Everybody has a first home. They have fond memories, and often some not so fond memories of their first home. Your first home is the place where you begin your life of total independence. I know many people that have had only lived in a couple of homes. They are fortunate. I am not one of those people. I have moved several times in my life.
But that first apartment that I had was the actually my first home. How did that first apartment come about? It was simple I was still in college. I lived in my parents home, but my parents were going to move to another state. I needed a place to live. So the hunt for an apartment began.
I had a couple of months before they were going to move so I had time to prepare for my big move. My mom gave me some good advice. First she told me to make a list of things that I would need when I moved out. That is not as easy as it sounds when you have never lived on your own. If you have lived at home all of your life you have no idea all of the things that you need when you live on your own. You have no idea that you will at some point in time need to have a plunger in your home. You have no idea that you will need more than two bath towels. And you take for granted that a measuring cup will be around.
So my list was complete now the shopping began. I had no idea how much items would cost. But following mom's advice. I took a little bit of my paycheck each week and purchased a few items that I would need for an apartment. I found that I was not going to be able to buy the coolest items that cost more, but that I would need to decide which items were most important to me. Umm, this wasn't so much fun.
The other great piece of advice that mom offered was about rent. She told me that I should not pay more than one weeks pay in rent. That way I would not over extend myself. That was a reality check. I looked at the newspaper at the listing and the prices for rent. Gulp, I was not going to be able to afford anything glamorous. I looked around, and I talked to friends. A friend of mine lived in an apartment complex that was going to have a vacancy. The price was right and the neighborhood wasn't too bad. And of course it was kind of cute.
So I decided to move in. There were loads of things that I didn't know when I moved in. Like how much groceries would really cost. That I really could live for a while on macaroni and cheese. I learned life runs pretty well if you don't have a home phone as long as there is a pay phone down at the local convenience store. I also learned that it isn't much fun to have to change a tire in the cold. Where was dad at to help me with this?
That first apartment is the place where I learned those valuable survival lessons. And a big thank you goes out to Compass for inspiring me to write this post. If you live in the D.C. or New York City area and you're looking for a new home or your first home you should check out their site. They can help you locate what you're looking for.