The drive to find your own home space is always accompanied by the mixed emotions of excitement and anxiety. While it is exciting to find something which you can claim as yours, the other end it can get pretty challenging to find the right apartment and utilities under budget.
Given the budgeting constraints, how much do apartment utilities cost is a natural thought, and a clear block on taking a decision.
While most utility costs are covered under the rent/lease agreement and are considered as a hidden costs, while there would be some apartments where utilities are the renters’ responsibility.
But when one is busy looking for an apartment, utilities cost is not a major thought.
How Much Do Apartment Utilities Cost?
If the lease agreement covers only the rent and not the utilities, this can be turned into an advantage by smart management of utility cost.
Apartment utilities such as electricity, natural gas, water, cable, sewerage and internet are not always fixed and the cost may differ based on inflation, service provider and importantly the geographical region the apartment is located.
In this article we guide you to understand what are the utilities involved and how much do apartment utilities cost you!
Simple steps for calculating the cost of the utilities
The first step would be to review the lease agreement that will enlighten you about the services that are available and are covered in your rent. Normally, sewage and water cost are paid by the landlord or covered under the rent, the same goes for trash.
The rest are to be self- managed, therefore make sure to factor them in your budgeting before you sign on that line.
Now coming to the basics, here we will try to take an estimate of the utilities and their likely average cost, utilities such as electricity, gas, and internet are always the tenant’s responsibility.
Electricity bill will likely be the largest portion of a total utility bill, choose a service provider where you are sure that the cost per kWh you are paying is not high.
Apart from the unit cost, there are two major contributing factors :
Simply put, the bigger the home the more electricity is consumed for illumination and air conditioning depending upon the geographic area the apartment is based in.
If the apartment space is big and needs electricity sourced heating in winter, this is going to cost a bomb.
Consider both floor space and the height of your ceiling which could prolong the heating or cooling, and that is why we say the geographic region matters a lot.
Add on to it the illumination cost in dark winters. Both can affect your electric bill.
Number of Roommates
This one is self-explanatory. If you are a single occupant, the budget could be managed but if you are bunking in with a bunch of other people, that would mean more lights being used frequently and longer, and more electricity consumption by appliances such as fridge, washing machine, AC, heaters amongst others.
Prepare for your electricity bill to be significantly higher if you live with roommates.
So what is the estimate we offer? For a typical one-bedroom apartment it could range from $60-$100, expect a further increase of $45-$80 with extra roommates.
This can be split equally and may cost you less.
Gas is another important utility that would be used for heating and cooking purposes. When it comes to heating homes, gas is a better option compared to electricity due to their cost effectiveness.
While natural gas is commonly used for space and water heating, the cost could vary depending again upon the geographical setting, the service provider and local taxes if any are applicable.
If the apartment is located in colder region, the gas required for heating could be more, add on it the volume of the total rental space.
On average for a single occupant in a 1BHK it could cost around $45 and if the apartment space is bigger such as a 3BHK, we estimate it to go higher by another $20.
The cost of fuel used in cooking we can say is directly proportional to your love for cooking. Either way it won’t be so expensive either.
Internet is the bloodline of infotainment and also much of business eco-system. So this is a necessary evil which you cannot skip. However, if you want to try some cost cutting and keep it low, you could experiment with your connection type.
If you are okay with the speed between 10-200mbps, cable connection could be the right choice. They start from %20 per month and may go up to $55.
However if the devices you are connecting are higher and therefore need a more better option, then fiber optic is a good option with cost starting from $30 per month.
You can also check out with the local service providers, if you are lucky you may get a better deal.
Not to forget the single most important commodity, water. Water in some cases is included in the rent, if not; you will get a fair idea from here. Surveys suggest that the average daily water consumption per person/day is 80-100 gallons.
With the average cost of 1000 gallons of water at about $1.5 and 100 gallons/person/day; we could look at an average of 3000-3500 gallons/person/month. Add on to it the number of persons sharing the space and you can do the math comfortably.
Coming to the last utility in our article, although Renter’s insurance is not a utility per se, it is recommended from our end that you purchase a renter’s insurance for extra safety.
Renter’s insurance may not cost you much but the reason we advise it covers the cost of your possessions or your belongings from theft, accidental fire or arson, riots or a natural calamity.
This insurance will also protect you from any liability for any injury or accident to any third party in your apartment.
This will also convince your landlord about your prudence. The insurance is usually only around $15-$30 a month. It is worth the price of mental peace.
So how much could you expect to pay as a total?
As a rough estimate, factoring for a single occupant in a 1BHk apartment using utilities such as water, internet, gas and electricity we predict a monthly expenditure of about $160-$250, you could expect to spend an extra $60-$120 for the same apartment for two residents.
However, remember these are rough estimates and the actual cost may vary.
We hope by now you have made up your mind, now that you are aware of how much do apartment utilities cost and should be able to find out whether an independent apartment or having roommates would be better.