Are you getting ready to move out of your parent’s house? Getting your first place is both exciting and terrifying. There are going to be so many new freedoms in the near future. But all that freedom also means lots of new responsibility. You don’t want to just blindly jump into your new place. You need to be prepared.
Fear not, because we have the tips you need to help make moving into your first apartment a painless process.
1. Be Prepared for Initial Costs
When you move into an apartment for the first time, there are a lot of costs that come with it. Many places will require first and last month rent, along with a security deposit before they’ll let you move in. That’s not including any furniture and other items you’ll need to buy to live. Plan on spending three months’ rent plus everything you need to buy before you sign on the dotted line.
2. Make a Budget Ahead of Time
If you’re used to living at home, you probably haven’t been hit with the number of bills you have in your own apartment. Before you lock in a lease and move in, make a detailed budget. Include all of your monthly costs after you move and weigh that against what you make. Once you come up with this plan, make sure to actually stick to it when you move.
3. Research Neighborhoods
Just as important as picking an apartment is picking a neighborhood. Do you want peace and quiet? Do you want a vibrant bar and restaurant scene within walking distance? Spend just as much time understanding the neighborhood as you do researching the apartment and building you want to rent.
4. Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need
You’ve probably accumulated a ton of stuff over all the years you’ve spent living with your parents. As much as you might love that stuff, you probably don’t need it all. Moving into your first place is the perfect time to get rid of the junk you don’t need. Go through all of your stuff as you pack and think about when you actually used it last. If it’s been a year or more, then you should ditch it.
5. Use Your Nose and Ears
They often describe apartment shopping as going to “look” at your apartment. But just as important as what you see is what you smell and hear. Is it extremely loud? Does the building smell dirty? Does your apartment smell off? Use all of your senses when apartment shopping and you might save yourself some serious issues down the road.
6. Inspect the Apartment on Move-In Day
Many apartment complexes will offer you an inspection checklist on move-in day where you can find anything wrong with the unit before you settle in. But even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to note down anything that needs repairs and take photos of the problems if it’s something they won’t fix. This will come in handy when it’s time to move out so you can prove that whatever the problems are were there when you moved in.
7. Read the Fine Print of Your Lease
The lease is a detailed legal document that protects both you and the owner of the apartment. Generally, the landlord is the one who drafts the lease, so you’ll want to look at the fine print to make sure there’s nothing in there that doesn’t belong. You can even get a lawyer to take a look at the document for you, but keep in mind that this service won’t be free.
Make Moving Fun!
Getting your first apartment should be a fun and exciting experience. But if you want that to be the case, you do need to be prepared. Just follow these tips and move-in day will go smoothly and you’ll have a wonderful time in your new place.