Moving into your first apartment has always been an extra special accomplishment, but these days, it’s even more meaningful.
That’s because most millennials can barely afford to pay for a monthly Netflix subscription, nevermind a monthly rent. When we do finally make it out of the nest, best believe we’re tryna flap these wings like our lives depend on it – because they do.
But how can you set yourself up to make sure your transition to your new place is as smooth as possible, and won’t result in you having to come back home at the end of your lease? You’re about to find out.
Take a look at these 5 tips for moving into your first apartment.
Make a Budget
In the spirit of keepin’ it real, let me just say this: living on your own means you’ll probably be broke at least 80% of the time.
But as long as the bills are paid, we good, right? RIGHT!
With that being said, there are lots of expenses that need to be considered when you move into your own place.
Sure, you can cover the rent – but you need to set money aside for utilities, groceries, and other household items.
Create a budget that outlines all of your bills for the month and make sure to stay within that number.
Don’t forget to set money aside for emergencies, car maintenance, and your social life (if you have one).
Understand The Terms of Your Lease
When most people move out for the first time, they’re so excited to sign the lease that they don’t even really read it. I was definitely one of those people when I moved into my first apartment.
But since the terms of your lease will likely last for at least a year, you want to make sure you have a pretty good understanding of what you’re getting into.
You may think all leases are the same, but that’s not the case.
Make sure you find out what your lease says about things like pets, quiet hours, adding a roommate, late fees, moving before the lease is up, etc. Once you sign the lease you’re on the hook for whatever it says so it’s important to know what you’re agreeing to.
Clean, Clean, Clean
When you walk into your new place, it’ll probably look spotless. But we all know looks can be deceiving – in this case they probably are.
Don’t assume that the previous tenants cleaned the unit before they moved, or that the management company did a thorough clean.
Unless the apartment you’re moving into is brand new — who got money for that?! — you’re definitely going to want to do a deep clean before you start unpacking your stuff and filling the place with furniture.
Make sure you scrub the tub, the toilet(s), and mop the floors. If you have carpet, it’s a good idea to rent a carpet cleaner just to be safe.
Do a Walk Through With Your Landlord
We’ve all heard horror stories about people who lost their security deposit for damages they didn’t even cause.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to make sure you do a walk through with your landlord on your first day. Don’t be afraid to take your phone out and snap a few pictures or record a video; it never hurts to have receipts.
By doing this, you two can walk through the unit together and make note of any damage that may already be there.
Not only does this get you off the hook for being responsible for something you had nothing to do with, but it also gives you the chance to put in any repair requests you may have.
Get to Know Your New Neighbors and Your New Neighborhood
I know, going to knock on your neighbors’ doors isn’t the first (second, or third) thing on your mind when you’re trying to get comfortable in your new spot. But having a good relationship with your neighbors could be the difference between a great living experience and an annoying one.
Plus, having neighbors who look out for you from time to time can be an awesome perk to apartment living – especially for people who live alone.
Building a relationship with your neighbors can also make things easier if there’s ever a time you need to confront them for being loud or not cleaning up after their pet(s).
You should also take time to explore your new neighborhood. Get familiar with restaurants and shops that may be nearby. Learn how to get to and from your new home and take time to appreciate your surroundings.
Hopefully you’ve done some research on the area before committing to the move, but the reality is that no amount of research equals to actually being there on a daily basis.
Moving Into Your First Apartment Is Something to Be Proud Of
Yeah, there are a lot of new responsibilities that come with your new place, but don’t let anything ruin the excitement of getting out on your own and experiencing a new milestone.
Do you have anymore tips for moving into your first apartment? Let us know in the comment section below.