Moving house is expensive – there are all kinds of costs associated like bond, movers, letting fees, stocking the pantry, things your previous flatmates owned like TVs, furniture and pots. Before this comes into play there is the most difficult part of moving house to complete – finding a place that is (a) affordable (b) clean (c) not next to a train track (from personal experience let me assure you that it should be a dealbreaker) and (d) in an area that you want to live in.
From recent experience, here are some things to take into account:
1. Every time you move house the rent will probably go up – and your income may not. You’ve got to work out what your absolute upper limit is. This may include rearranging your lifestyle ambitions and cutting down on gigs, eating out etc.
2. If you have time to spare before having to commit to a new place, do your research on Trade Me and other sites. Find out if your budget, ideal location etc is realistic.
3. As someone recently said – if it doesn’t look good in the photos, don’t even bother looking.
4. Check things like noise, safety getting from your car and whether you have to pay for water. These things can really ruin a place.
5. If it has been on Trade Me for more than a day – there’s probably a reason it hasn’t gone. Stalk Trade Me and try to be the first person to contact the landlord. I found the only nice place in Auckland by spotting it as it was posted. I had viewed and signed on the dotted line less than an hour later – by the time the landlord got home there were nine other applicants.
6. Think about what you have, how it will fit and what you need. It’s easier to get rid of excess furniture and rubbish before moving. It can also give you a bit of extra cash to help with the bond – because chances are you will have to pay bond and maybe even rent before you get the bond back from your current place.
7. Don’t be too proud to let people help you. I’ve been given an astonishing amount of kitchen gear for your new home – it’s hugely helpful to not have to buy everything I didn’t have. While it’s a little bit overwhelming – I’m willing to receive so others have the opportunity to enjoy giving – and I’m inspired to help others out.
8. If you can afford it, why not get movers – especially if you have heaps of stuff or have moved in the last 12 months. If people offer to help, by all means take them up on it – but don’t punish people for their kindness by taking up their whole Saturday and letting them put their back out carrying your heavy stuff while you stand their giving directions. It goes without saying that coffee, lunch and a thank you gift goes a long way.
9. Speaking of friends – don’t move too far away from the important people in your life. A place that is near to friends or at least motorways is important if you don’t want to be home all the time. Parking for visitors is also really helpful.
10. Try to be realistic and patient. If you can – try not to sign up for a place out of desperation. Loving where you live is pretty important.