As time moves on, many baby boomers are going to be looking for apartments, rather than houses. That would seem to be a frightening scenario for many people, particularly those who have not lived in an apartment. A high majority of baby boomers have built their own homes and have never lived anywhere else.
They may also be faced with a loss of income, or a reduction of income, in spite of their new pensions.
So, how does a baby boomer rent an apartment and save money?
If you are a baby boomer, here are some guidelines to follow.
1. Budget for an apartment:
Begin by organizing your budget, so that you know exactly how much money you can use for rent, on a monthly basis. There is not a lot of sense in looking for apartments that are beyond your reach financially. Sometimes it is fun to look at them though!
2. Determine your location:
Decide what area, or location you want to move to, taking into consideration what you will be doing. Are you planning on full retirement? Will you be doing some part time work, or a running a home based business? Look at your needs, rather than just your desires.
Choose your location carefully to avoid the extra expense of having to move again.
What do you like doing in your spare time? Include recreational activities that you enjoy like bowling, swimming, or playing hockey. Do you belong to a recreational center, or a club? What church do you attend? Where is your family, or extended family located? What about the friends that you always visit?
How much traveling will be required? The less you need to do, the more money you can save. Ideally, you want to move to an area that does not require a lot of driving, as that is going to be expensive, with the current cost of gasoline. Consider the possibility of using alternative transportation, like buses, subways, or trains to save money.
3. Begin to look at various options for apartments in that location:
Determine when you want to move into your apartment. Find out what apartments are available in your area, at that time. Begin to assess your actual needs.
How many square feet do you want your apartment to be? That may restrict your options to a certain extent. You may want to consider the possibility of finding an apartment with less floor space, than you have in your home.
Ask yourself how many bedrooms you need to have in your new apartment. You may save money simply be renting a one or two bedroom apartment, instead out what is included in your apartment:
Many apartments are rented, complete with refrigerators and stoves, washers and dryers.
You might consider downsizing the ones that you have, if they are not included. Remember that downsizing with large appliances, will reduce your cost, in terms of energy consumption and will help you to save money.
Find out if you are expected to use coin-operated laundry facilities. You might be better off to purchase your own apartment size washer and dryer.
5. Look at the cost of utilities in the apartment:
Your heat, hydro and water may be included in your rent every month. If you can find an apartment that is all inclusive in this respect, you may be able to save money. Or, it may be calculated into the amount of rent, that you are going to be paying. Also ask about the cost of telephone, cable and internet.
6. Find out about the cost of any additional facilities:
When you rent an apartment, your rent may include additional facilities that you have to pay for. For example, there may be a swimming pool, recreation room, or sauna. If you are not going to use those facilities, you may be able to avoid paying extra fees.
7. Update and downsize your furniture:
By updating and downsizing your furniture, you may be able to save some money in the long run, simply because you will be able to rent a smaller apartment.
For example, you may or may not still need your king size bedroom suite. You may also be able to downsize your huge living room and dining room furniture. It is always kind of fun to shop for some new furniture.
8. Consider sharing an apartment:
Many people who are moving into apartments, find that by sharing an apartment, they can split the rent, as well as the cost of the utilities. Make certain though that you are going to be compatible with the person with whom you are planning to share your apartment.
9. Rental purchase:
Sometimes it is possible to obtain an apartment on a rental purchase basis. In other words, the money that you put into your apartment, goes towards the purchase of your apartment.
Make certain that you know exactly what your lease is stating, before you sign any agreement.
10. Inquire about parking:
If you have a vehicle, find out exactly where your parking facilities are going to be and the cost. You may or may not have to pay extra money for parking. Or you may have to walk a long distance from a place where you are allowed to park.
11. Ask about storage facilities:
Storage in an apartment building can be relatively restricted. Find out how much storage space is being allotted to your apartment. Also check to see whether or not there is any extra cost involved.
Dispose of unnecessary items if possible, so that you don’t have to pay to store for them, either in the apartment building, or elsewhere.
You may have a huge freezer in your current home, that you really do not need. Invest in a smaller, more compact freezer, or a refrigerator, that has an appropriate freezer unit.
13. Home Insurance:
When you move into an apartment, you do not need to have all of the insurance coverage that you had on your house.
Speak to your insurance agent and discuss your move into an apartment with him or her. Simply by changing your policy, you may save yourself a few extra dollars.
14. Consider subsidized housing:
Many people will qualify for subsidized housing simply because of their income levels.
Find out how to apply for that, if necessary.
These are some simple guidelines for baby boomers. Enjoy your new apartment. Know that it is possible to rent an apartment and save money!