advice... my first apartment
Hello all. I am a 22 year old college student. I have always lived at home or with "other people" free of rent. Of course that also same with a price... no space to call my own, no privacy and such. Well, the people I live with now are getting a much smaller house and the time has come for me to get my first apartment. I have decided to NOT get a roomate. Firstly, because I need something that I can call "mine" for once. Also, I don't want to have to worry about someone else not paying their part of the rent, or not being able to get in the bathroom when I want to and things of that sort. I already found the apartments that I want to live in and they are affordable AND not in the "nasty" section of town. I don't know what is typical (I live in Florida), but my rent is going to be 410 for a studio. The one bedrooms are on a 5 month waiting list, but when I am able to transfer, it will only be 465 a month. I make 350-500 dollars per week... I work full time and go to school part time, so I should be able to survive. I'll just have to stop eating at Ruths Chris every night :O) Just kidding.
So, just need some general advice since I've never done this before. How to make the most out of the small space? Should I get a top or bottom floor, or somewhere in the middle... or first available? What questions should I ask before I give my depost to hold a unit (even the studios are on a couple month waiting list). Going to have a gas stove for the first time in my life, so need advice about that as well. Tips on budgeting and balancing so I can eat and pay the rent? There is a laundry center at the apartment complex, but I was thinking of getting one of those portable washer/drier all in one units. The units do not have hook ups, but the model I am considering hooks to a faucet and is also a ventless drier. What would you suggest for laundry? Anything else I should know? I already know that I am going to buy earplugs so that my neighbors "music" will not disturb my studying or sleeping. I hope I don't have other peoples' smoke blowing into my apartment like some on this apartment... I'll just die (literally... that's what it does!). Thanks for any advice!