Upgrading from Your Studio After Landing Your First Real

Erica is a 21-year old woman that finished her electrical engineering degree last summer. She looked forward to moving out of her on-campus apartment to a nicer home. Before she left, she told me that there are plenty of things that she would miss about college. She enjoyed the impromptu parties at her best friend’s dorm and getting to sleep in until 1 PM. However, she was more than happy to say goodbye to the small quarters and the roommate that always left her place smelling like cheap, stale beer.

We all remember having to live in a cramped studio or share an apartment with several roommates. You'll probably be thrilled to get a great paying job where you can move on to a nicer abode. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when upgrading from your college apartment.

Be Realistic with Your Budget

Many college students are thrilled to have a decent paying professional job. Unfortunately, they aren't always realistic when coming up with a budget.

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A $60,000 a year salary may sound awesome to someone that spent the last four years drinking Keystone and eating Ramen noodles in a tiny studio apartment. However, keep in mind that your expenses are also going to be a lot higher after college. Your student loans are going to come due and you'll be surprised how much Uncle Sam takes out of your weekly paycheck.

It's fine to move into a nicer apartment, but make sure it fits into your budget. As a general rule of thumb, you don't want to spend more than a third of your gross income on rent. If you have a job paying $60,000 a year, that means your monthly gross income will be $5000. Try to find an apartment that charges under $1600 a month.

Come Up with a Signature Look for your Apartment

You have worked your tail off to get through college, land a good paying job and get a nice place to live. You might as well make sure it's a home you can be proud of.

Come up with your own signature look for your new apartment. You will have to shop around a bit to find some furniture and pieces of art that resonate with your taste. Before you commit to putting anything in your home, make sure you'll be proud to show it off to your friends. Victor Tam, co-founder of Rove Concepts says you shouldn't set up your apartment a certain way unless you're willing to share pictures of it on Instagram.

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Regina Dias, is an interior designer with Sarah Barnard Design that finished college herself not to long ago. She told the Chicago Tribute that it’s important for every young adult to find furniture pieces that resonate with their own personality.

"I want items with character I can't find elsewhere. The square space of our homes isn't significant, but the designs are. We want a welcoming space that's a source of inspiration and comfort," she said.

Consider Designs Your Peers Will Approve Of

We all want to have a place that we can proudly show off to our friends and family. While it’s important to find an apartment that looks nice to you, you also want to make sure that your friends will enjoy visiting it as well. This means that you must be aware of the interior design preferences of other young adults.

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According to Daryl Judy of Washington Fine Properties in Washington, young adults tend to enjoy living in rustic tech chic style apartments and homes made from purple rain. However, these standards aren’t universal. Keep in mind that these can change from region to region. You may have become acclimated to Victorian style apartments while staying in New England, but they won’t be the ideal place to live when you relocate to the West Coast.

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