5 Steps To Make Life Easier When Apartment Hunting

Moving into your first apartment, whether it be by yourself or with roommates, it is a memorable milestone. The outcome is satisfying: having more independence, living somewhere you want to live, decorating the way you want and having a new home. On the other hand, while the process itself can be exciting, it can be stressful as well. Yet, there are ways to reduce the stress and make the apartment hunting and leasing process much smoother. Here are 5 steps to take to ensure a smooth apartment hunting process:

1. Find The Perfect Roommates

The first thing on your apartment to-do list should be finding ideal roommates if you are not planning on living alone. Make sure you are comfortable with the number of roommates you may have, and most importantly, make sure there is at least some level of trust between the group. Also, make sure everyone is compatible in a living environment. It is one thing to be close friends, but living with friends can often be difficult after a long time. There should be an agreement between roommates about do’s and dont’s when living together and on how to simply be respectful of each other and each other’s belongings.

2. Be On The Same Page In Every Possible Way

The next step is to make a game plan with you and your roommates. Everyone has a certain budget they can spend on an apartment and have their own preferences, therefore, you want to discuss and compromise on what are the best decisions for the group. Compromise on price, amenities that apartment complexes may offer, what floor you want to live in and even the smaller things, such as the amount of windows and which room you want to live in. Overall, it is extremely essential everyone is in complete agreement before moving on with the next steps.

3. Plan Ahead, Plan Ahead, Plan Ahead

The most important thing, in my opinion, is to plan ahead and simply be on top of everything. This includes looking at apartments early on for the following year, having your roommate group already established and already having an idea of what you want out of your apartment complex. This way you're not procrastinating on spending a lot of money on an important decision, and it reduces to a great deal of stress. You can also plan ahead by asking around friends and peers about their apartment hunting and what they may have done in the past, as well as go on the websites of complexes you may already be interested in.

4. Tour Apartments And Ask The Right Questions

A big part of finding the perfect apartment is touring different complexes. You can book a tour by going on the department's website, emailing the leasing director, or even calling the complex. Double check that you not only see the amenities of the complex but also a mock apartment of what you may be living in. This is helpful because you get to see the floor plan and what the apartment comes with. It is also important to ask the right questions. Ask questions regarding how long the lease is, what happens if something in the apartment breaks, how much it would cost monthly per person including utilities and wifi and be sure to ask about deposits—the list can go on and on. Basically, write down everything you and your roommates are concerned about and ask!

5. Confirmation

Finally, for the millionth time, double check with everyone in your group right before leasing the apartment you all desire. Also, double check with everyone's parents (if parents are the one paying for the apartment) in order to avoid potential disputes and miscommunication. Remember, you are spending a lot of money on something very important so it is okay to go over everything with a fine comb brush. Then the fun part comes with no stressing—moving in and decorating. Again, make sure all your roommates agree on the decor or theme and that it fits everyone's budget. Now, you are ready for a life of more independence, responsibility and hopefully more fun!