apartmentIs it time for you to finally take the leap and move out of your parents home? If it is, and if you’re moving into your very first apartment, there are a few things you’re going to need to know before taking this big step.

Let’s take a look at some of these things you need prior to signing your name on a dotted line and taking the leap.

Figure Out if You’re Going to Live With Someone
Before anything else, you need to decide if you’re going to be living with a roommate or not. If you are, you’re going to be able to split the cost of your rent, have help around the apartment, and have someone to contribute to buying apartment necessities. Even though this may seem like a great option for you, especially since it’s likely your first time on your own, there are risks that come along with having a roommate. They might not keep up with your rent, might have a completely opposite schedule, or may not be similar enough to you, causing inevitable conflict and roommate drama.

Start Looking for Places Early
Looking for a place to live months in advance is key. A lot of landlords or rental property management groups like to have their next tenants lined up well in advance, even if their current tenant’s lease isn’t up for two or three more months. Take this time to look at a bunch of different places that are close to everything you’re going to need. Look at places that are close to work, your friends, your family, and even grocery stores. It’s okay to look at many different places; you want to make sure you’re choosing the perfect location for the next few years or so.

Consider Your Budget
Money is going to be the key to getting an apartment. Money is also going to be the key to living in an apartment. Without money, you won’t be able to buy groceries, pay your utility bills, or pay for things you need for your space. Take a few hours and come up with a budget. This budget should include how much you’re going to need for utilities, groceries, clothes, your car (if you have one), and other bills. Doing this will help you significantly in the long run because you’ll be able to see if you can afford luxury apartments or not. More than 50% of the renter respondents in a recent survey said renting is a better choice for living within a budget and having less stress than owning a home, but almost anything is more stressful than living rent-free with your folks.

Moving into your first place can be exciting, but there are a few steps you need to take before settling in. Take a look at a few of the steps listed above and use them when searching for your very own space.