Under the right circumstances, moving out of the family home for the first time can be an exciting and exhilarating experience for a young adult. Blessed independence and freedom! I remember how daunted I was when I first decided to take the huge step of moving into my own apartment. Everyone seemed to know all the ins and outs of things like bond, rent in advance, leases, connecting utilities and even how to find packaging materials for the move, except me.
That is why, I have decided to make a short list, for those other young people out there, taking their first tentative steps into adult life.
Here are a few things I learned along the way.
Sharing or solo?
Many young people decide to ease their way into independence by first moving into shared accommodation. The high cost of renting alone is often a large consideration when making that decision, especially the initial outlay for bond and rent in advance, which can be in the thousands of dollars.
However, the drawbacks of sharing a house with one or more people, especially strangers, are very real and need to be considered. Many potential flatmates will:
- Be reluctant to pay their share of rent, food or bills
- Be messy
- Make noise
- Have friends over
- Not respect your boundaries
The above is just a small selection of reasons cited by people who have experienced sharing and decided to go it alone. The best advice I can give, if you have no option but to share – pick your roommate wisely.
On the flipside, getting the right group of people living together, with similar interests and tastes, can be cheaper and much more fun than living alone.
New lease on life
Once you have found your new digs, chances are you will be asked to sign a 12 month lease. The usual terms will be four weeks rent in advance and the equivalent amount, will be held by the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority, as a security bond and returned when you vacate, provided everything is in the condition it was when you took up residence.
You will also be given a Condition Report with three days to complete and return it.
Note down anything and everything which is marked, damaged or not working in the apartment. At the end of your lease, you don’t want to lose bond money over something that wasn’t working when you moved in.
Making a move
Chances are, if this is your first apartment, you won’t have much stuff to move but you will still need some boxes, tape, blankets, bubble-wrap and other protective filling, for breakable items. Mark each moving box clearly with it’s contents and it’s intended destination, including the room it is to be placed in. We highly recommend making the move less stressful by using a trailer hire service.
Attempt to unpack as you go so you are not left surrounded by a jumble of your belongings, after moving day.
Setting up home
The best advice I can give regarding furniture for your new home is to buy it secondhand. Ebay and Gumtree are the ideal way to purchase home decor, for a fraction of the cost of new. Try to coordinate your purchases so you can have them picked up by your moving company or you can hire one van yourself and pick them all up on a single day.
Many real estate agents can now provide you with the details of companies who will connect all your services for you without the hassle of doing it yourself. Everything from phone, gas, electricity, Foxtel and the internet can be organised by these companies. The catch is, that you will be tied to whichever service providers they have a deal with.
Addressing the changes
So, you have found your property, moved all your possessions in and connected all your services, all that is left to do, is advise the necessary authorities of your new address.
- bank (for mailed statements)
- driver’s licence
- insurance company
- Medicare and;
- your place of employment for things such as group certificates.
Building up a solid rental history by being an ideal tenant will mean that the process of moving will get easier, with each consecutive move. Living responsibly and independently means you have graduated in your final step to adulthood. You can now begin to make this new home into something, uniquely special and truly your own.