So you decided to move into your own home for the first time. An exciting chapter of your life is about to be opened. As thrilling as this sounds, there are some first apartment tips you should have in mind.
It is not easy to move your whole life to another location. It is even harder to do it for the first time. It is important to take a few crucial steps into account and it all goes much smoother from thereon. Be prepared for all the roadblocks and possible risks that you may encounter along the way. From finances, legalities and actual property searching to, finally, packing and moving to your new home.
Here are the tips that can help you a great deal and get you started the right way.
Have a Budget in Mind
It is imperative not to overlook your monthly finances when you start scouting for your future residence. You should be realistic with your monthly earnings and expenses so that you could restrict your search within your sustainable limits.
First Apartment Tips If You Rent Alone
Your monthly rent with all the upkeep expenses shouldn’t exceed 35% of your monthly income. If you have student loans or any other kind of loans, you should subtract that from your income, because that is not the money you have at your disposal. It is also imperative to check for the conditions under which you can rent the place. How much do you have to give upfront, what other fees you have to pay upon signing the lease? If you are living in a metropolitan area or moving to one, sometimes it is not possible to stay within the recommended limit.
Tips If You Rent With a Roommate
The option of getting a roommate would cut your costs in two, but that is a tricky situation. Be sure to know your roommate well enough so that you can live with him or her comfortably. People often meet their roommates days before they actually move in together. If that is the case, be sure to arrange a sit-in and ask the right questions. There’s so much more to sharing space with someone than just splitting costs. There are living habits you should consider, workplace, friends, etc. Having a roommate can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are not careful.
Know Your Priorities
Since you are an adult, you probably have a particular lifestyle that requires you to pay for additional amenities. Washing and drying your clothes, physical activity, and parking lot are just some of them. We are not talking about residence essentials like internet and cable TV, they go in that 35% we mentioned before. Calculate how much money you give for amenities per month and see your options at your future residence. Prices usually vary from one place to another.
Don’t Forget to Make a Checklist
Make a detailed checklist of what your new home has to have in it and around it, based on your current or future lifestyle.
Do you need to have a separate cooking and living room area? A separate workspace and bedroom? Do you need a laundry room because you plan on doing your laundry at home? There is only so much you can do when searching for an apartment with the right layout. Try to fulfill some of the requirements at least. There are possible adjustments you can make later, but if you are renting, there is no possibility for large-scale renovations. So save yourself some future headaches by choosing wisely from the start.
It is essential to choose the right neighborhood. You should look at all the possible aspects, starting with safety. Check out the crime rates and population statistics. The next thing you should check out is where are the important facilities in your neighborhood. Do you have shops, cafes, gyms, or parks nearby, how far are the metro or bus stations and all other things that are crucial for your everyday life.
Furnished vs. Unfurnished Apartment
Both situations have their pros and cons. A furnished flat will save you some money from the start, but the furniture might not be to your liking. On the other hand, an unfurnished home gives you the liberty of choosing the design on your own, but it is a lot more expensive. If you are somewhere in between and have excess stuff, there are simple solutions that can help you get rid of it or store them safely.
Storage and Donation Solutions
If you have some excess furniture or things that can not fit into your new place, you can always rent a storage unit and store it safely until you need it. However, if there are things that ran their course and you don’t need them anymore, you can always donate them or sell them.
What to Avoid When Searching for an Apartment
If you have already established your budget and have a general idea of what you might need in and around your future flat, the next step is choosing the right residence. There are a few things you should pay special attention to.
Don’t Overstep Your Resources
We already mentioned this, but it is vital to have a clear picture of your current monthly income and expenses. You might be expecting a raise on your job, but that is not money in your budget yet. Work with what you presently have and stay within your resources..
Don’t Rent From “Shady” Owners
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are a lot of scammers on the real-estate market these days. Check the background of your realtor, and if it’s possible, ask the previous tenants about their experience with him or her. The best solution is to go for a reputable agency. They are bound to “play by the rules,” which leaves you and your finances completely protected.
Don’t Rent the Apartment Before You See It
Nowadays it is easy to fabricate a lot of things, among them the photos of the property you are about to rent. The pictures can show a place entirely different from what it actually is. If you are moving long distance and you are not able to check out the flat by yourself, have a friend, a relative, or even a lawyer check it out for you.
Pay Special Attention Before You Sign the Lease
If everything checks out, and things are running smoothly ‘till now, here are a few more red flags, and things you should be on the lookout for.
Check the State of All the Rooms
If you are renting a furnished or partially furnished flat, you should carefully inspect all the appliances and the general state of the flat. See if everything is working properly and if something is broken. Also, don’t forget to check if there is a first aid kit in the house.
You could lose your security deposit or end up paying for the repairs if you ignore this vital step.
Read the Inventory Paper Carefully
This brings us to the inventory. If there is no premade inventory paper, insist that the owner or the agency make one before you move in, and then thoroughly inspect it.
Inspect the Kitchen, Toilet, Bathroom and Laundry Room
You don’t want pipes, sink, toilet malfunction on your hands when you move in. Check the state of your plumbing, heating, and big kitchen and laundry room appliances carefully. These are the most expensive items to repair.
Read Your Lease Carefully Before Moving In
Before signing the lease, read it carefully. You should know what your obligations towards the owner are and vice versa. Check if all the conditions of the agreement you made are present and if it is transparent as it should be.
All in all, moving to an apartment is not as hard as it seems, and if you need help with moving, you can always count on Trico Long Distance Movers! Call us and get all the necessary information about our services.