The American dream once included buying a family home. These days, though, apartment living is on the rise and often includes the families that once would have bought a home. There are many reasons someone might choose an apartment over a single-family home. Here are five to consider.

They Offer Community

A single-family home is separate from those around it. This makes it easy to come home, go inside, and never get to know your neighbors. In apartment living, however, you share walls, parking areas, and amenities. Apartments allow you to easily meet, interact with, and get to know your neighbors if you’re so inclined.

They Offer More Financial Freedom

When you own a home, you pay a mortgage each month. You also pay for homeowners insurance, utilities, and home maintenance. Everything that breaks, you have to pay to fix. In apartment living, you’ll pay rent but it’s often less than a mortgage. You’ll have renters insurance, but this is also cheaper than homeowners insurance. Additionally, the complex owner is responsible for the majority of maintenance costs. You will very rarely have to deal with repair costs. This all means more money in your pocket that can go toward things you really want, like travel, cars, clothes, or hobbies.

They Offer Their Own Maintenance

In addition to saving money on maintenance costs, you’re also off the hook when it comes to doing the maintenance. The owner or property manager is responsible for scheduling and overseeing repairs. All you need to do is report problems promptly. This gives you more time and freedom to spend the way you want. You’ll also be less stressed because you don’t have to worry about home maintenance.

They Offer Increased Safety

Apartments, by their very nature of being so close together, offer a level of increased safety over a single-family home. The shared walls make it more likely that someone will hear you if you call for help, whether because of a home invasion or a fall. Neighbors are more likely to notice someone trying to steal your things or if they haven’t seen you in a few days. Whether you’re single or part of a family, knowing that neighbors are nearby can give you peace of mind.

They Offer More Amenities

Most people would love nothing more than to have a home gym, a pool, an expansive barbecue space, and other amenities at home. But these things all cost money. In a single-family home, they cost enough money that many people can’t afford them at all or can only afford one of the many amenities they want. Apartment living often offers access to many more amenities at a fraction of the cost.

Whether it’s a short-term choice until you can buy the home of your dreams or a deliberate decision for life, apartment living is an excellent choice for almost anyone. If you are planning to move into a new apartment, here are some logistical tips for your move.

Moving into your first apartment represents a huge change in your life. Even if you’ve previously lived in college dorms, this will be the first time you’re completely independent and on your own. It will definitely take you some time to get used to cooking for yourself, cleaning your own apartment, and paying all the bills—but before you reach those hurdles, there’s the actual move. The following are five logistical tips to help ensure your move goes smoothly.

Hire a Moving Company

If this is your first apartment, you may figure you do not have a lot of items to move and can therefore move on your own. But most people have more than they realize! You’ll have to move your bed, hopefully, a few pieces of furniture, and all of your clothing—which can take up a lot more space than you have in your car. You could rent a moving truck, but by the time you pay for the truck, you might as well hire a team of movers, too. They’ll get everything packed and transported for you in no time so you can focus on the exciting parts of moving in—like decorating and discovering the area’s hottest restaurants.

Make a List of Things You Need

Having to buy everything for your first apartment can seem overwhelming. And if you wait until the last minute, you won’t have time to shop around for the best price, so you are likely to overspend. If you are still living with your parents, ask if there is an extra room or space where you can stockpile items until your move. Then, make a list of items you need for your new apartment. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for good deals on those items, and stock up before your move-in day.

Set a Budget

It’s easy to go over budget on a move. So before you move anything, decide how much you can spend. Then, you can look for a moving company that is in your price range. Make other moving-related decisions based on your moving budget as well. For example, if you can afford to spend a bit more, you may spring for evenly sized moving boxes. If you can’t afford the extra cash, you may instead look for free boxes at local grocery stores and warehouses. (These places will typically give you free boxes if you just go inside and ask.)

Double-Check Timing With Your Landlord

Whether you hire movers or you move everything yourself, there will be a truck and a lot of people running around for a few hours when you move in. To ensure this does not cause any issues with traffic or other tenants, make sure your moving day and time are okay with your landlord before you schedule it. Some landlords or property managers may have rules about how late in the night you can move in, so try to schedule your move-in time for earlier in the day, if possible.

Clean Before You Move In

 Even if the apartment was cleaned by the prior owners, you will want to give it a good, thorough cleaning to ensure it’s sanitary before you move in. This is easier to do when you don’t have a bunch of boxes around you. So arrange to arrive at the apartment an hour or two ahead of your movers so you can clean it.

Good luck moving into your first apartment! Know that a few hiccups are normal, but if you follow the tips above, your move should go fairly smoothly.

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