Post # 1
So Mr. Polar Bear and I are in that wonderful transitional period where we go from having help with housing to getting our own apartment. It may be me, but I find this to be one of the most stressful transitions I’ve ever had to deal with. Not even wedding planning is this stressful.
We both have been incredibly lucky to have supportive parents but right now I feel like it is almost working against us. We don’t have student loans, both of us have been able to go to school without really working (I worked for about a year on campus but had to quit), all of which sounds good—until you graduate. Then no one wants to help, you don’t have job experience (because your parents have spent the last four years telling you it was a mistake), and every apartment wants you making 3x the rent. Ouch.
With Mr. Polar Bear’s lease up this month we have officially begun looking for a home. Woohoo!! At least that’s what I thought before reality caught up LOL. Anyone else have a hard time with this particular transition?
Post # 3
Do you have a job? Or are you looking for one? Do you have a degree?
Find an entry level job & keep working for at least 6 months, if your first job is only a few months long, other places may not take you seriously.
If you have a degree & they ask why you didn’t work, you could say so it wouldn’t interfere with your studies.
Post # 4
To be honest that’s one area we aren’t having trouble.
I had a long term position in high school through college breaks (5-6 years) and I am going to try to fit in a campus job this fall in my department’s home museum. FH has lived in an apartment for the past 5 years, he had a good internship in college and now has a pretty decent job. He recently moved into a two bedroom apartment in the same complex he’s lived in since 06-07 so they love him there. Sure rent will skyrocket next summer when we leave this city for a larger one on the east coast but we’ve budgeted for it and have references prepared for the appllications.
Post # 5
No I didn’t have trouble there. When we moved out of college we went to an apartment and I think our parents helped us with the deposit, but we quickly paid it by once we had a few paychecks under our belt at our new job.
Then a year later we bought a house through a first time home buyer’s program and didn’t have to put any money down. So I guess the last time we borrowed from our parents was back after college graduation for the apartment down payment. Could you do something like that? Borrow temporarily and then pay them back with your first paychecks?
Or get a loan at a bank to pay for your initial apartment costs?
Post # 6
@canthugallcats: Actually I am not working. I just got accepted into a master’s program at my alma mater and I’m on a waiting list for an assistantship which would actually be relevant work experience (more so than working in the school food court). The problem with this as I am sure you can imagine is that I won’t know if I got it until everyone has decided where they want to go officially. I figure once we get an apartment I will be able to find a part-time job.
Mr. Polar Bear is going to be a high school teacher but can’t even apply for a job until he graduates and school starts. It creates a bit of a bind. Luckily, I just spoke to our (hopefully) future apartment manager and she has given me a plan. I’m hoping it all works out.
I definitely plan to do this differently with my kids (aka encourage them to work and give them wheels early on LOL)
Post # 7
Ugh… this transition was so annoying for me. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed looking for houses and apartments together. It was so much fun! But finding something nice in our price range was horrible! We also have two dogs… so that was hell! THEN we decided on something and they have the “3 times” rule, where you have to make 3 times more than rent. Umm ok, I’m in grad school, I purposely work like 5 hours a week so I can handle all my papers/internship. He works full time but is still in school as well… so he doesn’t make very much at all. Boo! We ended up having to get his parents to co-sign. I was upset because I wanted us to do this “on our own” and not involve any of our parents/friends. But we did what we had to do… and of course the parents are only called if we fail to pay rent… which may be hard if I don’t find a job in the summer but for now we are good.
Post # 8
@Ms. Polar Bear: Oh, I must have skipped the part when you talked about 3x rent! Yea, we are definitely in the same boat! We have job experience definitely, but didn’t make 3x rent (mostly because I don’t work too often right now) for apartments/houses that we would actually consider living in. Once I get my job we’ll make far more than 3x… but I don’t have my professional job yet, so yea…
Post # 9
If you could prepay a certain number of months, or put a bigger deposit down, some places may be more flexible.
I worked my way through college working in labs/internships that gave me relavent job experience, so that gave me a huge leg up. By the time I had my masters, I had 8 years of work experience. I’m going to convince myself to do the same. At least a work history – even if it isn’t in your field – gives you references and a consistent record of being trainable and reliable.
Post # 10
@kperry3:Yeah that sounds similar to our situation. I have to say, it isn’t my favorite transition yet. We really plan on doing this on our own. Whatever it takes LOL
Post # 11
Arg, I hate that 3x the rent rule! Luckily we’ve been able to find places that don’t require that (the place we’re in now didn’t even require a credit check…awesome) so we haven’t had much trouble in that department so far. Do you have anyone who could write a letter of reference for you, or speak to prospective landlords on the phone for you? I know some places we looked at said they’d accept that if we didn’t have any credit to go off of. Do you or Mr. Polar Bear have credit at all? If not, is it possible for one of you to open up a student credit card and build some credit (a friend does this now and she has great credit…she charges a nominal amount each month and pays it off on time, and her credit is amazing)? Sometimes landlords are flexible with their rules if you can prove that you exceed some but don’t meet the other. Good luck, I hope it works out for you! Apartment hunting sucks.
Post # 12
@Kant: He has credit cards (pays it completely off every month) and I just got an american express linked to my parents a couple of months ago, but other than that no real credit to speak of.
The manager of the complex told us that in lieu of 3x the rent (because we are both full time students) we can use our student loan award information. So she told me to put down the deposit, submit the application, and I can print her a copy of my award letter on April 18th. I was so relieved, but I am still going to run it by my family just so they know what Mr. Polar Bear and I plan on doing.
We both have lived in apartments before (our families paid the rent—did I mention we were really lucky? LOL) so our rental history is perfect at least. I will just be happy when we get the applications in. I will be soooo happy when Mr. Polar Bear gets his first job lol.
Post # 13
@Ms. Polar Bear: Well that’s good 🙂 We didn’t have a choice but to have them co-sign. The place we liked with reasonable rent that we know we can afford (on our own) was not compromising with the 3x rent. I can just give them my first paycheck once I get a job and they’ll take them off. Yay!
Post # 14
get one of your parents to co-sign your lease. it sounds icky, but it’s really the only way you can get an apartment these days without having a big-kid-full-time-job. my SO and i are moving in together soon as well, and his parents have offered to co-sign. my parents are the co-signers on my current place, because i’m still in school so i don’t have time to make that kind of money haha
Post # 15
This is a major transition for me, too. Last weekend, Fiance and I went to see an apartment that we LOVED. Seriously, it’s perfect.
But I’m finishing my master’s and Fiance is student teaching. So while we have savings and expect to be bringing in money after we graduate, we don’t have proof of income right now. Yes, we are both working part-time while finishing up school, but our income doesn’t consist of 3x rent.
So I’m thinking we’ll have to do what others mentioned, which is try to do the co-signing thing….*if* my parents are up for it.
I am really nervous about all of this, too. Any words of encouragement, etc would be so appreciated!
Post # 16
I haven’t even crossed that bridge yet… and honestly, I hope we don’t have to until we graduate collge.