It can be a daunting task taking the plunge to move out for the first time – we remember it well! Don’t let the challenge put you off though, read our guide and get looking for your new space; you won’t regret it…
Get Some Money Behind You
Start by finding out roughly how much rent will cost you in the area you wish to live. Realistically you will need to pay the first month as well as a deposit (normally the same amount as a month’s rent, sometimes more) as well as a holding deposit to ensure the house is reserved for you until you sign the paperwork.
You need to ensure you have this money at your disposal for when you start viewing properties otherwise you might get beaten to the punch by someone who is ready to pay upfront. If you’re struggling, a parent might lend you the deposit as you should get this money returned to you when you leave, assuming there is no damage to the property. If you’re moving in to student accommodation or similar, it may be a good idea to take photos of any current damage as you move in, upload these photos to a private Facebook album so you have proof of the date – that way if you get lumped with the costs of this damage, you have evidence.
Don’t Expect The Perfect Home
You’re likely to move several times before finding your ‘forever home’, and not everyone does find their perfect abode even after years of searching.
Try to find a balance of finding a place you like and just panicking and signing up with the first half decent flat you see. Make a list of what you are looking for in order of importance e.g. location, price, number of rooms, parking and use that as a guide when emotions take over.
If you need a parking space then there is no point in viewing a property without one just because it has a brand new swanky kitchen. If you don’t drive, do you really want to live a 30 minute walk from the nearest bus stop? These are the aspects of your home which will really affect your life, not the colour of the living room carpet or the type of wallpaper in the hall. View your potential new flats with a checklist of what you want – double glazing, central heating and a good shower are a few things we won’t budge for.
Choose Flatmates Wisely
Moving in with your best friend seems like a great idea at the time, but it can often end in disaster. Think about how you like to spend your time when you’re at home just now. Are you happy to read a book for hours on end whilst your best friend listens to house music until 4am? Just because you enjoy each other’s company doesn’t necessarily mean you will make compatible housemates.
Sometimes moving in with a friend who you aren’t too close with can be more appropriate, because you know each other enough to share a mutual trust but are happy to spend time apart or with other people. Be careful you don’t end up spending all of your time with flatmates as you WILL get on each other’s nerves; make time to go home and visit family and spend time with other friends.
Shop Around for Homewares
It’s likely you’ll need to purchase a few things before you move in to your new place – though most furnished apartments will have the basics, such as cutlery, crockery and a hoover but it is worth checking.
Before you move in, talk to your new flatmates and see what they have that they can bring so you’re not all taking the same items.
Cleaning and household essentials can be found in Aldi and Asda for cheap, as well as other items like baking trays and bedding.
Divide Up Tasks
Running a house comes with a lot of ongoing responsibility, which can seem overwhelming at first. Sit down with your flat mates and write down everything that needs done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Talk it through and be honest about where your strengths and weaknesses lie, handing out the tasks to the most qualified person. If you are terrible with numbers then let someone else deal with the bills, and offer to do something practical such as recycling all the wine bottles you’ll almost certainly collect!
If there is a task which no one wants to do (i.e. cleaning the bathroom) take it in turns so that everyone shares the job, ensuring to make a rota with everything you’ve agreed and display it somewhere to hold everyone accountable.
Always clean up after yourselves too, this will make a big difference in the longrun!
Hopefully you should now be ready to get flat hunting!
Do you have any tips for moving out for the first time?