Many people are eager to jump into homeownership and take that big step into adulthood. Having a place to call your own or at least one that feels like it seems like a dream come true, but things can easily go south. Namely, this first expense can turn out to be a total joyride or the stuff of nightmares.
In a nutshell, to have the most pleasant experience and transition smoothly, you have to plan ahead of time. This kind of spadework keeps stress and anxiety at bay and prevents big problems visiting you in your new home.
The financial dimension
Rule number one: don’t rush things because moving into your first apartment shouldn’t be a leap of faith or a haphazard endeavor. Budgeting is everything.
Set aside as much money as possible to guard against financial hiccups and problems. Factor in all the expenses you are going to have, including maintenance, deposit, repairs, and other hidden and surprise costs.
Once you have the total number (not the ballpark figure), see if you can really afford to move in. In general, it is highly recommended to have at least three times your monthly rent or living expenses saved up.
Regardless, it would probably be wise to cut expenses in areas such as entertainment and keep spending in check. One neat trick is not to start your utilities until the day you move in. You could also consider having a flatmate in order to trim expenditure.
In any event, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
You have to start planning well ahead of time, ideally a week or two in advance. This the least glamorous part of moving, but there is no going around it. In fact, it is essential.
So, coordinate the transportation and delivery of items so that you have them right when needed. Evaluate what you have and what you miss. Separate nice-to-haves from must-haves. Don’t buy things impulsively and focus on what you really need.
Take this chance to also purge things you no longer need and simplify your lifestyle. Embrace the minimalist concept of living and save yourself many headaches and avoid the pitfall of unnecessary spending.
Set the stage
If you really want to have a fresh start, never take the previous owner’s word when it comes to the cleanliness of the place. Broom-clean does not cut it.
You should scrub until the place is sparkly. It might be even a good idea to call professionals in to deal with the clutter and rubbish since they can do it thoroughly and on a large scale. Services offered by this company for rubbish removal in Sydney include a complete house cleanup if needed.
This brings us to the point that you shouldn’t regret spending money on professionals, as the investment is sure to pay off.
A thorough inspection
This is especially true for home inspections, something you cannot afford to skimp on. There could be many hidden issues with the home, problems that previous owner or landlord tried to sweep under wraps. A trusted inspector can sniff them out and put together a list of things that could cost you dearly down the road.
In other words, inspection allows you to identify red flags and deal-breakers. Just be smart and realistic: a shabby choice of paint color is a problem that can be solved rather simply, unlike insufficient and shoddy storage space.
Get your priorities straight: pay close attention to key aspects such as structural integrity, square footage, and layout of the home.
Don’t fall into the trap of disregarding other people’s opinions. Yes, that means listening to your parents, those seasoned veterans of homeownership.
A broad and long view
Always look at the big picture. Namely, it is a good idea to get to know the area you are going to live in. After all, it’s preferable to have cultural amenities, parks, shops, public institutions, and other such places within a walking distance.
So, see how the traffic and parking space is. Cruise or walk around to get the feel of the space. Ask neighbors about any issues they have.
Finally, try to think long-term and how your lifestyle might change. Even if your outlook is positive, I would also advise you to have an exit strategy in place. Locking yourself in a bad deal is a predicament that can really set you back in life.
But, you know, there is nothing wrong with moving out in case things don’t work out.
Moving into your first apartment is a mix of exciting, challenging, and terrifying things.
This is certainly not a walk in the park, so take it easy and keep a level head. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Figure out what you can really afford and assess your wants and needs. There is no need to break the bank or stress out.
Don’t try to handle everything yourself: welcome other people’s opinions and help.
Finally, remember that moving isn’t fun nor is it supposed to be. The good times start only once the dust settles and everything is in place.