place else.
    Utilities are not Free in most apartments.
    u have to pay a deposits and monthly bills.

    put your name on lease only for real rental.
    u will have to state ‘adults’ living with u
    at leasing time , normal practice and legal.

    one of your numbers is way off !.
    u and she may earn 3400 $ BUT u sure
    do not take home that, especially in Cali.
    u be lucky if combined u see 2700$
    take home pay so less 1000$ rent and
    100-200$ electric u will have 1300$
    to live on IF both of u working.
    one of u loses a job and homeless come fast.

    Hope one of your jobs has great health insurance
    cause an unplanned pregnancy will wreak that
    20K u got.
    hint most plans do not cover ‘live ins’.

    don’t mean to burst your ideas but visit
    women’s homeless shelters and find out
    how most of them got there.

    Knowledge is power and good luck.
    so do your homework.

    u and she especially need to study
    Total money make over, Dave Ramsey.
    will save u decades and 10,000s$
    of hard costly painfilled life lessons
    by learning from others mistakes.

  3. Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I have no doubt you can afford to live independently. Typically you will need to pay a small application fee for the landlord to run your credit and background check to make sure you are not a drug dealer/child molester. In many cases landlords require new tenants to pay first and last months rent upfront plus a security deposit that can be as much as an entire months rent (by not usually). In addition to that you will need to pay your own utilities (power, water, phone, cable/internet, etc) and open an account at each one for service/installation. Depending upon your credit you may have to cough up a refundable deposit. The deposit is actually a good deal because they give you interest on it at a higher rate than what banks offer today. As for whether or not if you girlfriend will have to sign, that is completely up to the individual landlord, but my guess is that she won’t if you make enough money to afford the apartment on your own. And you are right about renters insurance which is not always required, but definitely a good idea.

    As stated before, you can afford to live independently, but there is a problem. Due to your age and limited to no credit history and no previous landlord reference, you will likely need a co-signer to get an apartment. Your co-signer will have to complete the credit application as well. Obviously your co-signor will likely not have to pay a dime, but it serves as insurance to the landlord that the lease will be honored to completion. Parents are a great resource for this so don’t burn any bridges.

    Lastly it is important that you fully understand the lease you sign. It basically means you are responsible for paying the rent regardless of what happens in your life. If you lose your job, you still are responsible for paying rent. If you decide to move out for any reason, you are still responsible for paying the rent even though you are not living there. A lease is a legal document. And, if you and your girlfriend sign the lease together and agree to split the rent between you, you need to realize that the agreement to split the rent has nothing to do with the landlord. If she comes up light one month, you have to cover her share. If you break up and move out and she can’t cover your share,you both will be evicted. An eviction will destroy your good credit and prevent you from finding a landlord willing to rent to you for a long time.

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