5 Important Questions to Ask Before Moving

Don’t make your move more stressful than it has to be! Prepare by asking these five questions before you move.

It’s no secret that moving can be stressful. No matter if this is your first apartment or you move around every few months to a year, there are certain aspects of moving that are simply not fun. At The Residences at New Longview, we do our best to answer all questions up front, even before a potential resident needs to ask, to make the apartment hunt process as easy as possible. Over the years we’ve found there are some questions that can help narrow down the search. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have your own tips and tricks let us know!

If you’re moving to the Kansas City area, consider The Residences! Look around our website for leasing details, pictures of our community and apartments, and everything else we offer! If you’re interested, apply now to see what floorplans are available for you today!

1.       What do I need and what can I afford?

The first step in the apartment hunt is determining your wants, needs, and budget. If you don’t already have a budget figured out, now is the perfect time! Take a look at your past few months’ worth of credit card and bank statements to see recurring costs and estimates for other costs like groceries and eating out. Keep in mind that most apartments require your income be three times the monthly rent, so for example if the apartment is $1,000/month you’d need to be making at least $3,000/month before taxes. Regardless of the income requirement, think about how much of your monthly income you want to be spending on rent versus other expenses, and how much you’d like to put into savings. That will give you a price range as you’re looking for apartments.

Another important piece of the apartment hunt is your lists of needs and wants. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Is in-unit laundry a need or a want? While hardwood flooring would be nice, ask yourself if it’s a deal-breaker. Think about community amenities as well, like a pool or fitness center, and if you’re planning on having a roommate or moving with a partner you’ll need to discuss each of your lists. Something that’s on your “want” list may be a “need” to someone else. This list doesn’t have to be cut and dry, by any means, but if you have a few main boxes to check that can help narrow down your search online and cut down your potentials to see in person.

2.       What kind of neighborhood do I want?

If you’re moving from out of town you may not be familiar with the area you’re looking to move to. First, determine if you want somewhere more laid back and suburban or somewhere more urban with a busier feel. Regardless of urban or suburban, also think about nearby businesses and access you’ll want. Think about locations like grocery stores, shopping malls, nightlife, and libraries. If you’re an outdoors person or like to stay active also consider hiking and biking trails, or off-leash dog parks if you have a pup. You can look over these types of questions before you even go to the property by putting the address into Google Maps and zooming in to see local businesses.

As you’re starting to tour apartment communities give yourself some extra time before or after your tour to drive around the neighborhood and see things for yourself. You can even pull up Google Maps while you’re there to see what local places are advertising near you, and don’t forget to ask the leasing team! They work and most likely live nearby, so they can be a great resource for places and activities nearby.

3.       How will I get to work?

As you’re researching potential apartments you’re probably already thinking about your commute. How much time are you willing to spend traveling to and from work each day? We Midwesterners tend to prefer driving, but if public transportation is an option would you rather take a bus or train? Google Maps has an option to put in the departure and arrival address and will give you suggested routes as well as average travel times for various times of the day, or if you’re already in the area you could even drive it yourself to get a better feel.

As working from home is getting more popular you may have a different set of needs. Commute times to and from a physical location may not concern you, but other items like internet speed will. Working remotely can be a great way to increase your work/life balance, but chances are good you won’t want to actually work from your home day in and day out, so you’ll also want to research nearby coffee shops, libraries, and other businesses with free WiFi. Some apartment communities are also offering business centers and coworking spaces so you don’t have to budget quite as much on artisanal coffee to get out of your living room.

4.       What rules may apply to me?

No matter what apartment community you choose, and regardless of what community amenities are available or if management is on-site, there will be rules that may or may not apply to you. You’ll want to make sure to ask about and know these rules before you sign the lease to avoid any confusion or issues down the line. For example, if you have any pets or are thinking about getting a dog or cat in the future you’ll need to know about any pet fees, deposits, or other costs. Some communities have a number limit for pets, or breed or weight restrictions.

Some other important policies to know about are:

·        Indoor and outdoor (patio/balcony) decoration rules like painting walls or hanging pictures or lights

·        Visitor policies and guest parking

·        Quiet hours and common area rules

·        Resident parking options and upgrades

·        Pool, fitness center, and other public area rules and hours

·        How and when to pay the rent

·        Renter’s insurance and other items to set up

5.       When and how am I moving?

If you’re touring potential apartments you should already have an idea of a move-in date, but if not you’ll need to figure that out sooner rather than later. You may even be able to save some money by changing your move-in date if your current situation is a bit flexible! Regardless of how much time you have to move, it’s a good idea to write down a calendar so you can keep on track during the entire process. Think about your current workload and other duties, and make a packing schedule accordingly, starting with items you won’t need between now and then like off-season clothes and extra bedding. Pack in reverse order and label everything clearly so you won’t have to go box hunting for items you’ll need right away.

You’ll also need to determine how you’re getting your possessions from point A to point B. It’s tempting to simply hire a professional moving service to do everything, but if you’re traveling far that could get costly quickly. If you’re only moving across town or have several heavy items it may be worth it to hire professionals for a few hours, but if you’re moving across the state or only have smaller items you may want to save some money, cash in a few IOUs or bribe friends with dinner, and rent a moving van for the day.

Are you a seasoned mover and have tips of your own? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share!

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