Is paying more for a nicer apartment worth it? Well, that’s going to depend on a lot of different things. You’ll have to consider your lifestyle, your priorities, and how much money you are actually making. Depending on how you answer some questions it could be worth it but on the other hand, it might just be a big waste of money.
Is Paying More for a Nicer Apartment Worth It?
It’s true that you spend a great deal of your time in your apartment. Having a nice apartment makes this a little more agreeable.
You don’t want to live in a place that you don’t like and don’t want to be at.
I was in that situation once.
The apartment wasn’t bad but the walls were thin, and the neighbors were loud, and the landlord didn’t keep the place up.
Not to mention the landlord was a major pain.
Because I worked from home, I found that I made excuses to leave my apartment every day just so I could get away from it.
Nobody wants to live like that.
So, would it have made more sense to pay more money for a nice apartment one that I enjoyed spending time in?
Now that I own my own house I find that I’m perfectly comfortable being here most of the time.
I’m not looking for ways to escape my four walls
I can not leave for a day or two and be completely comfortable.
That’s because I like my surroundings.
So if you find that you don’t like yours then finding a better situation in a better place might be the answer.
But before you head out the door on your apartment hunt, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
1. Your Lifestyle
If you’re the type of person that spends most of their life outside of their home then having a smaller, less expensive apartment can make a lot of sense.
If you’re never there except to sleep and take a shower and maybe grab a meal once in a while then as long as it’s safe and secure and not bug infested you really shouldn’t worry about spending the extra money.
On the other hand, if you’re a homebody then it can make a lot of sense to spend some extra cash on your surroundings.
And the thing is if you’re a homebody you’ll have that extra cash to spend.
If you’re someone who loves the nightlife and eating out all the time and going to clubs and bars then chances are you won’t have a lot of extra money to pay additional rent anyway.
The point is how you live your life will help determine whether or not you should look for cheap apartments or expensive apartments when you are out there hunting for a place to live.
2. The Amenities
Most luxury apartments come with a lot of amenities. Things like gyms and spas, a pool, and even a rooftop lounge depending on the place.
Some even have social hours and concierge service.
If you’re someone who really enjoys these types of amenities, will use them, they can be worth the money.
If you don’t enjoy these types of amenities and you’re never going to go to the pool or join in during the social hour there’s really no reason to pay for them.
These amenities can add hundreds of dollars per month to your rent payment.
So, make sure you’re going to enjoy them otherwise you’re just throwing money out the window.
3. You Have the Income to Afford It
Something else you need to consider is whether or not you actually have the disposable income to afford the higher rent.
Sure, luxury apartment complexes come with all these nice amenities but are they going to make it difficult for you to make your rent payments when your rent is quite a bit higher than it currently is?
Cheap apartments might not be as pretty and might not have a spa but they’re easier to afford.
You need to take a close look at your budget before you step out into a more expensive apartment.
Think about what your monthly rent is now and how adding $300 or $500 or more per month will change your budget.
You also want to think about your current debt.
Do you have student loans and a lot of student loan debt?
Do you have credit card debt or personal loans?
If your debt is high then you’ll want to think about paying that off before you move to a luxury apartment community.
It will make more sense to keep your housing costs lower until you are debt-free or nearly debt-free than to add additional rent to your monthly budget before you pay off your debts.
4. You Work From Home
If you work from home as I do then you’re spending a considerable amount of time in your apartment.
You don’t have the luxury of leaving for 8 or 9 hours a day to be in a different environment.
If you’re not thrilled with your current apartment it can get really difficult looking at the same four walls every day.
So, if you are working from home and you do have the money to afford a nicer apartment it can make sense to go ahead and get one.
This is especially true if the new apartment complex has lounging areas and outside trails and picnic areas and that sort of thing that will give you places to get out of your apartment while still technically being at home.
5. The 50/30/20 Rule
The 50/30/20 rule says that you should spend 50% of your income on your needs, 30% on your wants, and 20% on your financial goals.
Your needs include things such as your rent, your utilities, your car payment, insurance, groceries, anything that you actually need.
The 30% is on things you want like a new iPhone or a new laptop.
The 20% should be put into financial investments for your future.
That could include a down payment for a house or sending your kids to college or retirement.
If you’re looking to pay more for an apartment and it doesn’t fit in the 50% part of this calculation you can always take some of that 30% from the wants and use it for your apartment.
This means you’ll have less money and discretionary income to spend on the fun stuff in life.
That’s okay if your apartment is more important to you than eating out or buying a lot of new clothes.
Keep in mind, this rule isn’t written in stone but it gives you a guideline to use when determining how much you should spend on your apartment.
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Should I Spend Half My Income on Rent
The quick answer is no you shouldn’t spend half your income on rent.
The problem with this is it leaves you very little wiggle room if you have any emergencies in your life.
And trust me at some point you will have an emergency.
Your car will break down or you’ll get sick or maybe you’ll get in an accident or lose your job.
If you’re spending 50% of your income on rent most likely you haven’t been able to save enough money for an emergency fund or for your future.
This means you’ll end up having to use credit cards or even a personal loan to pay for emergencies.
This will increase your debt and your debt payments and there will come a point you won’t be able to make those payments.
There won’t be enough money left in your budget each month after you pay your rent to take care of all your other obligations.
This becomes a downward spiral and you end up in a very bad place like bankruptcy.
How to Find the Money for an Expensive Apartment
If you decide you want a nicer place and are willing to spend more money to get it then you’re going to have to find additional money in your budget to afford it.
Unless you are able to get a raise at work or a new job you’re most likely going to have to cut back on other expenses.
This means eating out less, not going out and getting coffee every day, and maybe staying home on Friday nights.
If you’re lucky the new apartment will also help you save money on other expenses.
It should have a washer and dryer which means you don’t have to go to the laundromat.
It might have a business center where you can use their computer or printer.
And if you have a nice kitchen it’ll be easier to cook at home instead of going out or ordering takeout.
All these can add up to help offset the cost of your additional rent.
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To Sum it All Up:
If you can afford a nicer apartment without causing a cash crunch in your budget and your surroundings are really important to you it can make a lot of sense to pay more for a better apartment. However, if you don’t have the money and you’re not home much, it might be better for you to just stay where you are.