It's an EXCITING time in our lives right now! A & I are FINALLY moving out and getting our own and very first Apartment!!! It's been a long time coming and a lot of work in the making, so I'm so excited to share this journey with you all! And of course, some useful tips I picked up along the way! So let's DIVE right in!
Let's start with a little back story! A and I have been together for 4 years and we know we want to spend the rest of our lives together, so getting out on our own, into our own place was something we dreamt about for a long while, however finances and timing were always preventing us from getting to this moment we're at now. It's taken several job changes *between the both of us* and a lot of ups and downs to get us to our current Career statuses and financial abilities.
No, we're not where we want to be but we're way ahead of where we were this time last year, and that is amazing!!! We're so grateful and can't wait to create our own little special oasis tailored to our style and needs!
As we began to look, we learned quite a lot very quickly and I decided what better way to help my amazing peers & viewers than to share what I've learnt with all of you!!
10 Apartment Hunting Tips in 2018
1. Know your Budget:
A close friend of mine told me the best way to know if you can afford rent, is to start putting away a certain amount monthly LONG before you move. Budget yourself as if you have rent and live on it. That gives you a clearer idea of what your budget can handle and how much you can REALLY afford to set aside for rent. This is useful if your expectations and budget don't match and you don't realize yet.......like I did lol
2. Research multiple areas: Weigh Pros and Cons EARLY.
I made the mistake of ONLY looking at prospective area's online and then when we went looking at the areas on our "viewing day" I was unimpressed quickly with area's I thought I'd be interested in. Pay CLOSE ATTENTION to apartment listings on sites that host a number of areas, they always show the nicest time, and the nicest part of the area online, and you don't always get the best and most realistic ideas about these areas. Go view them AT NIGHT. In the RAIN and just visit them Overall. Do a little shopping or walking around in that are to get a REAL sense of it.
Be open to asking people who live in the area what they think as well. That includes people who live in the buildings you're looking at.
3. Have your TOP 3-4 Areas/Buildings.
If you've done numbers 1 and 2 then jump to 3 and decide on the area's you feel will best suite your needs! Take into account: Closeness to amenities: Grocery Store, Gas Station, Bus station. How long is the commute to and from work at your Top 3-4 areas. Make sure you've REALLY done your research when picking these areas.
4. Whats the History of this area? Building? Have Reviews improved?
This again comes down to doing your due diligence to properly research your desired area. NEVER pick a place solely on the look of the place inside ONLY. How Safe are you if you're walking to and from the bus stop? Have their been reported incidents previously? How recent ago? What's the vibe you get being there? It goes a long way when you pick a place you feel comfortable being at over how aesthetically pleasing a place is!
5. Look at places early in the week and Month
If you can, book viewings in the beginning of the week and month. Often if a place goes from one month to the next un-rented the price isn't so bad, the later into the month you go, the higher the price can creep, especially if you come looking for a place last minute and in a hurry, you MAY get stuck with higher rent.
6. Don't be afraid to ask the important questions, up front!
Have you spotted a few places you really like? Like what you see? Then now is the time to ask the Landlord all the important questions about your potential new home. Ask about rent increase, cost of parking, repairs, and note anything that you see that needs to be fixed and MENTION IT TO YOUR LANDLORD. They will see that you're really looking and be quick to fix it!
That's where my Checklist comes in!
Click Download below to get it for FREE!
7. Take Leases & Review
Take leases of all the apartments your interested in and review. Think of everything listed above. Interested? Review the lease, consider the requirements. How did the landlord make you feel? Consider this too as this is someone you may have to deal with for a minimum of 12 months. If you like it, DON'T WAIT TOO LONG, with the markets these days, places that are even remotely nice GO FAST!! Review but then act fast! Make sure if you are signing the lease, that you have everything required before you drop it off, or you'll just waste your time and be disappointed.
8. You've signed the lease!! Now What?!
If you're moving for the first time, you're going to do a little shopping for furniture & If you're anything like me planning and pre-planning is something you're very familiar with. And if not and you need a little help, then this app is for the both of us!
**This is NOT a paid advertisement or opportunity, opinions are completely my own**
This app has become a dream for me. It's QUITE advanced in allowing you to create a replica of your space, down to furniture, color of walls, wallpaper, floor type etc. It updates frequently and has items you and I have in our homes today from stores like Ikea! It's helped me put my vision down and look at it from a 2D as well as a 3D point of view.
3D is even more stunning than 2D.
The image with the man & woman is 3D and the other two are 2D. The image beside it is a view of 2D and to see 3D all you'd need to do is tap the 3D at the top of the screen.
9. PURGE before you PACK!
Do not just start packing everything up. Over time you accumulate of lot of junk, so now is as good of a time as any than to sit down and really go through your things and get rid of things, What's not being used, out of date, doesn't fit, you're not using anymore...GET RID OF IT. Decide what can be donated vs what needs to be thrown out. Don't wait to the last minute or you'll be moving way more crap than you intend to.
THEN - Head to the dollar store and stock up on little things to help you move!
10. Save where you can!
Ok you've purged and now you're ready to pack, before you go shopping for boxes. Ask around, go to your local grocery store, ask work, even go on Facebook Marketplace, people give them away or sell them for $2-5. Go to stores and ask if they have any boxes from shipments they'd be willing to give you! You'd be surprised how much you can get.
I was lucky to get all of these different sized boxes from work & for free.
If you can get a floorpan for your new place, get it and use it to help you color code your boxes as you pack, plan & stay organized!!!
If you're looking for any more tips, hacks or just advice, visit my Pinterest board
And that's it! We're currently packing our lives away to move at the end of February!!
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