1. Signs That It Is Time To Move
There are plenty of reasons why it could be time for a change.
When space is tight or there is too much empty space
One of the most obvious tell-tale signs that it’s time to move is when you no longer have room. Maybe you had a baby or you need an extra guest room or maybe you just keep tripping all over your own stuff. On the other hand, empty nesters could benefit from downsizing.
You’re ready for an upgrade
If you are able to move to a nicer neighborhood or to a nicer home, go for it.
A new opportunity
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, moving for a new job or a job transfer is the top job-related reason for moving.
You want to move away from the city
Suburbs come with a lower cost of living, more square footage, safe neighborhoods, and good schools.
An uncomfortable surrounding
One of the top reasons for moving is a lack of safety in the neighborhood. Disruptive neighbors, loud dogs and environmental hazards are all valid reasons to look for a new home.
A change in your status
If you are in a stable relationship, moving in with your significant other is the next step. If things are going south in your relationship, it’s perhaps time to move out and move on. If you inherited money or got a raise, you can upgrade to a better home. If you lost a job, downsizing can help you transition through this challenging period.
2. What To Look for When Searching for an Apartment
Before you start your apartment hunt, make sure you have a plan lined up.
Make a list of non-negotiables
Your apartment hunt will go a lot easier if you know what you’re looking for.
The most beautiful apartment isn’t worth much if it makes your daily commute unbearable,
When you commit to a new apartment, you’re committing to a new neighborhood. Take the time to explore the area.
It’s always wise to ask for the average cost of utilities as older buildings tend to have poor to no insulation which can cause extremely high Pepco utility bill. When calculating what you can afford, don’t forget to include other monthly expenses like heat, electricity, and Internet.
Make sure it’s safe
In a perfect world, everything follows the code and is as safe as possible. But, we don’t live in a perfect world so you need to make sure this is the case.
3. Apartment Hunting Tips and Mistakes
If only apartment hunting was as simple as finding a place and signing a lease.
Assuming leases are the same
While not carefully reading your apartment lease can save you time, it can lead to trouble down the road. A lease is a legal contract and you are bound by what it says so make sure you read it and understand it before you sign it.
Following your heart instead of your budget
Love at first sight is hard to ignore and it makes us believe we can afford something that we can’t. You need to have a number in mind and stick to it to avoid a lot of headaches down the road.
Ignoring the pre-existing damage
Fight the urge to move quickly and inspect the apartment firsthand. You can also ask to take photos so you can look at details afterwards. You cannot afford to overlook the imperfections as they will come back to haunt you, forcing you to pay for a damage you didn’t make.
Thinking you don’t need insurance
Insurance is a part of renter’s fees for a reason, it allows you to sleep peacefully at night.
Takeaway – Whether it’s your first apartment or you’re moving for what feels like the hundredth time, the process can be both exciting and overwhelming. To make sure you find the perfect apartment for your needs, it’s important to conduct a thorough search.