It’s time. Time to move out of my parents’ house.
Honestly, I wanted to move out eight months ago, but I couldn’t afford to. Now, I have a little more savings, but it’s more about gaining independence and a space rather than actually having sufficient funds. Bottom line: I want to feel like a real person.
I’ve just started to seriously look for a place, so I’m still figuring out exactly what I want.
Here is what I’m discovering along the way:
To figure out exactly where I can afford to live, I compare prices at average-rent.findthedata.org. The site allows users to refine a search down to the state, county and zip code. Prices are listed in terms of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments.
Priorities: I want a laundry machine in the apartment, or at least close by. Hauling my clothes to some remote location with a pocket full of quarters at midnight is an inconvenience I’m hoping to avoid. I want a gym I can walk to. I want a grocery store or some kind of convenience store close by in case I’m stuck in a blizzard and need bread (or, realistically, hot chocolate mix). I want parking.
Questions I should ask the landlord: Some good advice that I’ve gotten is to ask what the average utility bills are for the apartment, make sure the apartment has easy access to Internet and cable, know the penalties of moving out before the agreed time, who is responsible for repairs and what the guest policy is.
Take a tour and inspect: Freshome.com says check the pipes, sink faucets, shower heads and water. Make sure all electricity and appliances are working. Check the windows to make sure they slide up and down and lock properly. Make sure the walls are thick enough that you can’t hear noise next door. Also, visit during rush hour to see if you can hear a lot of street noise.
Related post: Ask these questions before renting