Temporary living is great when you are living a life that is changing every few months or couple of years. It's nice to save money on a one bedroom apartment for just you and your spouse and then move to a two bedroom when you feel the need for extra space for an office or your first child. With your career still developing you could be looking at relocating for summer internships or a new job and being able to pick up and move when and wherever is a nice option. It is also a nice way to test out neighborhoods. The decision between city living or suburbs isn't so stressful when renting allows you a type of "trial period" to acclimate to your surroundings and see what you like.
This temporary living also works in favor of finding your own style. With changing lives comes changing needs and comforts and it is so easy to change out pillows, reupholster chairs, paint furniture or swap out accessories in different colors when everything you own is portable. Most people would probably say their style is constantly evolving and being able to change a room in a weekend or with a few small projects is easy and non-committal. Big projects like painting walls or building a wall here or there isn't an option when the walls aren't yours.
You do have very close neighbors who you sometimes feel might actually live in your apartment with you. You have the American Idol wanna be belting Kelly Clarkson every morning at 7am just on the other side of your bedroom wall, the pot smokers across the hall and the upstairs neighbors who are doing who knows what and sending the foulest smells through the air vent into your apartment which requires layers of paper and tape over your air vent.
Let us not forget that having common areas to share isn't always an added perk. Having to wash your clothes in the ten washers and dryers that are shared with the ninety nine other tenants doesn't always make you feel like you got your clothes the cleanest or many times you doubt the quality of the appliances. And the study downstairs where anyone can hold social gatherings. That furniture has been down there for 30+ years, and it smells like it, and who knows if any of those couches, tables or chairs have even been cleaned or wiped down in their lifetime.
For me it is the literal "uglies" of fixtures and finishes. Cleanliness always wins out over looks, which means I will pass on the old dirty charm and take the newly renovated apartment. Let's clarify, newly renovated on a graduate student budget means low pile navy office carpet, disabled support handles on every wall of the bathroom, creamish-brown bathroom tiles and random columns smack dab in the middle of the kitchen. You know your apartment was renovated to withstand many different tenants for many years to come, but you wish that someone would have gotten one more opinion before deciding to forgo the bottom cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom limiting your storage space and leaving you with ugly dust collecting areas.
Make sure you know what you will and will not compromise on. With renting, you can almost never get your perfect apartment, but having a good idea of what you can and can not live without will most often leave you with a satisfying renting experience.
If you'd like to share, the good, the bad, the ugly of living in a rental, email me your submission with 3-4 pictures of your apartment! Pls use the same format as above!