Moving in to a new apartment can be an exciting milestone in life. But it can also be a daunting one too. Here are 10 things that you need to know before renting your first apartment that will make your life much easier!
Rent is not the only financial concern that comes with a new apartment. Even before the monthly rent, you need to save up for the upfront costs. Costs such as application fees, security deposits, and pet deposits. Overall, you are going to spend some serious money before you get the keys to your first apartment. But if you budget and save, and learn how to decipher between wants and needs, you can easily move into your new apartment.
After you move in, rent may still not be your only financial concern. Some apartments require that you pay for other bills (i.e., electricity, gas, trash, internet, etc.). These expenses could cost anywhere from fifty dollars to a couple hundred dollars – depending on the season, city, and which bills. So, it is important to budget and save for these expenses in addition to your monthly rent.
This may be your first time reviewing a legal document, and it might be hard to interpret. If you do not understand something, ask about it before you sign any documents. Check the areas about the regulations and/or restrictions for behavior, the policy for late rent, and what actions could lead to eviction.
Where you live matters almost as much, if not more, than the layout of your apartment. You will want to find a place that is close to your essential shops and stops. Being in walkable distances or short commute distances is a big bonus and will make your life so much easier.
Also, contact your local police department to check out the crime rates and list of offenders in the area. No matter where you live, you want to feel safe and know what might be around the corner.
Roommate or no roommateGiphy
Often times, this decision is often financially driven. If you cannot afford to live alone and plan on moving in with roommates, it is important to take some preliminary steps.
First, make sure you choose a roommate that you can live with for the length of your lease. Second, make sure everyone agrees and signs the lease. Third, work together to create a roommate agreement. This part can be done informally! Fourth, have fun together!
But if you can afford to live on your own, make sure all your lease paperwork is completed, and enjoy your apartment!
Pet or no petGiphy
If having a pet is important to you, then you want to find an apartment that allows pets. Check to ensure that your property manager will allow pets and the particular breeds that are allowed. And lastly, do not forget to pay the pet deposit or pet fee!
Pack by priorityGiphy
Whether you are moving out of your childhood home or college dorm, your first apartment is truly the place where you can bring all your stuff with you. However, it is wise not to. You will have acquired a lot of sentimental objects by this point in your life, but you have to ask yourself, where will it go? Use this process to declutter and purge the things you have collected, do not need, do not use, or do not want.
Donate, recycle, or throw away anything you do not need or want. Then pack your boxes or suitcases according to categories (i.e., kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.), and do not forget to label your boxes. It will make the moving process so much easier!
Once your lease is signed, make sure you know your move in date and time! You will not want to miss that. Next, you need to decide if you are moving by yourself, with friends or family, or if you are going to hire professional movers. After you decide, secure what vehicles you are using, the number of trips it will take, and the time it will take from start to finish. When all of that is done, get to moving!
When all of the moving your things process is finished, it is time to start organizing. Begin sorting through the things that you brought and start thinking of space saving ideas – because a lot of apartments do not have huge storage spaces.
One of the best space saving solutions are storage bins - small, medium, or large. They are all useful and will save you tons of space! Other ideas are bookshelves and furniture pieces that do double duty, like a ladder that holds throw blankets. The trick is to avoid cluttering your apartment, so space saving solutions are a life saver!
The final step of moving into a new apartment is decoration. This might even be the most enjoyable step too! To decorate your apartment, have fun with it. Add personalized touches to make the space feel like home and more like you. Add your favorite art pieces, color scheme pieces, funny signs, or lamps.
But do not rush it. Taking your time during this step will result in the best outcome – an apartment that expresses you.