As a young family on a tight budget, you may be trying to figure out if homeownership can ever be in your future. For many people, housing costs eat the majority of their take-home pay. If you can cut down your housing costs, you can squirrel away the extra until you have enough to make a downpayment on your very own home. A great way to do this is to move into the smallest apartment that you can comfortably live in. For those with a single child or only two very young children, finding a one-bedroom apartment for rent could be an excellent way to manage this.
Shop for a modular space
When planning to move a small family into a one-bedroom apartment, you need to avoid open concept designs. The main reason is that space will be at a premium, and privacy can be impossible to find in such a design. A layout with a kitchen separate from the living area, as well as a dedicated dining nook, is ideal. The dining nook can be converted to serve as a second bedroom, which will help provide everyone with some privacy.
Consider your conversion options
Most apartments will not allow you to make permanent alterations to the space, but you still have options. If you plan to use the dining nook as a second bedroom, you need a way to wall it off. Curtains are the easiest method since you can install rods with little more than picture hanging hooks, which most property owners allow. You can also use shelves to form a partial wall, then stretch a curtain between them to make a door. Just make sure to anchor the shelves to the wall for safety. Another option is to use free-standing screens or acoustical office cubicle panels to create a temporary wall.
Look for extra amenities
While making room for everything a small family needs in a one-bedroom apartment is possible with some creativity, it can still seem like everyone is under each other's feet some days. Picking an apartment with lots of amenities can solve this. Look for complexes that are either near a park or have an outdoor play area on site. Many complexes also feature recreation rooms, which may have board games, a TV lounge, or activities like pool and foosball. Apartment homes in walkable areas near libraries and shopping options can also make it easier to get out of the house without spending any of the money you are trying to save.
With some creativity and patience, you can probably save up the money you need for a downpayment in one to two years by downsizing your housing. Check out a few apartments to get started.
To find a 1 bedroom apartment for rent, consult a resource in your area.