Hello. I'm 17 years old and will be 18 in 9 months. I'd like to know if I'm too young to live in an apartment. I'm a senior in high school and I have a part-time job too. I'm realy excited about living on my own.
At 18 you can legally sign a contract, such as a lease. Until then, no sane landlord will let you live in their place.
Most landlords will expect you to show proof (pay stubs) you have income high enough to pay the rent, utilities and still have money for food. My rule of thumb was the take home pay had to be three times the rent. A high school kid with a part time job will have a very hard time finding anything except a spot under a bridge.
I'll yell this so you can hear it, STAY AT HOME AS LONG AS YOU CAN...TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE ROOM AND BOARD...GO TO COLLEGE...PART TIME DOESNT PAY THE RENT...DONT THINK THAT ROOM MATES WILL PAY THE BILLS ON TIME...STAY AT HOME.
Sorry for the yelling, but you have so much less responsibility right now. Use your time wisely before you have to really earn your own way.
Tufadude has a point,a nd I'll make it without yelling.
Living on your own IS fun. It is great to have your own space, your own rules and standards, your own freedom, etc.
But it will push you closer to the edge, financially and logistically, than you can imagine. Once you're actually IN the situation, you'll have very little wiggle room.
Sort of like driving on a narrow lane w/ no shoulder and concrete barriers on each side. If you hit a bump or your concentration wavers, there is NO forgiveness
The longer you can delay it, and the better prepared you can be, the more likely you are to have a wider lane and better shoulders for your trip.
Asking questions now is a good way to get prepared. Lazygardens told you about the legalities of being able to sign a contract--18 years of age. The ratio of income to rent. Tufadude warned you about the dangers of relying on others (like roommates) to meet your expenses.
Strike up conversations w/ people who are living the life you think you want--where do they work? how much do they earn? how much rent do they pay? how much does it cost them to have a car? how tight are the bills? if they lose their job, what will they do?
It's good you're able to hold a part-time job now, but try to build on that as rapidly as you can. Get education or training first. That's the best investment in your future. Then you'll be able to afford a nicer apartment, and not worry about losing the roof over your head at the first rainstorm in your life.
If you're antsy to get away from your parents, remember that lots of colleges and trade schools have student housing, and even if you have to live on-campus as a freshman, you can move into an apartment for the later years; that's a fast way to get a taste of apartment life without quite the same risk.
Also, college is great, but it's not a guarantee of a high-paying job. If you hate the idea of college, remember that training to become a plumber (yes, even if you're a girl), electrician, contractor, accountant, and lots of other essential jobs will put you in a position to afford your rent.
Also, while you are still at home, really LOOK at what your parents (and hopefully the rest of your family) do to keep their home in good shape. Cleaning, fixing, etc. Keeping a clean house, I am learning as a homeowner, isn't about making Mom happy or being a wuss. It's about preventing real, physical damage that costs money to repair. A wet bathroom gets mildew and mold; not cleaning the shower means paying to replace it one day. Or losing your deposit on your apartment.
are you asking this question to show your parent/ care giver that ppl say its ok? Or are you just doing your home work...b-4 moving?
To both I say go for it.
But this is going to be so hard at just 18. You should be having fun...dancing...movies....the park...concerts...lazy sundays...and on and on
I beg you to think slowly and map out your income.
Is daddy giving an allowence? Are you a model with lots of greenbacks? Do you give plasma and go to school? Sell drugs for income?
Either way be careful and make sure your sitting pretty first. I know this may sound like crap-ola but would hate to see you or any kid down and out and 17-18-19.
Good luck. I was once 17 graduated from high school and in my own place w/ a couple blokes.
Also, you need to take into account renter's insurance, deposits for the apartment, deposits for utilities, furniture, day-to-day items (towels, sheets, detergent, OTC medicines, all that fun stuff that must be bought (have you priced TP and paper towels lately?)
Then, please keep in mind that if you do this and fall on your face, this will affect your credit for years. Speaking as someone who has been there, done that, it's alot easier to avoid *that* mess than it is to try to clean it up.
Assume you make $10.00/hr, 40 hours a week. $400.00/wk before taxes. Sit down with a calc, figure taxes, and then from that amount, prorate your health insurance (if not completely covered at work), rent, utilities, food, gas, clothes, and entertainment and see just what you have left on a weekly basis. Now, realize from that piddling amount, you really need to save for emergencies or retirement or school. Want a new computer? That comes from what's left over. Want some new clothes? Ditto. Want to go with your buds to Cancun? Ditto, ditto, ditto.
Kinda puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
(BTW, DH and I are college grads, me with a partial MBA (ran outta $$$), and quite frankly, we have trouble making ends meet some months, and we **do not** live an expensive lifestyle.)
unless you're a part time drug dealer, the kind of apartment you could afford- not even you would want to live in.
there are a few exceptions, most of which involve a parent with a drinking or drug problem-
but the CHEAPEST way to get out of the house is to enroll in a state college... I think it's about 7 grand at the moment- room and board included. as opposed to 6 grand (assuming you can find a place for $500 a months) Plus heat. plus power. plus food. plus insurance. plus food. plus everything else- like lightbulbs. and clean sheets for your bed... heck, at college, they even provide the BED.
and all you have to do is make it through 4 classes a week.
i'll take a different tack here,
my sister moved to her first apartment when she was 18 or 19 years old. she waited tables to make a living, and learned to budget her money and take responsibility for herself. and she learned the value of HARD WORK, not the ease of living at home while mommy and daddy take care of everything.
if you move out on your own because you want to enjoy the excitement of having your own life apart from your family, great. but it will come with great responsibility too. my sister did fine with lots of hard work, maybe you will too.
now, about getting an education. times change! most college educated folks will wind up working in cubes for very modest wages. this does not strictly apply to english majors etc, but to tech and science majors also. times change! for example, most computer programming will be done 'offshore' in India within the next decade for pennies on the dollar. sorry 'bout that computer majors! times change.
perhaps your more interested in a trade or starting a small business. here's a hint: my brother is a carpenter and makes over $70k per year. he is very good and hard-working and makes a good living at it. i have two degrees in a 'hard' science and i have no prospect of ever making a living in the area that i trained in for over 9 years. i make less than 30K now and i have invested more money than i care to think about training for my career.
i learned one thing over the years...don't believe the popular wisdom of the day. it's usually at least a decade out of date, and everyone has a motive for what they say. THINK FOR YOURSELF, make your mistakes and learn from them, work hard, rely on your family when you can and take advantage of your opportunities when they come around.
gee, this is sounding like a graduation speech...sorry!
Stay home as long as you can and learn from your family.when you move out be prepared to stay.
Starcheck777 makes excellent points. My ex is a union journeyman, and makes more $$$ than I do with my college. Do look into trades, b/c there are many days that I wish I had.
Yup -- think about trades. People are always going to need plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. I'd consider them in that order. When the economy goes south, people might call on carpenters less (e.g., for remodeling-type work), but if ya got a stopped up sink or toilet, you need a plumber PDQ!
Folks on this board have given you lots of good advice. Think carefully about moving out. Reality is, at your age you just don't have the skill set or experience to support a lifestyle that includes your own place (with or without roommates). All you're seeing right now is the thrill of being on your own, without actually considering how much it will cost to do so.
some places wont let you sign a contract until you are 19. i moved to another city to go to school, and could not find an apartment that would rent to an 18 year old, so i had to find a room mate that could sign the lease.
and as a couple of people have already said, it is BETTER to live on your own. im 20 now, and live in a house that my dad owns, but i pay the bills. i wish i had never moved out of my parents house. it is GREAT to live away from home, but it is harder.
if you'd like to talk more, just email me.
I moved outwhen I was 18 -- about two weeks after HS graduation. I never moved home again, except for college vacations. It was great. But not easy.
HERE IS AN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION NOT JUST ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO!!!!!
having been an apartment manager I know you will have to be legal age to sign a lease. 18 in all states except NE which is 19. If you can find a landlord willing to do it, you might ask the parents to cosign for you. Otherwise you are out of luck. NO, educated landlord would allow you to sign a lease on your own. It is not worth the paper it would be written on.
I am a Landlord. As others have said ... you need to be 18 to sign a contract. As a LL I require that each individual roommate makes 3 times the rent as income. You have to have been at your job for at least one year and have prior LL references. Security deposit is 1.5 times the rent. That means that to move in, you will need 2.5 times the amount of rent just for the Landlord and additional amounts for security on utilities or in the case of propane fuel and fuel oil, another $400 or so to fill up the fuel tank in the northern climates. I am the Mother of an 18 year old daughter that is living at home while going to college. She has worked all through HIgh School, has a fully paid for brand new car and lots of money in the bank. She would like to move out, too - but she has seen how many times we have had to evict young people that get into trouble the first time a car breaks down or they get sick or something happens to their job. You need to have at least 6 months reserve money in a savings account before you even start out the door in addition to all the $$ above or you will be in deep water the first time life gives you one of its roller coaster rides. I'm not YOUR Mom so its not as if I'm trying to pull you back. I just want you to be ready so that you don't have to go back home in a few months. That would be even worse. My daughter only makes $7.50 an hour. She wouldn't even qualify for anything around here so she really needs to get her education in line or she will have a life of struggling just to keep a roof over her head. Better to use this time to get prepared for the real struggle - supporting yourself.
My middle son is 19 and in his 2nd year of college away from home. Because of a bad housing situation on campus, we decided that it would be better for him to have his own apartment and become a "commuter" rather then a "resident" student. He has a 1-bedroom apartment in a very nice gated community.
Yes he could legally sign a contract but because he is still in school he has no credit history. So my name had to be put on the lease as well as his (as a joint tenant although the management of the complex is aware that I do not actually live there). The money that would have gone for his "residence" tuition is instead going for apartment rent, so I don't worry about him being able to pay rent; but not all parents would want to take on the responsibility of co-signing a lease for a child who doesn't have a job.
Some of our friends were "horrified" that I would go along with a 19-year-old living "totally on his own at college". They envision all sorts of things like wild beer and drug parties, etc. (in fact, that is the sort of thing that is going on in the DORMS and other college housing and which my son is glad he doesn't have to put up with!) However I have always believed that EVERYONE - male and female - should live on their own for at least a year, preferably longer, at some time in their lives before they get to be the age of 30. Too many kids, and I'm talking about my own (Baby Boomer) generation too, not just today's, go from their parents home to a supervised college environment and then to living with a spouse or partner. Thus they really never get the experience of being completely responsible for their own everyday life, because there's always been SOMEONE (mother, father, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband) to help "take care" of things and/or pick up the slack. That's not the best preparation for the unpredictabilities and realities of Real Life.
Whether someone is ready for living on their own at 17 is another question. That's a bit young but it depends entirely on their personality. Some people are too immature or irresponsible to live sensibly on their own even in their 30s! It also depends on whether you will have financial backup from your parents or another family member IF you should ever really need it before you are able get a fulltime job.
You didn't mention what your parents think of your idea. Are they for it, against it, or as yet unaware of it?
At your age you are probably looking toward college next year. Perhaps your parent would agree to a similar arrangement as my middle son's, which is, having you pay the difference between what on-campus residency costs would be and what the cost of having your own place off-campus would be.
A college I used to attend had a policy that required all undegraduates who had not completed at least 50% of the hours required to graduate to live in the dormitory housing for at least 3 years (most would not have to go beyond 2 years by completing enough hours in the first 2 years). Some exceptions including living at home with parents and commuting, being at least 25 years of age, military service honorable discharge, and having lived in your own residence within commuting distance for at least one year before starting school. A couple of my friends who lived nearby wanted to avoid living with their parents, and wanted to avoid the dorms as freshmen. So what they did was moved out during high school and lived in their own apartment during the high school senior year. Then when they came to school, they only had to show that they were still living in the same place during the first term and they got exempted from the dorm requirement. Either the school didn't care about this, or didn't catch on (the dorms were losing money and they were trying to get as many students to live there as they could).
This isn't trying to justify moving out while still in high school, but it does explain why some people do it.
I can't believe this old post is still alive and well.
Seeing it is, here is my new statement slash question.
Our estranged person who wrote the original post never posted again from what I have seen.
Nicklesod where you be?
Your half way there to 18 according to my adding skills...so...are you going to move out or not?
Would enjoy hearing(so to speak) your reply to any of the above questions in any of the above posts.
He probably moved into an appt and couldn't pay the bills so they cancelled his electricity and he can't post anymore. Just kidding, I hope it worked out for him (her?), but I doubt it.
Read this post for the 1st time today, and one thing that GibsonGirl wrote strikes me as way off base:
"Too many kids...go from their parents home to a supervised college environment and then to living with a spouse or partner"
Honestly, nobody I know did this! I cannot think of anyone I knew in HS or college that settled in with their (future) spouse right after college. Some people I know wound up marrying people they knew from HS or college, but usually there was a time after college where they were on their own (acutally usually living with friends as it is cheaper and more fun to have roomates).
thankx Mike..your first 3 lines were way too funny.
Made my day.
Ahhhh....what a pathetic gal I am....no offense..I need a vacation...
mooch off your parents as long as possible, save the $ for college or for a home when you graduate
I'm sorry, but here's another view point. If you feel you are that responsible, try talking to your parents for a "dry" run.
Have them draw up a contract with a rent amount; what the "rules" are (contrary to alot of youngster's beliefs, there are rules that apply in most complexes); how much of the bills you are responsible for; how the condition of the "apartment" must stay in (this is what alot of your security deposits are for); what modifications are acceptable; what sort of commodities are included in the rent (you might have to pay for laundry) etc.
Once the contract goes through, see if you are responsible enough to change your mind set of it being your parents home, and become a real life rentor. If you can do this and afford it, then you are well on your way to being responsible for your own apartment.
Like others haven noted, don't forget to ensure your budget is going to leave room for your gas, entertainment, clothes, etc. Cuz once you get a contract, it's all about growing up and being responsible.
I would advise not "mooching" off your parents unless you have too. Remember they want whats best for you; and part of that is watching you try new things to the extent of watching you stumble along the way. They will always be there, but you need try it first and give it all you have, or you won't really know if you have what it takes. If you stumble that's okay. If you fall, even that's okay, but getting up is where it really matters.
"acutally usually living with friends as it is cheaper and more fun to have roomates"
Friends? Will you still be friends later on?
Cheaper? That depends.
More fun? Oh yes, especially when said roommate disappears, you find out why when you call him at work and find that he doesn't work there anymore, he pays rent the next month on the 20th with a promise to get moved out by the 1st, and then only 2 months later, after you sent him a "PAY OR QUIT" notice, does he finally come back to complete the process of moving out.
Never again. I don't need the money, and I don't need the aggravation. In retrospect, I should have charged a security deposit, but who charges their friends a security deposit??? Then again, who sends their friends a "PAY OR QUIT" notice? Who makes their friend SEND them a "PAY OR QUIT" notice???
Conclusion: Renting to friends is not a good idea.
Stay at home and pay rent to your parents.They deserve a brake.Do you know the price of tooth paste?It's not easy out there and you will be out there soon enough.What happened to stay at home till you get married? Don't be too quick to leave.You will be grown a long time.
I think it's a waste of time even answering the question. Fist, the thread stared last year, second the original poster has never replied, and last but maybe most important.... he's 17.... most likely 18 now.
Please let this thread just DIE out!
i didn't want to read all those messages so here is my take...
As a freshmen I lived in an apartment by campus, so did most of my friends. It was sooo much better then a dorm. Though, I didn't like my roomate - a friend from HS...
Anyway, this year [im a sophmore now] I got my own studio apartment by myself and i love it...
I would love to live at home but college is 3hrs away and it is not practical. My parents pay for my apartment and food anyway...
Whoa, my parents would have told me to pay for the apartment myself. Even when I lived in the dorm, I still had to send my parents money for the phone calls they made to me, to pay them back for some of the plane tickets for home visits and few other things. Didn't complain since it helped me learn budgeting before I was tossed in the so called real world.
The answer to you question varies state by state, and in some cases, varies within a state. Although most states now recognize 18 as the age of adulthood in civil and criminal law they still hold 21 to be the age of adulthood in Tort Law (contract Law). Case in point. While working in an apartment community in Pensacola, Fla we ran into a real sticky situation. The legal age of majority for contract law in the state of Florida is 21, but due to the influences of 4 military bases in the immediate area, Escambia county ruled you must lease apartments to any individual over the age of 18 provided they have proof of income.
The problem that is often encountered by landlords is that the county ordinance states you must lease to anyone over the age of 18, but the state tort law says you can not take action against a person under 21. If the tennant defaults on the lease or incurres serious property damages; under the statutes of limitations the landlord has to file the action immediately, but when it goes to court, the court rules the offending party has not reached the age of majority and the case is automatically continued until after they pass their 21st birthday.
WELL IM GOING TO TELL YOU ALL LIKE THIS...I AM 17 YEARS OLD AND IT IS NOT EASY STAYING IN THE SAME HOUSE WITH MY MOM...NOW BEFORE PEOPLE START SAYING...ITS JUST LIFE...OR IM JUST A REGULAR OLD TEENAGER..THEY NEED TO HEAR MY STORY..I LOVE MY MOM TO DEATH..NOTHING WOULD MAKE ME FEEL ELSE WISE ABOUT HER...MY FATHER HAD NEVER BEEN AROUND WHICH MAKES MY MOTHER A SINGLE PARENT. MY MOTHER WORKS 3RD SHIFT..SHE BARELY HAS TIME TO SPEND WITH ME...SO BASICALLY IM HOME ALL DAY WITH NOTHING TO DO...IM TRYING TO GET A JOB AS OF NOW..BUT OF COURSE NO LUCK...I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING MY MOM DO AS A PARENT..SHE GETS MEAN PROPS FOR THAT..BUT IM STILL STUCK ON THIS ONE THING....SHE HAS A DRINKING PROBLEM..AND IT ANNOYS ME TO DEATH..INSTEAD OF HER BEING A GOOD ROLE MODEL FOR ME..AND SHOWING ME WHATS GOOD TO DO AND WHATS NOT..SHE DOES THE TOTAL OPPOSITE...WHEN MY MOM GETS DRUNK..SHE STARTS BRAGGING ON HOW MUCH MONEY SHE MAKES..AND HOW SHE BETTER THAN EVERYBODY..AND THE WEIRDEST THING TO ME..SHE ALWAYS TRY TO THROW THINGS IN MY FACE AS IF SHES IN COMPETITION WITH ME...IM SO TIRED OF IT..AND THEN THERE ARE SOME NIGHTS WHEN SHE COMES IN THE HOUSE AND JUST WANT TO FIGHT ME...SLAPPING ME AND IN MY FACE WHILE IM SLEEP OR PUNCHING ME BECAUSE SHE CANT FIND SOMETHING THAT SHE LOST..AND PERSONAL THINGS ABOUT ME ALWAYS COME OUT HER MOUTH WHEN SHE DRINKING...THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON...BUT I CANT LIVE LIKE THIS..AND ITS TO THE POINT WHERE I WANT TO BE ON MY OWN..AND JUST BE TO MYSELF..SO BEFORE PEOPLE START THINKING THAT TEENAGERS JUST WANTS TO BE ON THERE ON SO THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO..THINK AGAIN..ITS A STORY TO EVERYTHING...AND I JUST FEEL THAT I NEED TO BE AWAY FROM MY MOM..I HATE FORCING MYSELF FROM HITTING HER BACK WHEN SHES DRUNK AND CURSING HER..BECAUSE I KNOW SHE IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE..BUT SHE JUST DONT KNOW HOW SHE IS EFFECTING ME PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY..IM TIRED OF THE MESS AND I WANT OUT..BUT WHERE SHOULD I GO.?
I'm very sorry for the situation you're in, Ebony_2012. I'm going to suggest your very first place to go would not be apartment hunting, instead Al-Anon or Ala-Teen. You can find local alateen meetings here. Many churches offer a private place to meet during the week. I hesitate to suggest an online meeting because you don't say if you're closer to 16 or 18, and Ala-Teen doesn't have online meetings for safety reasons. And I'm going to urge you to try Ala-teen first, where you'll find other teens your age dealing with the same situation. Please do make that a priority and one of your very first steps. You'll get understanding & support, ways to cope and some guidance for now.
You have nothing to lose. Then you can consider your next step, especially if you're closer to 18. Good luck.
I have a daughter that is 17 and spoiled. She has never worked. She has an idea that she can move out and work her senior year. She is in her last year of high school. she does not do well at home and is currently in a shelter for at risk kids. They will help her get an apartment. She is very bright and has good grades but is very lazy. I could go on and on but This paints the basic picture.