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How to not get scammed moving into a place you've never seen before

I'm an engineering student, and as such have moved quite a bit between co-ops, internships, and school. Because my moves happen three times a year and my moves are typically over 400 miles, I have never actually moved into an apartment that I've seen beforehand — and I've lived in seven different apartments/shared houses. I'll admit, I went through some pretty crappy living arrangements because of this, but I have gradually learned how to make this experience better.

Here are some things I've learned to do when moving in blind…

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Living with my partner isn't like living with a roommate

The other day when my boyfriend was at work, I texted him to say "I'm exhausted and I just want to warn you that the dishes aren't done. I'll get to them tomorrow first thing."

His response: "I hate to tell you this, love, but you're an adult now. You can do the dishes whenever you want!"

My reaction in my mind: "Not true. I have a responsibility to my roommate to maintain this house in the way that I would want to live in it." Then I caught myself and thought for a minute. Does living with your partner mean that maybe, just maybe, the entire home is now under our shared dominion? And that, within reason, I can decide what gets done when, just like he can? I still wasn't sure.

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10 life lessons learned from my first apartment

Attention young Offbeat Homies: At some point, you will cease to live with your parents or in a dorm room, and will very likely live in a cheap apartment, quite possibly with roommates. I hit this particular milestone my Junior year of college, and here's what it taught me…