Life Skills Academy: Your First Apartment

apartment building

How to Move into Your First Apartment

Teen Librarian Erik Berman shares his own experience moving into an apartment. He discusses the different types of rental units, how to find an apartment, the leasing process, and the logistics of moving into your first apartment. You’ll also learn some of the unexpected pitfalls of moving out and how to cope.

Next, let first-time apartment owner and recent SJSU graduate Angelica Cabanlit take you on a comprehensive tour of the many different ways you can go right and wrong when you’re embarking on the journey of finding and moving into an affordable apartment. Cabanlit’s perspective comes from first­hand experience, and you’ll learn about the ups and downs of figuring out where you want to live, looking for housing, and even living with roommates.

Recommended Reading

Books

Websites

Tips & Tricks

  • Be realistic about what you can afford. Rent may rise higher than your wages.
  • Always look at the neighborhood before signing anything; there may be a reason why rent is so cheap.
  • Never sign anything without reading it first.
  • The best way to get a deal is to know someone. Ask your friends, neighbors, work or school buddies, and friends of friends if they know anyone.
  • Roommates and housemates are great, but you’re stuck with them, so make sure you’re compatible.
  • You will have unanticipated expenses.
  • Beware of rental scams. Never email out information found on a rental application, including address, SSN, banking information, etc.
  • Make a list of basic items you need and try to buy them strategically/cheaply (or get friends to buy them for you!).
  • There are lots of cheap ways to make a small or rundown apartment look new and fresh.
  • Know your tenant rights (go to the library and check out a book on your rights if you need to!).

Add new comment

Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.