Congratulations on getting to a place that you want your own place. Now that you’re ready to move, it’s time to figure out exactly what you need to find a place that will provide exactly what you need to live comfortably.
Start With What You Have
Do you have furniture, or are you moving out with a mattress and a lawn chair? If you’re just starting out, your furniture stock will probably be low. You can fill a small—and preferably less expensive—apartment easily. This is a great position to be in as you have room to grow and really get to know what you like and don’t like as well as need and don’t need.
Moving into a large apartment with only a few items will make you feel like you’re poor and you need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff. Maybe even go into debt to furnish your place. Don’t fall into this trap! Don’t be pressured into purchases that you’re not wildly in love with. Start small and take your time.
Figure Out What You Want
Are you incredibly social and always looking for community? Are you looking for a quiet, little nook to hang your hat? If you’re just starting out, you may be tempted to rent the tiniest attic apartment in the most out of the way neighborhood you can find. For introverts or those who are in need of some introspection, this is a great option. However, if a little garret will leave you lonely, you’re an ideal candidate for an apartment community.
Do you like walks in nature or a nice stroll around a city block? Living in the middle of a city center may not be the ideal situation for those who need parks and grass around while living surrounded by parks may not be the ideal place for those who love the night life. Be honest with yourself about your desires and head in that direction.
Figure Out What You Need
How do you spend your day? Do you work out at home, or go to the gym? Where do you work? Where do you like to hang out? If a daily visit to a coffee shop on the way to work is your thing, plan accordingly. If you want to walk more, consider apartments near your place of employment.
Study the area at different times of the day. Does your lunchtime walkabout feel safe? Check it out after dark. Nowhere is perfectly safe, but if you’re moving into the city, you’ll want several walking routes to and from your favorite spots. Take a friend and safely check out various areas in the neighborhood. Check crimes statistics for that area online. The more informed you are before signing a lease, the happier you’ll be with your housing.
Be Financially Prepared
Before you move out, you will want enough for your deposit, renter’s insurance, first month’s rent, and, ideally, at least two extra months of rent. If things fall apart, you have a month to get some money coming in or move. If you don’t have a consistent income, moving out might not be the best choice for you. Additionally, be sure to consider utilities and apartment fees. If you have a pet, there will be a cost. If you’re thinking about getting one, find out now if your apartment will allow it.
You’re embarking on a wonderful journey! Choose carefully and spend slowly. As you become more used to the housing system in your area, you’ll be able to make informed decisions and live happily in your space.