Starting out in new apartment after living at home ...need advice
Let me explain my background & situation a bit.
I am 32 yr old male, single & finally moving out from home to an apartment. I have lived at home since i was very young. Since I started working I have had to help support my elderly parents & their farm....so moving out was never really an option since my parents depended on me & my income.
The situation has changed as of late & am able to move out & not have to worry about supporting my parents anymore.
I have found a small studio apartment in town where it is considered "THE place to live" for the more affluent. It is a nice city/town with little crime. It is basically a town that consists of suburbs. I found a simple studio apartment which basically consists of a single avserage sized bedroom, a average sized kitchen & a long hallway that ends in a small bathroom. The apartment is in a medium sized house that has ben converted into 3 apartments i think. I have my own private entrance (a porch), an uncovered parking spot just outside the bedroom window, central air, furnished kitchen (fridge,microwave,oven & stove). The rent is $350 a month which is considered pretty cheap considering the cheapest 1 bedroom apartments in this town/city are near $525 & are VERY hard to find. Most apartments are in the $700 & up range.
The area where this house is in is near the old part of town with fancy shops .... its what i would call a "snooty area" filled with cafes & shops selling overpriced goods to people who can easy afford them. House prices in this town/are expensive & overpriced because this town is where affluent people, who want to escape the "BIG" city, go. The area is a mix of medium to large old homes. The house itself must be at least 80 yrs old, but in decent shape.
My only REAL concern (actually I would call it an all-consuming obsessive worry) is getting my place broken into while I am at work. I work nights (9pm-5am) in the "BIG" city about 30 miles away. I do plan on keeping most of my small valuables & personal papers/checks in a safe deposit box at my bank.
The 2 doors to the place I do not consider "kick-in" proof & am thinking about installing heavy duty metal doors & possibly reinforced doorjams(if the landlord will allow it). I am also considering installing an alarm system myself. A cheap X-10 alarm system that calls my cellphone & local police when activated) with contact switches on all doors/windows & several sirens with flashing lights. I will also have to get an alarm for my vehicle as well.
I would like to think i am covering all my bases, but am not sure.
Any advice you long-time apartment-dwellers could give to a first time apartment renter on ANY subject would be greatly appreciated.