Tips for Moving into a First Apartment in Houston 07/28/2018By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group So, you have really determined that it is time to fly from the nest and be out on your own. This will be a very exciting time, but it is also brimming with questions that will need to be answered. The mixture of jubilation and trepidation that takes place during these times is understandable. That is why we are here to help you with some first time moving tips that provide for a successful launch. Deciding Whether to Use Professionals Of course, it may be tempting to bribe your friends with pizza and soda to help with the move. Conserving money by not having to hire professional movers is a normal want, but you should think twice. If you are not preparing to be hiring a professional mover in Houston then you are going to have to take a closer look at your items. You need to also make sure that family and friends are even willing to assist. In a perfect world, the help from both groups would be available. We can always use an extra assistant or two but this is no substitute for the help and experience that a professional moving company can provide. Make a Checklist for Things You Have Taken for Granted & Think About Your Budget To say it another way what are the items that you have always expected would be paid for by your parents? There are so many items that are in this category and you cannot make the mistake of neglecting to plan for any of them. Do you know anything about utilities or insurance? Have you ever been to the grocery by yourself? Don't think that you already know everything that you need to know. Sit down with your parents and ask about all of the things that they have done for you. You could end up being aghast by the extended list of things that you get handed to you because of this much-needed conversation. Are you aware of everything you need to pay for? If utilities are bundled with the rent, super, but that is very uncommon these days. If they are not bundled, then make sure you understand if you will be paying direct to the utility company or via the landlord (the latter is commonplace if your new home is not metered). Make a checklist of the bills. Basically, you will have to worry about utilities, cell phone, internet (and possibly cable, unless you plan on depending on streaming services). Also, you will want to get renters' insurance. It's inexpensive, may be required by your landlord, and commonly covers you in the event of theft, damage, and even some liability. Work out how much rent you can actually afford. It is pretty normal have your parents cosign on your first lease simply because you do not have the credit history. Yet, you must make sure you can actually afford the rent plus utilities plus food, etc. Work up a budget for the other expenses you have and then calculate how much you have. Work out what you must buy or acquire. You should do this after you have picked your apartment and signed the lease. For instance, if your new home has a built-in microwave, you will not need to purchase one. Assemble a checklist of what you need. Then, prioritize it so it is clear what you will want to purchase first and what you can wait on. Such as, you surely need sheets for your bed, but might be able to wait on throw rugs. Don’t forget you can acquire lots of things second hand if you want. Do Some Box Hunting A routine mistake that is made by first-time movers is a failure to get boxes ahead of time. By being as proactive as possible, a first-time mover has the power to avoid the hassles of trying to get moving materials at the eleventh hour. In the month before the move, make sure to stop by local retailers to figure out where you should go for the boxes that you need. Some may give them to you for free and others may ask for a nominal fee. Or, good quality moving supplies can always be bought from your local moving company in Houston. Finding the Right Neighborhood Choosing a home that is in the best area is all about thinking about the realities of your existence. How far of a drive is it to your job? What do you like to do in your free time? Choosing an apartment that doesn’t put you in a position where you will have a crazy long commute is usually key. Think about the community structure also. Are you someone who likes to stay up late or are you looking to settle down? Pick the neighborhood that aligns with your personal goals in this regard. Apartment Hunting in Houston Once you begin visiting apartments, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of deal-breaking problems are going to be hiding beneath the surface. For example, take a closer look at the windows to be sure that they are not water damaged or compromised in any way. Are the neighbors too noisy? What security features are available? What type of time-saving amenities are available at the site? Will it be easy for you to move your things inside? These are all questions that need to be answered in full prior to signing on the dotted line. Read the lease carefully. Be sure you know what you are signing. Asking your parents or an older friend for assistance is okay. Leases are often filled with confusing legal terminology and may have rules that seem odd. You need to know how to interpret your lease, not just sign it blindly. Moving In Unless hiring a moving company to pack for you, pack well in advance and over a few days. It's less stressful that way. Also, packing proactively helps make sure you pack the items you need least first and the things you need most last, so that when you unpack, these items will be on the top. Don't panic. Moving is an anxious time, and it is easy to work yourself into a "tizzy." Relax, and have fun with it. Hiring professional movers is usually less stressful than doing the move yourself. If doing any of the heavy lifting yourself, be sure to stay hydrated. Never pack a box that weights too much for you to lift. (This is another great reason to hire movers, who are used to lifting heavy boxes and much less likely to injure themselves.) Moving into your first apartment on your own (or even with a roommate) in Houston is a life changing event. Pay attention to the above suggestions to make it all go well and avoid getting into financial, or other, trouble. And, if you need help with moving in or to Houston, click here to contact us!!