Lisa M. Corr's Blog
Renting a studio apartment is a great way to save for a down payment on a new house. Studio apartment living has additional benefits that you might want to take advantage of. But, first you may have to get accustomed to living in a smaller space.
Making the shift
If you’re transitioning from living in a college dorm to a studio apartment, the size adjustment should be simple. In fact, you may hardly notice the change. Moving into a studio apartment from a full size house is another story.
The average size of a studio apartment depends on where the apartment is located. In New York, the average size of a studio apartment is about 550 square feet. In Chicago, a studio apartment runs between 400 to 500 square feet. A studio apartment can be less than 400 square feet in other cities. Location also has a significant impact on the monthly rent that you’d pay for a studio apartment.
Ways that you can save by living in a studio apartment
Using New York as an example, you could pay more than $2,300 for a 550 square foot studio apartment in a hot spot like Manhattan. Shop around. Don’t assume that because the unit is small that the rent will also be small. Wherever you rent, you should pay less than you would pay for a standard one or two bedroom apartment.
Although a studio apartment is small, there’s enough room to fit a sofa bed, one tall dresser, a television stand and a television and a stereo. The apartment probably won’t have a kitchen. Pay attention to the layout. You’ll get more for your money if the layout is completely open except for the bathroom. More ways to save while renting a studio apartment include:
- Buy food that doesn’t require cooking.Fortunately, a lot of healthy foods do not have to be cooked, so this could motivate you to develop a more healthy diet. Avoid eating out to save on food expenses.
- Wear clothes that are a part of your current wardrobe. To save on space, you won’t be able to buy lots of clothes and shoes,another motive to save money for a down payment on a new house.
- Get outdoors. Hang out with family and friends at great outdoor spots like free outdoor concerts, sports competitions and outdoor festivals and cultural events. Being outdoors can keep you from feeling like you’re confined to a small space.
- Take advantage of living in a smaller space to focus on your career. You could use the time that you spend at your studio apartment, to start a business. Put a portion of these earnings toward your down payment.
- Get exercise. Instead of taking the bus or train to work, if you live close enough, bike or walk to and from work. Deposit the money that you save on transportation toward your down payment.
Starting small could yield big results, especially as it relates to buying a house. If you rent a studio apartment at a reasonable price, you could use the money that you save on the difference in the rent versus what you would pay for a one or two bedroom apartment or a condo as a down payment on a new house. Rent a studio apartment and you could also adjust to living on your own for the first time, especially if you’re a recent high school or college graduate.