Deciding on a new place to live can be tough. House or apartment? One bedroom or two? City or suburbs? The possibilities are endless. If you’re considering moving into an apartment, there are a number of essential things to assess before making the big leap. For a successful apartment move, here are some must-know tips.
Choose an apartment based on your lifestyle. Choosing an apartment to live in involves much more than looking for big bedrooms and a nice layout – it also means taking numerous things into consideration, like location, convenience and even the neighbors. Moving into an apartment only to find out that it doesn’t meet your needs or lifestyle can be problematic. To avoid a potential nightmare of choosing the wrong place to live, always research all of your options, and be cautious when making a final decision.
Inspect and document pre-existing damage. Whether you purchased an apartment or are simply renting one, moving to a new residence that’s in need of repairs is going to be a burden to deal with. If you bought an apartment, it’s important to be aware of any issues that will need to be fixed quickly after moving in. This will allow you to plan ahead and create a budget.
If you are renting an apartment, be sure to inspect it carefully for any problems, and document any pre-existing damage. Not only will this provide you with a list of needs to give your landlord, but it will also provide evidence of the initial condition of the property so you won’t be held responsible for damages when the time comes to move out.
Understand your lease. When given a wordy document to read, like a lease, many just skim and sign where required. Unfortunately, not reading the fine print can lead to potential problems, so take the time to read your lease thoroughly. Sit down with your landlord and go over all terms and conditions. Discuss any clauses you fail to comprehend or terms you are uncomfortable with. Also ask about important issues, such as:
- Available storage
- Available parking spaces
- Trash disposal location, dates and times
- Maintenance hours
It’s also important to find out about any specific conditions that may cause the rent to increase, if there are extra fees for late payments, and if there are any penalties for breaking a lease early.
Assess the layout. Before moving into your new apartment, you want to assess the layout (and take measurements!) so you will know what belongings to pack and bring with you come moving day. This is an especially important step if you are moving to a smaller place. If you want to keep some of your belongings, but there’s just not enough space, knowing the exact dimensions of your new apartment will let you know which belongings you’ll need to move to a storage unit.
Coordinate deliveries. No, we’re not talking about pizza deliveries – although you will probably do a lot of those after you move in. What we are actually talking about here is furniture deliveries (or other large items). Some apartment buildings have strict rules about what days or times you can move in – this includes big deliveries, like a truck full of furniture. Before you assume any day or time is fair game, check with your landlord first. This will help you better arrange move-in times and deliveries so everything can be brought into your new place at the same time.
Learn the rules. Most apartments come with a set of rules to follow. Some may include:
- Moving and parking fees
- Pre-defined moving times
- Elevator deposits
- Accessibility of elevators/freight elevators
- Cleaning requirements
- Pet restrictions
- Renovation projects
- Safety regulations
Take care of paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork to take care of when moving, like changing your address with the post office, updating your car’s registration and insurance, voter’s registrations, etc. Handling these things before your move is ideal, but if you can’t tackle it ahead of time, just be sure you do it quickly after moving in. Some of these things may require you to take care of them within a specific deadline, and if you put it off for too long, you may have to pay a fine.
Prepare for emergencies. In the events of a disaster (fire, earthquake, etc.), exiting an apartment is much more difficult than getting out of a house. This being said, it is very important to learn the quickest and safest escape route, along with safe areas nearby to take shelter. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit strategically placed in your apartment in case of emergencies. Be sure to store a list of emergency numbers in your phone as well as place a written list of these numbers inside your emergency kit.
Moving into an apartment may seem difficult, but with these must-know tips, you can turn a stressful situation into a successful one. For more moving tips and tricks, ABC Movers is your number one source!