Beginners Guide for Moving into your First Apartment

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While you are certainly excited about your first move, odds are you are probably a little nervous as well. You’re unsure of everything from what papers you’ll need to sign to how you should decorate. From the apartment hunt to your first week in the new apartment, this guide will help make your transition much smoother.

Searching for an Apartment
Fortunately, searching for an apartment is easy when you search online. In fact, you can even use your smart phone to search for apartments while you wait in line at the grocery store or are taking a break at work. If you’re open to a number of different types of apartments in your location, you can try a short-tail search like, “Florida Apartments” or “Apartments in New York.” If you are looking for a specific type of apartment, you might try a long-tail search like, “New Mexico apartments with a gym close to shopping.” Don’t forget to bookmark your results so you can compare later.

Searching for a new apartment is both thrilling and nerve wracking, but you can boost the thrill and reduce the nerves if you take the time to consider how budget, neighborhood, and privacy figure in to your dream apartment. Remember that everyone’s living needs are unique, so just because your best friend loves an apartment doesn’t mean it will be your best fit.

The Approval/Paperwork Process
After you’ve found the apartment that’s right for you, getting approved to live there is the next step. Generally, this requires a background check, credit report, and references. After being approved, you will setup a time with the property manager to sign the lease. Most people think of the lease as a document that simply stipulates how much they will pay in rent per month. However, the lease is actually much more comprehensive. It outlines behaviors that could result in eviction or penalties as well as your and the landlord’s or management firm’s responsibilities when it comes to damage. Read the lease carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t agree with or understand. If you have problems with the lease, bring them up with the property manager to determine if changes can be made. If not, you may need to look for another apartment. Once you’ve signed the lease, the apartment is officially yours.

Move-In Day
Your lease will stipulate a move-in day, so you can start getting your friends, family members, and professional movers in line right away. Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, moving is time consuming, so it’s best to do as much of the work as possible before move-in day. On the day you move, all of your items should already be stored in moving boxes, which should be labeled by room. Make sure to mark any fragile boxes, as well as boxes that contain items you will need right away,

In addition to having your boxes packed and ready to go, it’s also beneficial to have a move-in plan. Determine which people will be assigned to which room, and have them look out for the boxes you will need right away. They can unpack these for you while neatly arranging the others for you to unpack later.

Your First Week
The first week after your move is generally the hardest. Odds are, you still have to work or go to school, but your home is unorganized because you’re still deciding where everything goes. Make the process easier by going from room to room and arranging furniture and belongings. Store all of your decor in a closet, and once you’ve arranged all your furniture and belongings, you can take a whole weekend to decorate.

While moving into your first apartment can be overwhelming, it can also be great fun. Surround yourself with positive people and have a plan in mind, and your move will go quickly and smoothly.

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