The thought of moving into your first apartment can be pretty daunting. You’ll need to understand rent, deposits, insurance, grocery shopping, cleaning… it’s a lot of responsibility to take on. However, there are definitely signs that it is time to move out and into your own first apartment.
Ask yourself these questions… if you’re answering “Yes” for most of them, congratulations! The search is on!
If you find yourself thinking “No” for these questions, keep the topics in mind and give yourself some more time before starting the apartment hunt.
Are you ready for complete independence?
This may feel like an easy “YES!,” but think through what complete independence may mean. With little support from family, you will be on the hook for every aspect of your life, from paying bills on time to cooking each meal to keeping your apartment secure.
Are you feeling frustrated with your current living situation?
Unless you aren’t content with your current situation, don’t feel the need to move out right away. It’s a big commitment, so wait until you feel like it’s a good time to make the change.
Do you have good transportation options after your move?
How will you get to work? Are you able to get to and from the grocery store? Will you need to buy a car?
Do you have some basic housekeeping skills?
Do you know enough about the kitchen to cook yourself meals? Do your laundry? Clean your place?
How do you feel about living with roommates?
Many first apartment are actually roommate shares? Would you be willing to live with roommates? Do you have potential roommates in mind?
Have you done any preliminary research to determine what area you’d like to live in?
If you haven’t yet, start to research where you’d like to live.
Do you have a significant savings built up? (Check this calculator to see how much you need.)
Moving causes lots of expenses, from deposits to move-in fees to surprise expenses. You will need some significant cash ready for your move.
Do you have a steady source of income?
This is the most important requirement of your landlord, and potential landlords may reject you if your income does not meet the property’s requirements. Typically, you need to make at least 3 times your monthly rent.
Is your income enough to pay for rent, utilities, cable / Internet, renters insurance, and other monthly bills?
Similar to the above, remember that there are more bills than your cost of rent. Ask potential landlords for an estimate of electric and water for the unit and research extras like cable and parking.
Do you have resources to furnish an apartment?
Whether it’s money or hand-me-downs, think about how you can furnish your apartment to make it livable.