At a certain age, you’ll start to move out of your parent’s house and start to live alone independently. While you’ll be excited to embark on your journey on freedom, it might turn into a mini nightmare if you don’t consider the move carefully. Settle your excitement down first and make sure you consider all these points before choosing an apartment.
Traveling Around Isn’t as Fun as We Think It Is
First off, think of where you will be traveling on a daily basis. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation of having the dream house but spending most of your time traveling from place to place instead. Even if your apartment is slightly further away, try to map out the routes to your workplace or school and set a maximum travel time you are able to withstand. If you’ve found the perfect neighborhood but haven’t settled on an apartment yet, apartment locators can help.
Roommate Goals or Nightmares?
Even if you’re moving out of your parent’s home, there’s a good chance you’ll still be living with a roommate. While many of the financial issues and apartment design can be changed or improved, bad roommates can ruin the entire experience and lead you to move out from frustration either way. If you can’t afford to live alone, make sure to choose your roommates carefully, and be familiar with their pet peeves, cleaning, and socializing habits to have a good fit.
What’s In the Hood?
Thirdly, it is a good idea to check out what’s in your neighborhood. You’ll be thanking yourself in the future for choosing a neighborhood that has accessible grocery stores for a midnight snack. Other things that might be appealing could be a nearby cafe with free Wi-Fi to make up for the small apartment and high electricity bills. Try to visit the neighborhood in the day and at night to find out first-hand what’s available for you. It may also be a good opportunity for you to find out any potential deal-breakers like loud noises in the night.
You may also want to check out if the neighborhood provides services that your apartment does not provide, such as a laundromat. Do also consider the distance between your apartment and these services as you may need to put up with traveling in the cold during the winter just to get your essentials done.
Imagine finding an amazing apartment within your budget but realizing that the utility bills probably adds up to hundreds every month. When you’re calculating your living expenditure, be sure to include other expenses such as heat, electricity, and Wi-Fi. It may also be a good idea to check out the costs of laundry services as well if the apartment doesn’t have a washing machine. Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord or the tenants currently living there about these small costs and how much they vary.
Is there Space for One More?
Unfortunately, not everyone is an animal lover. If you’re intending to bring along a furry companion, make sure to check with your landlord and the apartment’s pet policy before signing the lease. Sometimes, it may be a bit more complicated as they only restrict certain kinds of pets such as having rules that prohibit larger breeds.
Staying Comfortable in the Heat
Sometimes, we might find an older apartment during our search that seems decent to live in. However, most of them face similar heat issues. They either are super hot to live in during the summer or freezing cold in the winter. Check if there’s any central air in the building or if you will need to provide your personal air conditioning unit. This brings me back to the point about utility bills if you do need your own personal AC unit. When you’re calculating the expenses during winter, ensure that there is a thermostat for you to control and check with the current tenants how reliable the heating system is.
At some point in your stay, you’ll probably meet some issues with the house that requires you to communicate with your landlord. Hopefully, you get yourself someone that is not only helpful and accessible but also doesn’t provide you any problems. Before you sign any agreements, try to get to know how your landlord works and how reliable he or she might be. If possible, talk to the current or former tenants to get some of their thoughts.
Safety is Key
Lawfully, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the building abides safety codes. However, do a personal check for functioning smoke alarms, emergency fire escapes, and a well-lit entrance. Do a double-check with your landlord to make sure your building has been tested for mold in the past few years and that you will be provided a new set of locks for your doors upon moving in.
If you have the fortune of getting around by car, it’s important to check out for available parking lots. Most apartments allow for one free parking lot but you may run into some problems if your roommates are already currently utilizing them. Not only do you have to get into the hassle of settling this with your roommates, but you may also have to pay for your own parking which adds to your daily expenditure.
Making It Personal
Lastly, your apartment is a space you would want to feel comfortable and at home. Some leases have specific clauses stating that you would need written permission from your landlord before committing to any painting or decorations in the house. Make sure to check the apartment’s decorating policy to prevent any loss of security deposit or starting your journey on the wrong foot with your landlord.
Now that you’re familiar with what to look out for when getting an apartment, ask yourself what you’re comfortable with and what are your deal-breakers. If you are unable to find a suitable apartment with your current budget, consider postponing the move for a year or two until you’re financially stable enough to make the move. That way, you’ll be able to be satisfied with your new home with minimal stress and anxiety.