Moving Out for the First Time: The Good, The Bad, & The Stressful AF
Written by: Briana Wright @misswrighttv
Moving out is one of the most pivotal moments in a young adult's life. Now, when that is, really depends on the person and their circumstances.
Back in high school, if you asked me would I be 24 years old and still living at home, there's NO WAY I would have said yes. But, that's not what life had planned for me. And for those who were either blessed financially to move out early or forced to for any reason- I COMMEND YOU!
I say this because, despite the trendy apartment keys x marble kitchen counter photos we see so often on the gram, moving out is NO JOKE. I got a crash course in this when I recently traveled to Atlanta to meet my coworkers and search for apartments in the city I'll soon call home.
I went down there with a plan, tons of options and what I thought was solid preparation. What I realized within two days was, none of that stuff matters. Unfortunately, there's some things that you just have to learn from experience. But, for a heavy organizer, planner & over-thinker (cough, cough- VIRGO) like myself, this sent me into multiple mental breakdowns.
With that, I'm here to alleviate as much of the mental distress as possible with telling you all the things that I didn't know prior to my week-long trip of apartment hunting. If I can help even one person to not go through what I went through, then I will feel fulfilled! So, let's get into it:
Number 1 (& the most frustrating thing for me within this experience) is that leasing offices are awful. Apparently, everyone knew this but I was not one of those people.
They seldom answer the phone, you can speak to an 'off-site leasing agent' and then an 'on-site leasing specialist' for THE SAME DAMN PROPERTY and get two completely different answers. And sometimes, they're just not that welcoming.
I suggest, 1.) rate the apartments with better communicating leasing offices higher on your list of options. This will be indicative of how they maneuver when you need to contact leasing for any other reason while living there (maintenance, rent issues, complaints, etc.)
2.) If you get in touch with any office, ask to speak to someone directly on-site! If they can't speak at the moment, get an email address and leave your info. I find that they're more likely to email you than call you, but you have to be patient.
3.) Ask as many questions as possible when you do get someone on the phone. Apartments.com , Apartment List, and even their own websites are often inaccurate. If you can find out the real deets for things that matter to you (included appliances, pet policy, utility bundles, availability for YOUR PREFERRED MOVE-IN DATE, etc.) you may save yourself an unnecessary trip.
Number 2, DON'T LOOK FOR WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD but rather, what you can afford AND SOME.
These apartments will tell you, you need to make 3x the rent. First of all, this applies to your GROSS INCOME (before taxes), not the money you bring home each check. Some places won't clarify that and will scare you away, DON'T LET THEM!
Second of all, when you discover that the rent is exactly half or more of your monthly income, don't assume that it's within your means. You never want to have just enough for rent because somehow we forget, we still have to eat LOL.
Account for electricity, water, gas, groceries and whatever else you may end up paying for (wifi, phone bill, car insurance or commute money, etc.) I suggest adding on about $100 to your rent price unless they have some utility bundle included (but even then, budget like your rent is a couple hundred more than it is to have cushion room for when sh*t happens).
Number 3 (& the most important), know that YOUR JOURNEY IS UNIQUE TO YOU!
A wise man once told me, "comparison is the killer of joy," and boy, was that accurate. As I mentioned earlier, moving into an apartment these days can seem more trendy than realistic. But, trying to keep up with social media within this process (& most others) will be your downfall.
Remind yourself that this space isn't going to be your lifelong home and therefore, does not have to be "perfect." Also, challenge the word "perfect" and ask yourself, "perfect according to whom? Society's standards? Pinterest? Or me?" Hardwood floors are modern and chic, but love, if YOU hate wearing socks and shoes then maybe carpeted floors are more your speed!
Make the best decisions for YOU, not the gram, your parents, or anyone else, because none of them will be paying your bills when you're on your own! You will!
Pace yourself throughout this process and give yourself grace (especially, if it's your first apartment!) Know that there will be bumps in the road so it's important to remain positive!
Also know that the you will eventually have all that you want in a living space, whether it's this one or the next. What's meant for you is already your's and in God's divine timing, you'll have it all.
With these three tips, I hope that you'll have a stress-free move when that time comes for you. Remember, experience is the best teacher so, you're guaranteed to learn more. But hopefully, your transition will be as seamless as possible.
Let me know if you found this and/or the vlogs helpful! Comment, like and don't forget to subscribe! There's always more on the way.