“Firsts” of anything tend to bring about feelings of anxiousness, excitement, and curiosity; moving into your first apartment is no exception. Whether you’re moving in after a year in the dorms, sharing a space with your S.O. for the first time, or will be enjoying a place all to yourself, this post is for you.
From design hacks to practical tips and tricks, we’re here to make moving into your first apartment as seamless and enjoyable of a process as can be.
Tip #1: Do your research on local listings
While location, style, and amenities are all important things to consider when apartment hunting, your budget should really be among your top priorities as well. With that said, you want to be sure that you’re getting a fair rate for a place.
Use a rent comparison tool to see what the average rental rates are in your desired neighborhood to see how the apartments you’re interested in stack up against your potential new neighbors. If you notice that the listing price is much higher than others in the area, without the perks to match, you might want to consider your other options.
Tip #2: Think carefully about furnishings
It’s easy to get carried away when picking out furniture for your first apartment. From tempting trips to Target to visualizing a million ways to lay out your studio, there are tons of exciting possibilities to consider as you start to shape up your space. To ensure you end up with furnishings you’ll love long-term, follow these tips:
- Avoid trends – Though tempting, trends tend to fade out over time, so if you can’t afford to replace your furniture season after season, it’s probably in your best interest to stick to the classics.
- Invest in quality – Just like trendy items, things that aren’t high-quality also need to be replaced on a semi-regular basis. To avoid overspending, you may want to just pay a little extra up front to invest in the long-term. Try to search for used items using online marketplaces to find quality new and vintage items for less.
- Go for “growing into” – As life and times change, so do your tastes and preferences. Keep this in mind and try to incorporate this idea into your game plan as you select furnishings and other household items. A hybrid mattress, for example, would strike the right balance between a soft and firm bed so you can switch as you please.
Tip #3: Consider your commute
If you’ll need to commute to work from your new apartment, make sure to think about that trip while you evaluate your apartment options. Consider the mileage, traffic, as well as public transportation options to get a good idea of what your day to day travels might look like. In addition to your 9-5 commuting times, you should also think about how your desired neighborhood fits into your lifestyle and whether you can easily get to the places you want to go. Check to see how walkable the area is if you’d prefer to travel by foot or bike!
Tip #4: Inspect properties carefully
One of the biggest benefits of renting an apartment is that if you encounter any issues with your space, such as plumbing problems, pest issues, etc., your landlord is almost always on the hook for resolving it. However, living with these nuisances can really dig into your experience as a first-time renter. To avoid such problems, make sure to inspect the property thoroughly when you tour it.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Water damage
- Leaky plumbing
- Pest infestations
- Unruly yard space
- Security issues
Tip #5: Read your lease agreement closely
Leases are legally-binding documents, so it’s always a good idea to read the fine print when moving into a new property. If you have any questions or need clarification on a line item, don’t be afraid to ask the landlord or property manager for help. Knowing what’s expected of you as a tenant only makes their job easier.
Moving into an apartment for the first time can be a really rewarding experience so long as you follow these tips. Feel free to use our guide as you embark on this exciting journey, and don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comment section below!