One of the purest joys of life is in finally moving out of your parents’/guardians’ house and finally getting a place of your own. It is a step that is usually marked with a great sense of achievement and pride. However, finding the right place is a tricky affair, especially in this modern age, so here are a few tips/considerations to help you along your way to picking out the right place. Make sure to compile a moving checklist so that you don’t forget about anything important.
As the first rule of real estate goes, location, location, location. Contrary to popular belief, location is the most important consideration (more important than price) when looking for a new place. What kind of area is the place in? Is it near your place of work? Is the area safe? Are there any amenities close by, for example, supermarkets or hospitals? These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself before ultimately settling for a place. Also, it is important to note that some locations are more expensive than others, so it is necessary to come up with a price range first before settling for a particular location.
Price is another consideration. Before you even start looking for a place, you should already have a pre-set budget or price range that you can comfortably afford. Having this set price range at the back of your mind will help you have a much more focused house hunting expedition as you already know what you’re comfortable parting with in terms of rent. The standard rule is that rent should not exceed 30% of your monthly income, so look for places within your budget and live within your means. Also, remember to factor in the overhead costs, such as transport to and fro work/school, cost of utilities, basic expenses and so on to the total tally to see whether it is an actual viable investment. Additionally, most places will ask you to pay a security deposit upfront, so it will be wise to factor that in also.
Size is also another important consideration. What kind of size of apartment are you looking for? A one bedroomed flat? A two bedroomed house? Five bedrooms? The size of the place is usually commensurate with the number of people living in the house. If you’re single and just starting out, perhaps a one-bedroomed apartment will suit you more, or even a bedsitter than a two or three bedroomed apartment. It just depends on your needs and budget. For people with larger families, perhaps places with bigger space specifications would suit them better than a tiny single-roomed flat. Again, it just depends on your space needs and budget. Also, apart from the number of people, another important factor regarding size is whether the place will be able to accommodate your belongings, for example, furniture, electronics and so on, so this is another thing that you should definitely have at the back of your mind.
4. Security and safety standards.
Although security and safety are primary factors covered under location, there are other things that you should consider when it comes to these two elements. Does the place have gated security? Does the house have bolted doors and grilled window sills to prevent burglars from breaking in? Does the building have a fire escape in case of a fire? Does the building have a health and safety compliance certificate? These are all important questions you need to ask before actually deciding whether to move in or not.
5. Availability of basic amenities.
This is also another factor to consider when making a decision about moving in. Does the place have basic amenities such as water, electricity, internet connectivity and so on? Does the place have backup systems for all these amenities, for example, a backup generator or a water reservoir or even a borehole? You need to be provided with all this information beforehand, so you can make an informed decision about moving or not. After all, apart from value for money, your comfort is at stake and therefore, you can never ask too many questions.