Buying and Renting a House or Apartment as a Young Adult
Moving out from your parent's or guardian's house is a big step towards independence. The act of moving out is often seen as the final step or ultimate goal but we don’t always talk about what all it entails.
Before the details of buying or renting a house/apartment are discussed, there are other skills that determine readiness that must be considered. Because moving out is the “final step” towards independence, it’s important that before the move, you hold a set of specific skills. These skills should be displayed confidently, independently and consistently. In other words, in order to be successful, you should have a steady and sufficient income, be able to cook healthy/balanced meals independently, know how to clean and conduct household chores, and hold personal safety skills. These skills are important to recognize and master before moving out because it is critical to ensure that you will have the ability to remain in a safe, clean, and healthy living environment. These skills will be further discussed in a future blog post.
Once you master the above skills, when looking for a house or apartment it is important to find the right one.
It is very rare to find the “perfect” place, especially for your first apartment or house. We recommend that you make a checklist of your “must haves” in a future living environment along with reasons why those are “must haves.” It is important to determine the difference between a “bonus” and a “must have.” Some important questions to ask yourself are: “Will I really use the pool?” Or, “How often do I plan on having overnight guests?” Or, “Do I plan to utilize the public transportation system?”
The two most important considerations when searching for a home are price and location. Oftentimes, amenities and other home features can be added, renovated, adapted or replaced from outside sources. For example, if your apartment complex does not have a gym, you may be able to adapt that “bonus” with a gym membership at your local gym. Contrastingly however, it is not possible to replace or move past the obstacle of location and price.
When determining a location or neighborhood that you would like to begin searching in, you should consider your place of employment, proximity to family and friends as well as social life. Do you plan on using public transportation to get to work? How far and long will your commute be to work with traffic? Do you want to live near family members? Does the location promote easy social engagement or community involvement? What is the crime rate in the area? Crime rates can be searched by clicking here.
Once you find a few options for areas to live in, you need to consider the price. Arguably, this is the most important factor because frankly, money drives everything. You want to pick a house or apartment that you can afford long term. When looking at your budget, you need to consider the cost of utilities, and other living expenses (groceries, taxes, fuel, insurance, clothes, medical expenses, etc.).
This is just the beginning of your house or apartment hunting journey as there are many other details involved. This journey and timeline look different for everyone because everyone’s situation is different. While this journey can be a combination of exciting, overwhelming and/or scary for those moving out as well as for parents, Danielle Feerst OTR/L is here to help. Please reach out to Danielle Feerst OTR/L by clicking here to book a Free 30 minute consultation. She has years of experience working with young adults who are working towards independent living. Danielle will work with you to understand your situation and goals to help create a game plan for success. Along with her Peer Mentors, Danielle and the rest of iElevate have several other ideas, experiences, and expertise on working with young adults with social emotional learning differences to promote living a fully engaged life. In addition, you can connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, feel free to message us on any of our social media accounts or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Written by Madison Gies, Peer Mentor/Coach, OTDS