Table of Contents
- 1. Find the Right Apartment
- 2. Get Your Finances in Order
- 3. Ask Friends and Family for Help on Moving Day
- 4. Know the Terms and Conditions of Your Lease
- 5. Take Care of the Logistics
- Utilities and Services
- 6. Do a Thorough Once-Over
- 7. Get the Essentials
- Moving Into Your First Apartment?
When it comes time to finally get out on your own, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with excitement. However, there’s often a sense of foreboding that comes with that excitement, especially if you’ve never been on your own before.
However, with the right preparation, moving into your first apartment doesn’t have to be scary at all. By taking the appropriate steps, you can ensure your first apartment experience is everything it should be – an amazing first step towards freedom and independence!
Take a look at these seven incredible hacks for moving into your first apartment to set you up for success.
1. Find the Right Apartment
First, you need to make sure you take your time when looking for your first apartment. We know how easy it can be to imagine your place in everyone one you step foot in, but choosing the right apartment is vital to your long term happiness and comfort in your living situation.
A vital component of choosing the right apartment depends on where it’s located. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where in town do you want to be located?
- If you have kids, what schools are nearby?
- How close do you want to be to work?
- How safe is the neighborhood?
- Are there any parks nearby?
- Are there any noise, odor, or other issues in the neighborhood (fire stations, farms, refineries, manufacturing plants, etc.)
Next, the thrills of moving into your first apartment won’t last long if it puts you in a financial deficit. Make sure you choose an apartment that’s well within your means. Avoid maxing out your budget on rent.
Consider how much space you need. If you have a family or a significant other who’ll be staying with you, you need to make sure you have plenty of room. However, your budget may also dictate how big of an apartment you can afford.
Finally, take into account the amenities that the apartment complex offers. Laundry, for example, is a weekly chore that can become even more tedious if you have to leave your home every time you don laundry. Is there a washer in the apartment, in the facility, or none at all?
Some apartment complexes also have special features such as pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, and more. Make sure you know what’s available to you.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Another important aspect of moving into your first apartment is making sure you’ve got control of your finances. Many people get excited about moving out, look at much rent they can afford, and then think everything else will work itself out.
You need to consider all of the costs involved with living on your own and renting an apartment. For example:
- Monthly Rent
- The deposit on the apartment (often equal to one month’s rent)
- First month’s rent upfront
- Utilities (may or may not be covered by the landlord)
- Services (TV, internet, phone lines)
- Renter’s insurance
Before moving into your first apartment, make sure you can afford all the facets of living independently. Come up with a budget for yourself and try to stick to it. Although, it will likely need to be adjusted when putting theory into practice.
3. Ask Friends and Family for Help on Moving Day
When it comes time for moving day, don’t try to do it on your own. Depending on how much stuff you have, you could consider hiring a moving company. If you’re trying to save money, we recommend asking your friends and family for help or seeking out moving companies and finding your best options.. If you’re trying to save money, we recommend asking your friends and family for help.
If you’re moving out of your parent’s house, it could be a relatively easy day of moving. However, if you have already collected a bunch of furniture and appliances, you’ll definitely want to enlist help wherever you can get it.
Know your limits and be safe above all else. You’ll have a hard time enjoying your new apartment if you’ve thrown out your back trying to haul a couch up the stairs.
4. Know the Terms and Conditions of Your Lease
When moving into your first apartment, know that the contract you sign is a legally binding contract with the apartment complex. You will be held to everything within that contract. Make sure you read through it thoroughly and ask as many questions as you want before signing.
Know what you’re getting into.
First, look at the duration of the lease on the apartment. Many apartment complexes offer monthly rent after an initial six-month or yearlong term. If you’ve found a place that’s strictly month-to-month, it’ll likely come with a higher rent since there’s no contract holding you there.
Figure out how long you can commit to staying at an apartment. You may only plan to be there for six months. However, if you’re thinking in terms of years, make sure the contract renewal doesn’t come with extra expenses, higher rent, etc.
Make sure you fully understand the apartment complex’s rules when moving into your first apartment. They often have strict policies concerning pets, smoking, noise levels at certain hours, modifications you can make, etc.
Most landlords will contact you by phone or leave a letter in your mailbox if you’ve been violating any rules. This is often a warning, but you could face eviction if you violate too many rules or disregard them entirely.
Finally, you need to know who’s in charge of what in terms of maintenance around the apartment. If there’s a plumbing or electrical problem, who’s in charge of taking care of it? What if any of the appliances stop working?
Make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency situation.
5. Take Care of the Logistics
When moving into your first apartment, there are certain things you need to take care of. Some of them are legally required and others are just for your personal convenience.
First, make sure you change your mailing address. Initially, you can visit the post office and temporarily forward all mail to your new address through them.
However, this is a temporary measure. You need to contact everyone whom you receive mail from and alert them to your new address. This includes bills, friends, family, services, etc.
Utilities and Services
If your utilities such as water, gas, electrical, and trash aren’t covered by your landlord, you need to turn those services on in your name. It’s a relatively easy process and most of it can be billed automatically.
You also need to take care of any personal services such as cable, internet, and phone lines.
6. Do a Thorough Once-Over
Many apartment complexes, such as the Aggie Square Apartments, hold themselves to a high standard. Most likely, the apartment you move into will be in perfect condition, clean and ready to move into. However, it’s always a good idea to do a once-over.
Take a look at the condition of the apartment. Most apartment complexes hold onto your initial deposit until the day you move out. Any damages to the apartment will be taken out of your deposit, you could get all or none of it back.
Therefore, the day you move in, thoroughly inspect the apartment for any pre-existing damages to report to your landlord so you won’t be charged for them later. This includes:
- Function and condition of all appliances
- Superficial damage to walls, floors, ceilings
- Broken fixtures, handles, knobs, etc.
- Stains on carpets
- Water damage
- Damaged trim
- Cracked Windows
Additionally, if you’re a clean-freak, it may benefit you to do your own cleaning when moving into your first apartment. Not all landlords hold themselves to the same standard. Pay special attention to sanitizing the bathrooms and kitchen.
We also recommend sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and even shampooing the floors if you’re worried about walking around barefoot.
7. Get the Essentials
Finally, you can focus on one of the most exciting aspects of moving into your first apartment – outfitting it with new stuff!
Focus on the essentials first. These will be the bare minimum items you must have to live normally/comfortably.
For the bathroom:
- A shower curtain
- A plunger and toilet brush
- Shower Rugs
- Personal hygiene products
For your bedroom:
- A bed and bedding
- A dresser
- A mirror
For the living room:
- Coffee Table
- TV stand/entertainment center
For the kitchen:
- Coffee pot
- Dish towels/wash rags
- Dish soap
- Dishes and utensils
- Pots and pans
- Oven mitts
- Kitchen or dining room table
- Extra lighting
- Laundry stuff
These lists represent the common essentials people need when moving into a new home. However, your lists will vary based on your budget, how much stuff you already have, and so on. Additionally, things you need will constantly present themselves in the first few weeks of moving into your first apartment – it may take time to collect everything you need.
Moving Into Your First Apartment?
If you’re moving into your first apartment, first of all- congratulations! You’re now free and independent in a way you’ve never been before!
Secondly, there’s a lot more to living on your own than mastering apartment living. Be sure to check out the rest of our articles on lifestyle, business, health, and everything in between before you go!