After two years in our first post-grad apartment, my roommate are on to bigger and better things. We wrestled with the idea of moving last year around this time, but oh the boxes, the cold, the reconfiguring. Nope. Not happening. We stayed put. However, the time has come to bid our current pad adieu and make a change.
When we first decided to make the leap from our cozy, suburb, rent-free places of residence a little over two years ago, making a decision was simple. We worked with a local rental source (Promove) who basically did all of the work for us, with flexible move-in dates. It was fantastic. And easy. Seriously, if you are looking to make a move in Atlanta, go visit the guys at Promove.
However, this time around, no one gave us a heads up that switching apartments in grown up world and in a big city isn’t quite like moving in college where everyone operates on the same schedule and has visited every location in town.
Our apartment “must haves”:
- Less than $50 – $75 increase in current rent (though ideally less)
- Nearby running trails
- Safety – some form of gate / alarm
- Two bathrooms
- Large closets (seriously, this is Atlanta, not New York – we can afford not to budge on that one)
- A view – maybe. A girl can dream, right?
Since I’m certain I’m not the only twenty something figuring all of this out for the first time, here are the top four things we have learned in the last few months.
- Don’t begin seriously looking more than 60 days out, in our case, we really didn’t even start to see things opening up until less than 30 days from move out date.
- Craigslist is not entirely sketchy. We found more leads here than anywhere else, but always, always use your best judgement and take a friend when viewing a place. Also, check out PadMapper.com. This site basically takes posts from Craigslist and other similar sites and maps them for you.
- Use your mobile device to your advantage. We ended up finding our new place through an ad on Trulia. Trulia and Zillow are excellent sources for storing your favorite spots and seeing places on the go.
- Ask all of the right questions. We knew we didn’t want to be in a typical complex, which often means less rules and less tenants managed. Be sure to ask about deposits, potential move-in dates, pets, etc. as the management, building or owner views may vary.
Most important of all, have fun! Yes, it’s stressful. Of course with a month to go I wanted to know where I would be living next month. But…by taking the due diligence and patience route, it paid off. My roommate and I found a place that fits every requirement on our list (and then some) and even came in under budget. While I can’t wait to own a home to call my own, I cannot wait to jump ship and get to re-decorating, Pinteresting and making our new apartment, home.
What tips do you have from moving experiences? How did you find your current dream place?