One of the first decisions that you’re going to have to make as newlyweds is where you’re going to live. For some, choosing your first apartment might be simple because one of you already owns a place the other can move into, or you already share the same home. For others, it can be quite a daunting task.
If you’re starting out a budget, the best idea might be to rent an apartment for the first couple years to get a feel for which part of your city you want to settle down in, and find out what you’re really looking for in a home. Here’s our best tips on hunting for that perfect first place:
Figure out how much you can afford together: A common way to decide how much you put towards rent is spending no more than 25% of your monthly income. Its important to sit down and go over your finances together right away, that way there will be no confusion on how much you can put towards your rent. Choose a maximum budget and use it in your search criteria, this will save a lot of sorting through places you simply can’t afford.
Create criteria for each of your ideal apartments, find the similarities and differences. Maybe it’s essential for your man to have a gym in the building, and maybe it’s a total necessity for you to have in-suite laundry. Can’t stand electric stoves? Speak up! Hash out what’s important to you, what you can live without and what you simply can’t. This is one of the first experiences of compromise you’ll have in your marriage…
Find out what’s included before you view the apartment: Before getting excited about the “perfect place” you found on craigslist, check what utilities and appliances are included in your rent and apartment. That way you won’t end up stuck with extra bills at the end of the month, and total disappointment when you realise there is no dishwasher, or that you have to walk half a mile to do your laundry in your “dream place.”
Have pets? Find out the pet policy right away to avoid disappointment: If you have a pet, or are planning on adding a furry friend to your family in the near future, make sure you know the policy. Some apartments straight out don’t allow pets, some allow certain types of pets, and some allow pets if they are under a certain size.
Find out if you have to sign a minimum lease, or if it’s month to month: Depending on many factors, this may be important for you. Are you happy to agree to spending one whole year in the place you choose? Or do your circumstances require you to be a bit more transient? Find out if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Learn to love the vintage hunt: So you want to have that perfect little place, but simply don’t have the budget to buy expensive new things? Spend your Saturdays sorting through vintage and thrift stores for some eclectic pieces to make your place special! If you’re crafty, its easy to spend a little time refurbishing, painting and fixing things up!