8 Questions You Have To Ask Before Renting A House

8 Questions You Have To Ask Before Renting A House

Who do I call if something breaks?

Welcome to adulthood! So you're looking for your first apartment and are probably terrified by the notion. It doesn't have to be this way! As big of a step this is, moving out on your own will be worth it, as long as you know how to swing it.

Here is a compilation of tips and must-dos that I learned the hard way when I moved into my own place.

1. Will I need to find a roommate?

Or three. Depending on where you live and the type of units you're looking at, an apartment might have multiple bedrooms and the monthly rent is going to reflect that. If you don't already have people you trust enough to live with, you're going to need to find some.

2. What is included in the rent?

What is included in the rent and what is not varies in between units? Some will include all utilities and some will not. Depending on where you live, that can jump your monthly rental costs over a hundred dollars higher.

Make sure you ask before you sign the lease. Other than gas and electric, other costs could include water, cable, internet, garbage services, emergency repairs, lawn maintenance, parking, and snow removal.

3. Who do you call if something breaks?

If you live in a complex, there may be an on-call emergency repair person to contact. If not, it might be your landlord, who could be a little harder to get in contact with.

4. How long is the lease?

Some leases last for an entire year, and some only require one month's notice before moving out. If you don't believe you'll be around for very long, this is an important question to ask.

5. What happens if I have to break the lease?

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract. If you have to break your lease, it's quite possible that your landlord could sue you for the money owed for the entirety of the contract. Some landlords will be more understanding than others.

6. What happens if I can't pay rent on time?

Bounced checks or late payments can result in major fees. In general, let your landlord know as soon as you know if your payment will be late. They may give you an extension, or accept partial payment. Before it happens, make sure you know what the consequences may be.

7. How old are the appliances?

Some household appliances need to replaced every few years. I didn't know the hot water heater in my basement was over twenty-five years old until it flooded my basement over winter break and had to be replaced (hot water heaters should be replaced every ten years to avoid this very situation).

8. Is there anything else I should know?

Does it have lead paint? Asbestos? Are the walls made of plaster or drywall (important if you plan on putting any holes in the walls)? How old are the windows and the roof? How safe is the neighborhood? How often will the landlord visit the property? Are pets allowed? What is the subletting policy?

Moving on your own can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Arm yourself with knowledge and you'll be able to choose the apartment that best fits your situation. Hopefully, you won't have too many apartment horror stories.

Cover Image Credit: Godisable Jacob

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.

High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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To Whomever It May Concern; It's Time To Forgive Yourself

Personal growth is cultivated through successes and mistakes, beating yourself up over the latter is counterproductive to progress.


We've reached that point in time again where it seems that the general population in its entirety has recommitted to improving themselves with the start of a new year. While it's refreshing to have a renewed determination to eat better, be kinder, or achieve the goals you had attempted at last year, the beginning of a new year can also prove to be a source of anxiety. As many sit down to put their goals on paper in hopes of making them more attainable, it's all too easy to be bombarded by all of the reasons that ones' ambitions are beyond what that person is capable of.

Memories of past short-comings and words of self-deprecation uttered in moments of perceived failure are compounded by a general fear of the unknown for what the future holds. In my own experience, I've come to understand that the limits we place on our capacity for achievement, happiness, and growth are the direct results of not forgiving ourselves. So many goals are set with the intent to receive some form of external validation to indicate that the world has forgiven our flaws and deemed us worthy, but if we can't forgive ourselves and see our own worth, then how can we possibly expect anyone else to?

In the safety and comfort of your own imagination where you are free to envision your best self, living the life you have always hoped for, the only person that can condemn those ideas for being unrealistic is you. When we allow that sardonic voice from the back of our minds to inhibit our dreams, we permit that voice to embed itself in our conscious thoughts and put trust in our inadequacies rather than our capabilities.

For those who have yet to forgive themselves of their own trespasses, failures, and mistakes; the next time you have the thought to better yourself or your life and find it being attacked by memories of deficiency, do not concede to those assailants with the belief that you are incapable of becoming and achieving anything you choose. Instead of willing away those thoughts that remind us of what we are trying to grow from, face them, face your old self with forgiveness, and decide how you're going to become someone better because of who you were.

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