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.
The first four places I lived after college were rented rooms, rather than apartments. First one was in a down-on-its-heels hotel that rented rooms by the week. Don’t remember it all that well.
January of 1975 - I was in the Navy, stationed at NAS North Island (Coronado, CA.) The barracks were pretty crowded and housing allowances were distributed according to rank to those who wanted to move off base.
I found a cute little studio with a Murphy bed for $150/mo all utilities included. There was a love seat in the main room with just enough space to walk past it when the bed came down. There was a tiny nook with a little table and 2 chairs next to what I called my After-Dinner Mint kitchen: yellow and green tiles for the counters and backsplash, pink refrigerator. Abutting the nook was a walk-in closet/dressing room area that opened into the bathroom (with its slightly spongy floor.) Outside the bathroom window was a lemon tree, but I was too honest to pick any of the lemons.
The entire place was about 24’X14’. The main room and dining nook were carpeted in blue-and-green shag that was reeeeeally matted down. The apartment “complex” consisted of four of these units making up a single building. Mine was the 3rd unit in from the street. It was a fairly easy bike ride to the base and on to the hangar where I worked.
But the landlord was a thief - when I moved in, the place was filthy, but I didn’t care because I wanted it, and being my first place, I didn’t know about filling out an inspection form. So when it was time to leave, first thing he did was pull down the bed, lift the mattress to expose rust stains on the bottom, and inform me that I wasn’t getting my deposit back. Asshole.
But it was a perfect first apartment. It has since been torn down.
Spring of 1973, my grandfather rented me his basement suite. His house was small but the suite was totally private, own bathroom, utilities, private entrance etc. Rent was $115/mo. I had one room mate and there was only one bedroom. Needless to say it was a bit tricky if one or the other of us had a girl over.
And what prompted you to do this at age 16? Do tell!
That kind of sounds like the first apartment one of my brother’s friends had, in the mid 1980s. It was a single room, with a shower and toilet in what used to be the closet (and rust rings in all the fixtures) and a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. For $150 a month, it was precisely the kind of place where a 19-year-old on his own for the first time might live, but he did complain to my brother that it was roach-infested. My brother pointed out that while it’s perfectly OK to live on delivery pizza, it’s NOT OK to stack the boxes in the corner until they reach the ceiling, which was what he had set out to do. He did toss the used boxes, and the roach problem did somewhat abate.
My first place was a 1BR about a mile from my parents’ place, in what was considered a “really nice” place at the time - $300 a month in 1984. In more recent years, that complex was bought out by some slumlords, and the building I lived in was pretty much destroyed in a meth lab explosion.
I don’t count college apartments even though the OP allowed them. The first apartment I ever got was what I’d consider a medium-sized 1 bedroom apartment and all things considered it was tied for the best place I’ve lived on my own, because it was safe and quiet and well-maintained and not very tiny. I certainly had a enough room for all of my stuff with room to spare.
The second place was a tiny studio apartment which was close enough to a sketchy neighborhood you could hear the police helicopters circle regularly, and people start their dying jalopies at 3 am in the morning with a bone-chilling squeal, and motorcyclists race up and down the street.
But the third place, even though it was tied for the best place turned out to be the most dangerous, at least statistically. In 2 1/2 years I was egged, BB’ed, and had bottles thrown at me while running/biking, and had my parked car hit-and-run in the middle of the night. The place itself though was large, quiet, and well-maintained.
I’m not counting college apartments either. My first “real” apartment while I was employed, while waiting for my spouse to finish his computer science degree so we could get married and move to the Bay Area, was a tiny little 1-bedroom, 1-bath thing on the third floor of a building with 6 apartments, 2 on each floor. Looking back, I have no idea how I lived in something that small (with the spouse, because he moved in with me while we pretended he was still living in the room his parents thought he was renting) but those were good times. It even had a tiny balcony overlooking a park, which was nice to sit on during summer days. It was close to the school and the town, and very safe. It was $400 a month, in 1987,
The guy below us used to like running the heater a lot during the winter, so we never had to. It came up through the floor and kept us nicely toasty.
It was sorta a quarter of a duplex. It was a 3 story house one block away from the Ohio State main campus. Each half had the first story set up as a 2 bedroom apartment. The upper 2 stories on each side was a 5 bedroom apartment with a kitchen and bath. There were 4 of us and we declared one bedroom as our living room. Our apartment was furnished with used stuff. My bedroom was the front one on the third floor. One side had a slanted ceiling.
We were maybe a half block away from High St and there was plenty of street noise from the weekend binge drinkers getting blasted at the bars across High St. I lived there 2 years. Here’s something I learned: when female roommates get drunk after breaking up with their boyfriend, they stagger home and cry. When male roommates get drunk after breaking up with their girlfriend, they stagger home and punch holes in the plaster walls. So, you want a male roommate who smokes grass instead of drinks beer. He’ll just eat those last two slices of pizza you were saving.
The summer before my senior year, I got a two bedroom apartment a couple blocks from campus, on the first floor of a complex affectionately known as Mushroom Manor. This was in 1976. It was pretty typical, a brick two-story complex with maybe 18 units. All rented by students. It had a big picture window in the living room that looked out onto a privacy fence on the other side of a walkway. The kitchen door led to the parking lot. So not a lot of greenspace. I had some really fun times there, sometimes, but not always, involving mushrooms. And I had my first, and only, waterbed there.
A friend of mine rented the second bedroom. It turned out that she was really a lousy roommate - she was a total slob and kept bringing random guys over to have sex with all. the. time. She moved out after 4-5 months but I don’t remember it being contentious or anything. She may have lost her job. Whatever it was, we are still friends 40 something years later. She’s a great friend, I just couldn’t live with her.
After that I realized I liked living alone. I was working part time in the evenings. I made enough to just barely cover the rent so for the last couple months I let a co-worker rent the room. When the lease was over, I moved to a cheaper one bedroom place and took the cat who was living in the parking lot with me. That began my years as a cat slave so is another reason I have fond memories of the place.
My first non-dorm living location in college was a house that I sublet, along with several friends, during the summer between my junior and senior years. It was an old, two-story frame house just off campus in Madison, Wisconsin, and had undoubtedly been rented to students for decades. It was, as you might expect, somewhat run-down, though what I remember the most was that the kitchen was carpeted (eeeeeew).
After I got my Master’s degree, and got a job, my first “permanent” place was a house that I rented, along with three friends, in suburban Chicago. It was a fairly normal house, a split-level, with four bedrooms (but only one bathroom). I’m not exactly a neat freak, but I quickly discovered that my three roommates were slobs by comparison – I started dating the woman whom I would eventually marry while I lived there, and after a couple of visits, she essentially said, “I’m not coming over there, it’s a pit.”
Does a college dorm room count? It was the first place I lived in away from my family home. It was pretty typical other than it was more crowded than it should have been. It was designed for two people but the dorms were overfilled and some of use had to have three people in a room.
The other thing I remember about it was its bizarre colors. Students were allowed to paint their dorm rooms and the previous occupants had decided to paint the room in the school colors; bright green and yellow.
My first apartment when I first permanently left home was essentially an off-campus dorm. I was lucky that that very year, the university students council had purchased a three-story walkup apartment building near the campus and completely renovated it, and then furnished it with new furniture, and that fall was the first time it became available as an off-campus dorm, technically operating as a “co-op”, so everything was fresh and new.
The slightly odd thing about it was that major items of furniture like beds and dressers were all fastened to the walls. No, it wasn’t fear that students would steal furniture, it was a rather clever move whereby anything permanently fastened to the building would be considered “part of the building” for mortgage purposes, and thus the student council managed to get the bank to cover the furniture costs as part of the mortgage. We residents paid a nominal monthly rent – I have no idea what it was, but it couldn’t have been much. It was fortunately a rather pleasant and relatively non-stressful experience for a shy young lad leaving home for the first time. It was a co-ed residence, though the boys and girls were segregated to their own apartments.
It was a small place in the heart of popular downtown Naperville in Chicago suburbia. First floor, consisted of a decent sized living room (for one person) and a tiny bathroom, tiny corridor type kitchen and a bedroom that was small and oddly shaped. The only logical place to put a bed left the closet behind it so you had to climb over the bed to get your clothes. Also, the only windows were in the living room – the bedroom had a back door with a screen so, if you wanted a breeze, you had to leave the back door open all night. This being a relatively safe town and me being male, I did this fairly often in the summer. Besides that, the only notable thing I recall is that it had a radiator for heat that cooked in the winter. I’d have to leave the windows open a crack in sub-zero temperatures to counter the intense heat from the radiator. Besides that, it was clean and the stuff worked. I remember delighting that the bathroom mirror-cabinet had a slot for safety razor blades and I knew what it was from a Straight Dope column.
I wasn’t especially outgoing so never really took advantage of the proximity to the bars but there were a few bookstore and the river to walk along. If I was somehow single & childless again, I could probably live there comfortably.
My older brother got a summer job there, and I convinced my parents to let me fly up and look for a job too. (and I got one, cleaning fish). I thought I would live with him, but he was living with his girlfriend in an apartment not much bigger than mine. He let me stay there a day or two, but then I had to find a place.
Luckily, one room apartments in old buildings were cheap.