Whether you’re heading off to uni or you’ve landed that dream job in the city, when the time comes to make the break and move out from under your parent’s watchful gaze, the whole experience can be a little bit daunting. The team at Moginie James has helped lots of people to buy their first home, so it’s fair to say we’ve picked up the odd tip along the way. So here’s our handy guide to moving out for the first time…
1. Find the right place
This is not just about location, location, location, but the arrangements around how a starter house or a student property works can be just as important. Think about whether you want to share with people you already know or throw your lot in with complete strangers – both can work out but it’s important for everyone to be clear on how the arrangements are going to work. Especially from a financial perspective.
2. Set some ground rules
Just accept it, there are going to be disagreements. Grocery shopping, hogging the TV, late night sessions and genuine differences of opinion over what creates a tidy house are just a few of the more common issues. It’s much better to start off on the right foot with a set of basic rules around who should do what and when. Print them out, stick them on the fridge and try to foster a culture of openness where your house mates feel they can speak out when something starts annoying them.
3. Be a good neighbour
‘Neighbour from Hell’ has become a well-known term and it is probably fair to say that some people can find that living next to a student house can have its challenges. However, it is always good to remember that having a positive relationship with your neighbour can have its benefits – someone to keep an eye on the place when you and your mates are out, or even offer you a cup of tea when you’ve forgotten your key, it’s pouring with rain and you’re waiting for your house mates to get home. Try to provide advance warning if you plan to invite your friends around for the next rugby match and remember, a little smile and wave in the morning can go a long way.
4. Read your lease agreement
Whether you are signing up for student accommodation or a lease with a private landlord, it’s important to read the small print and understand what you’re agreeing to. Laws affecting landlords are changing in Wales in an effort to improve standards in the industry and protect tenants - but there are still legal obligations that can catch you out if you’re not careful.
5. Set your budget and stick to it
You may have never had to get to grips with a personal budget before and the one thing most people quickly realise is that your money always runs out quicker than you expect. You can find lots of advice online about managing a personal budget and juggling between the expenses that you need to cover, like rent, bills, food and travel costs, etc. and ‘the nice to haves’, like that new pair of designer jeans or that extra pint down the pub. Everyone’s circumstances are different but, with a bit of thought and planning, you can pack in a lot of enjoyment without needing a financial bail-out.
6. Ask for help if you need to
Moving out and setting up home for the first time can be challenging and stressful at times but it is a well-trodden path and there is help out there for people who ask for it. Help can come in all shapes and sizes, from family and friends, student unions and employers, even your local friendly estate agent! Don’t be afraid to reach out as just a small bit of advice or reassurance can make a huge difference.
7. Have fun!
Moving out of home for the first time is a big chapter in anyone’s life and it’s important to embrace and enjoy the experience. You may need to sacrifice some of the little luxuries that come with living at home, but the rewards come in new experiences, lifelong friendships and the freedom to come and go as you please. Just try to remember where you left your keys!