It’s finally time: you’re old enough, you’re mature enough and you have the funds, so you’re ready to move out.
Or, are you?
Unfortunately, the decision isn’t always as clear-cut as that. We’ve put together the following six tips to make the decision – and transition – into your new home as easy as possible. Start reading, take notes, and you might just be turning the key sooner rather than later.
Your financial standing
This is the logical first step in any home search. You have to consider how much money you have saved for a down payment, how much debt you have and how much income you have to pay your monthly rent or mortgage. Sites like Zillow offer easy-to-use calculators which’ll consider all these factors and tell you how much you can comfortably spend on a home to buy.
Home maintenance basics
Moving out means you won’t be able to rely on your parents for home maintenance help anymore. Before you leave, learn all of the basics from your mom or dad. That means you’ll have to start doing laundry and cooking easy meals. You might want to learn how to do minor repairs on your car. Your parents might even show you how to balance your checkbook, pay your bills and other important financial upkeep that’ll keep you in line as you set out on your own.
Best places to buy (or rent)
You probably already have an idea of where you’d like to live, but it might not be realistic with your budget, your work commute or a number of other factors. Therefore, you’ll have to research the market and find neighborhoods that meet all of your criteria while still fitting within your budget.
Consider sharing your space
A great way to make your home more affordable is to share it with someone who will contribute to rent. This consideration can actually open up more neighborhoods and properties that you might not be able to afford on your own.
Sharing also means you’ll have to consider yourself as a housemate, too. It means you have to improve your communication skills and be kind and considerate to the person you’re sharing with. Spoiler alert: a roommate is much different than living with mom and dad, so understanding how to cohabitate and treat another with respect is key prior to moving in with someone other than a family member who has to put up with you – out of love, of course.
Study your loan choice
Clearly, your financial situation is an important consideration – this is the second time it’s coming up on this list, after all. Once you have decided you can and wish to buy a place, you’ll have to evaluate all of the mortgages available to you.
Questions you should ask yourself might include how much interest you’ll have to pay and whether you want a 15 or 30-year mortgage. Preparing prior to meeting with a loan officer will mean you’re not blindsided by the amount of options, numbers, etc., you’ll have to consider prior to signing on the dotted line.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Finally, you’ve made a move toward independence, but that doesn’t mean you’re entirely on your own. You can hire people to help you throughout the process, including realtors and movers to get your stuff from point A to point B. But you should never feel afraid to ask your parents, family members and friends for help and advice. This is a big choice, and it’s good to have multiple opinions on it. Plus, the people who love you will only want the best for you, which means they’ll only be willing and happy to answer your questions and quash your concerns.
At the end of the day, moving is a big choice. But by doing research and preparing for the change, you’ve made it clear you’re on the right path and ready for the challenge.