Broke And Apartment Hunting? Here Are Some Things To Consider

Awwww, the time has come for you to move out. Kudos to you.

Moving out is a big step in adulthood. Not only is it exciting because you can live freely and on your own but, you do so by your rules.
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The first piece of advice I can give to someone who feels they’re ready to move out is PREPARE. PREPARE. PREPARE. The better prepared you are, the smoother your transition to living on your own will be. The second piece of advice I can give to young adults who are ready to move is if you can stay and save as much as possible at home, do that before leaving.

Although I understand for some that may not be ideal, everyone grows up in a different  environment. Before making a move, it is essential to realize that when you are living away from home, it carries a price tag.  I have compiled a list of things that can be helpful for “new independents” who will embark on the journey of moving out.

Pre-Move Out

Where to and what’s the Cost of living?

Great, you now know that you want to move out. Where to? And how much does it typically cost to live there? It’s important to have these answers because it will provide you with an overview of the cost of living and the expenses that will need to be accounted for BEFORE you embark on your journey. If you don’t have the answer to this question, you should check out Cost of Living Calculators  online. If you are relocating its a MUST you factor in the expenses of relocating.

How much do you have saved for the move? 

Now that you have an estimate for the living expenses, do you have enough saved to move out? Remember most rental spaces require a security deposit and first-month rent. For example, let’s say if your security deposit is $995.00 and the first-month rent is $995.00 you’d be required to pay $1990 upfront before receiving your keys. In this case, you want to make sure you enough saved to account for other expenses you will need (more on that later).

Do you know your credit score?

Your credit score plays a vital role in the apartment hunting process. Property managers and landlords use credit scores to examine how “trustworthy” of a prospective tenant you are. If you have a low credit score, it can potentially prevent you from getting a good apartment and slow the apartment rental process down. You may also be required to provide a co-signer. Not to mention you dodge having to deal with slumlords who appear  “willing to work with your credit” but don’t provide the best living facilities. In other words, make sure you have a good credit score. Anything less than stellar may require a co-signer and headaches.

Will you be living on your own or with a roommate?

As I said before independence comes with a hefty price tag. If you can’t afford to live on your own, you may want to consider splitting the price. However, living with a roommate should not be taken lightly. I remember living with three undergraduates on campus in my first year of graduate school, and it was an experience you couldn’t PAY ME to do again.

Moving Out

Who will help you? 

Alright so now that you have decided to move out out (the second out reflects you're serious). How will you be leaving and who will assist you? Will it be one of your family members or friends? How much will it cost you to transfer your belongings from you current spot to your new home?

Do you have a budget in place to get settled?

When you first move into a place, you will need to clean and organize your home to your liking. Germs of past tenants and whoever else are real? You will need to clean before you settle in, checking out the Dollar Tree or your local discount store is a great place to start for cleaning supplies and organization tools.

Where will you purchase your apartment furniture? 

Shopping around is key. And no, whoever told you you are required to shop at this name brand store they are WRONG. Thrift stores offer a lot of hidden gems and flexibility for those looking to save a penny. Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever sleep on a discount. Besides, you can always purchase your furniture piece by piece.

Who doesn’t love food?  

What’s a new home and an empty stomach? A match made in hell. You must have food in your new place. Food sustains you. Whether you decide to purchase groceries and have them come to you, or go out and shop for your necessities on a budget, nutrition is a must. However, the budget part of this shopping experience is non-negotiable.

Be attentive and cautious about your food shopping. Just because you can afford to buy a lot of produce, remember that produce often comes with a quick expiration date.

Draft a list of the items you need and prioritize your shopping items. Also, don’t forget to shop at different stores because it may save you more money than purchasing all your items in one place.

Are you happy? 

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Your happiness sets the tone for your experience in your apartment. While I’m sure everything won’t be peaches and cream you have the opportunity to start your journey on a positive note. Welcome to adulting.