written by: Brenda Barrett•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 7/15/2010
After the euphoria of the graduation ceremony and the congratulations have been uttered, you are now faced with a major housing decision- deciding where to live after college. Don’t panic, I have some solutions that may suit you below.
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A large mansion in an upscale neighborhood may not be in your future just after leaving college. Unless of course you can lay claim to generous rich parents or you are the lucky recipient of inheritance money. If you fall in the bracket of the 95% of college graduates who are deciding where to live after college, here are some suggestions.
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Move In with Family
The most cost effective solution for most college graduates is to return home. Think of it as a short term resolution to an immediate problem. If you are job hunting and have no other means of earning income, it may be your only solution for the time being. Moving home is not so bad, if you consider that it gives you a reprieve from paying utility bills, rent and all the expenses that come with owning or renting your living space until you find a job.
If you have already identified a job and it is closer to home, moving in with the family may also be a short term solution, give yourself three months minimum to start saving before you move out on your own. It is also prudent if you construct a personal financial plan to see if expenses like commuting to and from work would be cost effective. And of course don’t forget to factor in your share of the contribution to the household bills.
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Share with Friends to Split Rent
Sharing an apartment with friends is a prudent money management technique in the short run. This may sound like a return to the college roommate lifestyle but it is actually a cost effective way to conserve some cash and to split the bills after graduating from college. If you have found a job in an area where a friend or two has already found a job you could agree to split the rent. Be sure to confirm that whoever you are sharing with is able to pay their share of the bills.
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Live Close to Job to Save Transportation Costs
While this may not always be feasible, the closest place to work may save you money in transportation costs: gas, car upkeep and taxi fares, these can all add up over time and you may find that living too far away from the job is costing you. If there is a reasonably priced apartment near to work, maybe you can take it and walk to work or take a bus. Crunch your numbers and work out if a cheaper place plus transportation cost would still be the same as a more expensive place while you walk.
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Low Cost Housing Solutions for College Graduates
Deciding where to live after college may mean considering low cost housing solutions for college students near universities or colleges. If your job is close to low cost college housing you can take the accommodation and even share with a college student if needs be. You can always view this as a short term solution until you find more suitable accommodation for a working college graduate; peruse your local newspaper or college bulletin boards for vacant apartments or houses.
If you like your own space and you do not like any of the suggestions above you may want to consider buying a mobile home. If there are any mobile home solutions in your area you can assess the cost of buying a mobile home and how affordable it is for you at this time in your life.
Wherever your choice when deciding where to live after college, the best solution is one where your expenses do not override your income. If that is the case you need to revisit your housing solution.