Moving Into A New Apartment
Explore the Area
Explore the area around potential apartment complexes prior to signing your name to a lease. Sarah Young Fisher and Susan Shelly, in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s,” explain that “location is central to choosing an apartment.” They recommend exploring areas close to your job or school, or favorite shopping and entertainment areas. Also, take time to assess whether or not the neighborhood is a safe one, as well as whether or not needed businesses and services are located nearby. For example, even though you may spot a convenience store down the road, you may want to pass over the apartment complex that is located a 30-minute drive from the nearest gas station or grocery store.
Research the Apartment
You need to research the apartment and the complex facilities prior to moving day as well. Fisher and Shelly recommend developing a checklist of questions to ask the landlord or apartment manager when you visit a complex. These questions cover the specific apartment, such as if the unit contains appliances and if you can have a designated parking space close by. Other questions cover the complex facilities, such as if a laundry room, workout room and garbage services are provided for residents. You also need to ask questions about your lease, such as what utilities will be included in the rent and how much notice you must give before moving.
Plan for Costs
Plan for the costs associated with moving into a new apartment well ahead of time. Fisher and Shelly point out that most complexes require you to pay at minimum a security deposit and first month’s rent prior to moving in. Complexes may also require an additional month’s rent as well as other fees, such as pet deposits. You also need to consider the costs associated with connecting utilities in your new apartment. Martha Poage, in “The Moving Survival Guide: All You Need to Know to Make Your Move Go Smoothly,” explains that you will likely have to pay fees to initiate utility services, which may include electric or gas, water, garbage, sewer, and cable and phone services.
Plan the Move
Develop a checklist and a calendar to help your move go smoothly once you reach moving day. Poage recommends creating a calendar that includes important dates, such as when to begin and finish your packing, as well as when to sign your lease and set up utility services. You may also want to pack a moving kit with items that you will need once you reach your new apartment. You may find that you need cleaning tools to care for unexpected messes on the day of the move, such as a vacuum cleaner, mop or broom and dustpan, as well as cleaning solutions and cloths. Other helpful items to pack in the kit include a shower curtain and rings, toilet paper and paper towels, kitchen and bath towels, drinking water and a change of clothes.