What was you first apartment (or whatever it was) like?

For whatever reason I got to reminiscing about the crappy little apartment I lived in from my senior year in college until I finished my Master’s degree. So now I’m interested in hearing about what other Dopers’ first residences were like. I assume for the vast majority of people it was an apartment, but of course I don’t intend to exclude those who might have lived in a small low cost of living town or rural area, where you might have had a small house, or mobile home, or something like that. So whatever it was, describe the first place you lived that was neither your parents’ house nor a college dorm, and you paid for yourself, at least partially (if you lived with roommates or a romantic partner).

I moved into my first place in the summer of 2002, my senior year of college. I had some money from working as a co-op at a big tech company (like an intern, but you’re treated more like a regular employee) and wanted to move off campus. Being a very introverted person, I didn’t want roommates; I had enough of that living in the dorm. I wanted a place all to myself. So pretty much my criteria were cheap, and close to campus. And did I mention cheap? Found a 1 bedroom for $395/mo, including water. This was in Raleigh, NC, a fairly low cost of living area, but this was very cheap even for there.

The apartment was iirc 450 sq ft. It was basically 2 main rooms, although if you count the bathroom and walk-in closet you could say there were 4 rooms total. The front room had a narrow living area on one side, and a kitchenette on the other. A counter divided the two areas. Since there was no room for an actual dining table, that counter was clearly meant to be the eating area. At the back was a small bedroom, and the aforementioned bathroom and walk-in closet were off the bedroom.

But the most memorable thing about that apartment was there there was literally only one window in the entire apartment. But, you’re probably thinking, there were multiple rooms. That’s right, the bedroom was actually an interior room with no exterior walls. The might make more sense if I describe the building. This was a small complex with 4 identical 1 story buildings. Each building had 8 apartments, 4 on each side. The 4 corner apartments got a window in the bedroom and a window in the living room. The other 4 apartments, the interior ones, only got a window in the living room. In leiu of a window, the bedroom had a cathedral ceiling and a dirty skylight. So at least there was some natural light. In hindsight it would have been a death trap if there were a fire. I’m sure it would never meet modern fire codes, but I assume it was grandfathered in.

The walls were incredibly thin. I could hear my neighbors talk, and watch TV (The guy next door laughed really loudly at King of the Hill), and have sex. And fart. I’m not making that up. I could literally hear my neighbor fart. At the time, I think I just thought that’s what it was like to live in an apartment. Later, after I got better paying jobs and moved to better apartments, I realized that good apartments actually put soundproofing between the units.

The bathroom had no storage whatsoever. The sink was the kind that just attaches to the wall, with no counters and no cabinets. I bought a shelving unit that fit over the toilet so I could have some storage in there.

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The carpet had many cigarette burns from a previous tenant And my neighbors on both sides were smokers. So their smoke seeped into my unit through cracks in the walls, and my apartment always smelled like smoke, even though I didn’t smoke.

But I don’t want to be entirely negative. The complex was managed by a professional property management company which was very responsive to maintenance requests. If I asked for something to be fixed, they sent someone to fix it in a day or two. You could even submit maintenance requests online, back in 2002. And the complex had flower beds with nice azalea bushes outside the apartments, which were quite pretty when in bloom. And big old trees in the yard.

Nothing particularly memorable about my first place. It was a long time ago so some details I can’t remember. It was furnished, I think it was a studio with a hideabed. It was in the NW side of Portland, near Couch Park I think. There was a brewery in the neighborhood, so sometimes the smell was not particularly salubrious. I think I only stayed there a couple of years. It wasn’t awful just not very nice. I should say this was 1970-72 or so.

My first proper place I shared with three others, it was a newly refurbished (but not completed yet) Post Office building. It was large, had great views of the harbour, and was unusual enough to be fun. But it was also not insulated, too big to heat affordably, too far from town, and right on a busy main road, next to a Fire Station that tested its siren every Monday evening. Then after only six weeks there, two of our flatmates left and we scrambled to find someone else to move in, but nobody was willing, so we had to leave.

30 years have passed since then, and it looks to be a much more inviting place to live now. But it’s still on a main road and far from town.

My first apartment wasn’t that bad. The living and dining area were in the front and that’s where you walked in from the front door. The kitchen was behind the living area with the bathroom directly across. The bedroom was quite large.

The best thing about it was it had radiant heating in the floor, so the floor was always warm in the winter. The manager of the building told me not to bother spending the money to dry jeans in the machines in the laundry room when the heat was on - just lay them out on the bedroom floor and they’d done in a few hours. Worked like a charm.

I lived there for about a year and then moved into another place across town that was in a prettier area and in a much more attractive older building. I still miss that place a bit.

Depends on how you define “first apartment”.

Sophomore year of college, I lived in an on-campus apartment complex with three buddies from my freshmen dorm hall. They tended to have one double bedroom and two single bedrooms and ours was notable in that the window for the double bedroom was below grade. So basically you looked out the window into a concrete box five feet below ground with a metal grate at the top of it. Like living in a sewer, Ninja Turtle style.

The first actual apartment I lived in was just some regular two-family house in some working class suburb in the southwestern-most part of Boston. I lived with two guys in the upper unit and the landlord and his girlfriend lived below us. It was fine I guess, but the landlord was friends with one roommate and with a regular collection of guests it started to feel a bit too “fraternity-like”. Plus it was kind of in the middle of nowhere. After a year, I just got my own place. I liked that a lot better, just being able to do my own thing. I always found with roommates, there was either this implicit expectation that they had “right of first refusal” whenever you wanted to go out, or it was just accepted that everyone just awkwardly lived their own lives.

On Briggs St near Division, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 1959; upstairs in an old house, probably $40 a month, maybe $50, a weeks pay… Bedrooom, roomy kitchen, DC-3 size bathroom, linoleum. Bedroom floor sloped enough that the covers would be on the floor by morning. But it was comfy enough (even at -35), not ratty or anything. Offstreet parking, TV got one channel, snowy, from Wausau. Could walk to work if 47 Chev wouldn’t start…

I dormed it till I graduated. Then I moved to a different town, got my first job and my first apt. The main room (living/sleeping) was about 200 ft sq. There was a small kitchen…if you turned on the burners, cockroaches fled. Really the building had once been a large home but it was divided into 4-5 efficiencies.

My first apartment was a 30 yr old one BR 3rd floor walkup located in a complex of roughly 18 similar 3 story units. The unit itself was in good shape after 30 years because I was only the second occupant after the previous tenant’s death. Hot water radiator heat was controlled by the complex manager and often insufficient. All utilities were included in the rent so we didn’t hesitate to run portable electric heaters.

Coin operated laundry rooms were located in a dark basement area in every other building and it could be an adventure going there because you never knew who might be down there. Never has an incident however and have no bad memories of my time there.

First apartment was in 1976 with one roommate. Crappy area, and the complex was known locally as “Rape Villa” due to the assault rate there. I worked EMS at the time and it was depressing how often I could grab a soda from my own fridge after a run.

Roommate was incredibly chill* and easy to get along with. We did our own thing with almost no interference, but would do things together if nothing else planned. We would occasionally be sitting on the couch on Friday night with no plans, and one would yell “Road Trip!” and we’d race to the car and head out for a 3-4 day journey with zero plans. Back then a long journey meant I had to carry my sunglasses all the way to his car. Today I spend days planning and packing. Sigh…

*Using kids’ terminology. I like this one as it’s perfectly descriptive.

I rented a house with 3 other friends. It was a small 4-bedroom deep in the 'burbs. We were there for about 2 years, and one winter the furnace went on the fritz. The ignition system was out of whack so we’d get delayed ignition, the main symptoms of which were a loud BOOM and an actual fireball spewing from the furnace when it came on.

Being a bunch of low 20-somethings, of course we thought this was hilarious. We actually let it go for a few days before somebody’s girlfriend saw it and freaked out so we had to call the landlord and get it fixed. In hindsight, probably a good decision. :laughing:

My first apartment was a typical Schenectady apartment. There are hundreds of them in the city: duplexes with one apartment above the other. People would buy the building and rent out the other half.

They had a living room in the front. Straight back was a dining room, bathroom, and kitchen. Bedrooms were off to the side.

Ours was typical. Old, but in decent shape.

My first off-campus housing in college was an old duplex built out of cinder blocks, at the end of a cul-de-sac within walking distance of campus. It had to have been 30+ years old at the time. Three of us from the previous year in the dorm had decided to live there, but then one of the guys decided he was going to live with his girlfriend that year, so we had to scrounge around for a third roommate. The guy who ditched us was in a class with my former girlfriend, and some other guy in their class overheard them talking about how we were still looking for a roommate. He had been living in his car for a week or two after deciding that fraternity life was not for him. So they sent him over, he wound up becoming our third roommate, and we’ve been best friends ever since. One fond memory of that house - we used to go out drinking then come home and shoot bottle rockets down the hallway. Since it was a cinder block house it was virtually indestructible.

Surprisingly it was still standing probably 30 years after I lived there, but I went by a couple of years ago and saw that it was finally gone.

small … dinghy … smelly … roach-infested … no frost-free fridge … mgmnt lied about changing carpet form previous tenant (as a result, bed-bugs). since that time … the complex had seen changes in mgmnt … haven’t dropped by for the past umpteen years.

Sophomore year of college I rented a house with 14 other guys. It actually was two apartments in one house, and we knocked out a wall connecting them. We built a bar in one of the living rooms, kegerator, the whole deal.

It was ok for a while, but it eventually got to the point where I’d be on campus and overhear “Party at 100 North Main tonight!” that I didn’t know about. Get home and there’d be some rando at the door trying to charge me $5 to get in. I’d take the wad of cash from the dude and pay the heating bill with it.

I lasted 1 semester.

Second floor of an old house in Champaign-Urbana, Junior year. Cockroaches, a metal shower stall that leaked thru the ceiling into the apt below. Broken furniture including an beauty salon chair with a back that reclined. Probably the shittiest place I’ve ever lived. (And I lived in 10 different places during my 8 years at school.)

And when we moved out, the Nazi landlord tried to w/hold our security deposit, giving us an early experience of suing - and prevailing - in small claims court.

I still remember the classifieds ad title; “Super Studio”

It was what must have been converted from a garage, since the entrance was through a modern sliding glass door ( and the only “window” in the place ) from the driveway, the rest of it being largely underground as it was basement level of a 2-story Dutch colonial style house built into a hillside.
One decent sized room with wood veneer paneling, carpeting, a fairly new kitchenette of a sink and mini-refrigerator. Cooking was a microwave ( mine ). A small modern bathroom consisting of a sink, vanity cabinet and stall shower. In a pleasant leafy suburban neighborhood.
I liked the place, and it had a very convenient location for my situation then.

I spent the summer of 1976 in a one room third-floor place in Ketchikan AK. Murphy bed. No kitchen to speak of. The radiator made so much noise there was no way to sleep (yes, you need heat in the summer in Ketchikan). Also, the building was adjacent to a bar that closed at 5:00 a.m. All the drunks would pour out onto Dock Street and make a rukus until the bars opened again (7:00 a.m.? I can’t remember.)

But, it was a very fun time for a 16 year old.

Fourth (but not last) year of college. A friend and I rented a rather small apartment. But it was only a half mile from school (where I also worked as a lab tech). Basically there was one room, with a couch on opposite walls, where we slept and a desk in the window between them that we shared. Plus a small but adequate kitchen and a minimal bath with toilet, sink, and shower and not much else. It cost only $50 a month and, during the summer if only one occupant it dropped to $25. That was in 1957-59 and we left after two years. I still have pleasant memories of the place though.

First apartment was in college, my younger brother got a 2 bedroom after his first year (you had to live in the dorms your first year) and I transferred schools to live with him.

It was great. 2 bedroom, 1 bath. About 900 square feet which was enough for both of us. We’d drink and watch Ali G together. I miss it. The bathroom even had a linen closet inside (its the only 1-2 bedroom apt I’ve been in with a linen closet in the bathroom).

Privacy was never an issue. I’ve lived in other apartments and while hearing your next door neighbor is pretty rare in apartments, you can usually hear the people above you. That was never an issue at this place, but was an issue at every other apt I’ve been in.