Trying to figure out where to live can be a nightmare, especially if it’s your first time striking out on your own. Whether you’re searching for college housing or just making the big move out of your parent’s house it can be hard to know what to look for when hunting for a place to live. Here are 8 things to consider as you search for your new home.
When apartment searching you need to know what it is you want. Here are the four basic living spaces you can typically find:
- Dorm/Studio – Dorm rooms and studio apartments are usually just places to sleep and do homework. There isn’t a lot of space so you probably won’t be having many, if any, friends over, but if you’d rather spend time somewhere else this might be a great option for you. They are typically the cheapest choice as well.
- Apartment – In an apartment, you’ll have a little bit more room to move around. There is one or more bedrooms, a small kitchen, and a sitting area. There may or may not be a dining space.
- Townhouse – Townhomes usually have the kitchen and living room on the main level and the bedrooms upstairs. This can be nice if your roommates have people over downstairs, but you still want your privacy upstairs.
- House – No need to worry about hearing your neighbors through the walls. It will just be you and your roommates. This can make it a little more difficult to make new friends since you won’t be living right next to people, but you’ll definitely have more privacy.
There are both pros and cons to having roommates. One of the major pros is cheaper rent. If you’re only renting one room in a house, that is going to be significantly less expensive than renting the entire house by yourself. Your roommates might also be super awesome and become your best friends. Cons could be that you and your roommate just don’t quite see eye to eye.
It is important to consider how close you are to the places you’ll need to get to every day. Whether you are a college student or a working professional you’ll want to consider the commute. You’ll also want to take into account the distance to the grocery store, especially if you don’t have a car.
Do you like to cook or are you happy with a microwave TV dinner? Some apartments have a full kitchen, whereas, with others, you might only have a private fridge and a toaster oven. Depending on your level of cooking expertise you’ll need to decide what you need and what you won’t even miss.
Look into the neighborhood or complex that you’re looking at moving into. Do they have a certain reputation that you might not want to be associated with? Check reviews for the complex or management that you’ll be under to see if they are fair to their tenants and someone you’d be willing to work with.
If this is your first time living away from home you might not remember that dishes and laundry are something to keep in mind. Not all apartments come with a dishwasher or a washer and dryer. If you are alright with washing dishes by hand and making your way to a laundromat then you’ll be fine, but if not you’ll need to make sure the place you choose has these commodities.
Sometimes rent isn’t the only thing you’ll be paying for. Make sure to find out what is included in the rent and what you’ll need to pay for in addition to rent. These fees could be homeowner association, yard care, garbage, internet, gas, and electric. Just make sure you have all the details before signing a contract.
There are things to consider with transportation. If you have your own vehicle then you’ll need to figure out parking. Some complexes make you pay an additional fee for a parking pass while others don’t care where you park. If you don’t have a car you’ll want to know what public transportation is available to you and where it is located.
Remember that renting isn’t permanent. If you aren’t sure about an apartment, choose a shorter lease period while you decide if you like it enough to stay long term. Good luck as you search for your next home!