So it’s time to plan the dreaded move and yes finding a place to live. I can tell you from experience; it can be a daunting task that can leave you with a less than desirable place to live unless you plan ahead. I will give you my top lessons learned from a past move and help you avoid the pitfalls that happened to me.
Tip #1: If moving for a job, be sure you have confirmation first. I got stuck in a less than desirable living situation after giving my intent to vacate, only to have the new job fall through.This left me with only two months to find a new apartment to move into. My landlord had already accepted an offer from a new tenant and there were no other available apartments at that time. I had to scramble to go out and find an alternate living situation quickly. That did not give me enough time to consider all of my options. Check with your current landlord to consider all of your options first, concerning giving intent to vacate should you need a backup plan.
Tip #2: Research the reviews for the community in which you have an interest. I found that apartmentratings.com gives an accurate account of most apartment communities. When I was forced to look for another apartment, I simply took one based on the amenities I was looking for. Consider the type of person you are. Do you need sleep due to shift work? Are you a light sleeper, like myself? Do you have a low tolerance for noise? Sometimes you may have to skimp on some amenities in order to keep your sanity. Don’t count out older apartment communities either, so long as they are kept up to par. They often have thicker insulation and better construction. Most apartments built in the 2000s were done so with cheaper building materials.
Tip #3: Consider the management and their approach to handling customer concerns. Ask the important questions such as: What is their noise tolerance policy? What type of people move into the community (young professionals, families)? Ask if you can see a vacant apartment (some show you a furnished apartment and this may not give an accurate account of what you are looking for). Ask if they incorporate the water or other amenities into the monthly rent and if so what the average cost is. You may also consider asking about their move out fees and policy. You don’t want to get stuck with an unforeseen bill.
Tip #4: Consider the community you wish to move to and the ease of transition. Ask yourself what you are looking for: walkability to restaurants, schools, shopping, and safety. City Data Forum is a great place to ask questions of the locals about their community and living experiences. Try and visit the area first to take a look for yourself. Also hire moving help; it will allow for an easier transition. If renting a U-Haul, they have an option to hire movers and give a choice of providers in your area. I found that they were more reliable than hiring on my own.
These are roadblocks I could have avoided and saved myself two haphazard moves eight months apart. I do hope you also find them helpful in preparing for in your next move. Happy moving!