Buying or renting your first house or apartment is an exciting time, but it can be a bit scary too! After all, you’re making a commitment financially and personally, and you don’t want to jeopardize either your money or your happiness by making the wrong decisions. Therefore, you need to plan this project carefully and do all the calculations possible to ensure you have the money and choose the right place to live.
Finding the right place to live
When you’re house or apartment hunting, you’ll probably have to view many different prospective dwellings before you find one that suits you. Don’t be tempted to go over your budget, because the joy of having a bigger place will soon turn to stress and anxiety when you find yourself struggling to pay the rent.
Your new home needs to be a sensible distance from where you work, so you don’t start racking up traveling costs, and you also need to try to find a place in the most respectable part of town that you can afford. You should also consider what your living priorities are, so for instance, if you work from home, you’ll need somewhere to set up your home office where it’s going to be conducive to productive working. Or if you’re a keen cook, does the kitchen have the potential for being a comfortable, well-laid out and equipped space in which to work?
The outside space is also important. Does it have adequate parking for your car if you own one? Do you have your own outside space to use and care for or a communal area in which you can relax?
If you have a good friend who is also looking for somewhere to live, then sharing works well for many people. You do need to make sure that your roommate is someone you can get on with, and who’ll do their fair share of the household chores – not to mention paying the bills on time!
Budgeting for your move
You should find out what you can afford before heading off to any viewings, and that means listing your income and expenditure so you can work out a budget and see what your balance is at the end of the month. If you’re short of where you’d like to be, see whether you could adjust your spending to economize, but don’t put too much of a squeeze on your money. If you don’t have a buffer for emergencies, you could quickly run out of cash and get into trouble.
Don’t forget you’ll have bills to pay such as power, cable TV, Internet and phone connections, and insurance. These are all standard living expenses when you have your own home.
Using credit facilities
You may want to take advantage of credit facilities to cover more significant expenses that you could face when setting up home, for example, the moving fees, furniture and equipment, and soft furnishings. You need to be aware that if you’re looking for credit and making applications, these will show up on your credit record. Having multiple applications for credit raises red flags to financial institutions, and could lower your credit rating. Try to stick to soft inquiries that don’t impact your record, and if you do have multiple inquiries on your record, find out about how to get them removed.
Furnishing your new home
You can often rent apartments fully or partially furnished, which can cost more but saves you the hassle of buying and transporting your own items. Don’t go too mad when shopping for your new place though; you’re better off buying good quality essentials and saving for other items you need rather than blowing your money making your apartment look like a showpiece. You’ll often find friends and family have items they’re willing to give or lend to you to help you set up, and it can be a lot of fun shopping online or using discount codes for whatever you’re missing.
Looking towards having your own home is a thrilling experience, and if managed well, it can make a big difference to your life. Get your priorities straight and keep your ear to the ground to find the best apartments and houses, and don’t rush into anything unless you’re sure it’s the right place and you have all your finances straight. It could be the start of great things to come, the first step onto the property ladder. You want to be able to enjoy having your own place, so do your planning and preparation to ensure everything goes smoothly.