A Handy Checklist For When You're Looking For A New Place To Live



Looking for a new place to live is something that the majority of us will do in our lifetimes. Because we tend to need so much in a place we choose to call home, it can be easy to forget things when looking around a place. This could mean making a wrong decision, or simply taking a painfully long time to find your ideal place to live.




This handy checklist will help you when you’re looking for somewhere new to live. You’ll find some great advice too, so read on if you’re on the hunt for a new place.






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Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Move

Asking yourself the right questions when house hunting and before you move in is imperative. They’ll give you an idea of what you should be looking for in a property, what you want out of the area, what you can actually afford, and more. Writing this down helps you to see things more clearly and make better decisions. Write out your answers to the following, and any other questions you can think of!





What’s truly important in my life?


Do I need great transport links?


What is my budget?


How will I get a job if moving far away?


What are my non negotiables on a property?


What do I not want in a property?


Will my circumstances change any time in the future - e.g. having kids, a partner, a pet.


When is the best time of year to move?


What are the schools like in the area?


Is the culture of the place a good fit for me?


Do I have a backup plan if things don’t work out?


Is it better to drive or get public transport in this new place?




Don’t forget to think of your own questions and add them so you can find the ideal place to live.




Take Some Vacation Time

If you’re moving to a completely new town or city, it can be a good idea to take some vacation time from work, whether a few weeks or months, and check out this place you’re thinking of moving to. Do your best to experience the place as somebody who would be living there, rather than somebody simply on vacation. Could you stay with a friend or relative that you know in the city? If not, see if you can find a temporary sublet. Have goals for each day you spend there. Check out the amenities, get an idea of what the neighbors are like, go to work in a local cafe...whatever it takes to give you a real idea of what living there will be like.





See if you can find a property to rent temporarily in or near the place you want to live


See if you can work or get your hobbies done in the area


Explore local amenities and transport links


Introduce yourself to neighbors


Check out restaurants




Make Sure You Can Afford It

Moving and then realising you can barely afford to make ends meet is a nightmare. You don’t want to run out of cash; you want to live more than comfortably in your new abode! So, what can you do to protect yourself and ensure that this doesn’t happen?




Start by making up a spreadsheet of your income and what you expect your expenses to be in the city. Are they higher there? Make sure you consider this before working your numbers out. Remember that it’s nearly always better to overestimate how much you will spend, rather than underestimate.




You’ll also want to consider loan payments you may have to pay, whether you will have a cash cushion (having at least 6 months living expenses is recommended), and what your back up plan is if you haven’t found a job right away. Earlier, we mentioned considering whether it’s better for you to take public transport or drive. This will have a big effect on your budget, too. How much will it cost you to drive, including things like insurance and parking rates? In some places, it really is better to travel on foot, bike, train, or bus. In other instances, you will need your car. The answer is completely unique to you.





Know your incomings and outgoings


Reduce your living expenses as much as possible


Save up a cash cushion


Have a back up plan if you don’t get employed right away


Decide: public transport or your own vehicle?




Something else that will help you to avoid expenses mistakes is making sure that the place you want to move into is safe to live in. You’ll already have a lot of things to sort out, so hiring a buying agent to help you could be a good idea. If you don’t know what a buyer’s agent can do, below is a list:





Search for the right property for you


Negotiate the right price


Evaluate the property


Guide and assist you through the home buying process




Once you’ve found a place, don’t spare any time or effort making sure it’s right. Hire people to check it over and listen to their advice. You don’t want a property to end up being more trouble than it’s worth.




Waiting A While Before You Buy A Property

If you really want to make sure you’re buying property in the right area, renting in a temporary place might be better than putting down permanent roots. Make sure you look for the right things when checking out a new neighborhood, including:





Stores in the area


Pet sitters and babysitters


Doctors and dentists


Childcare services


The quality of the schools nearby


Whether there are any roommate opportunities


Sublet opportunities


What is the safety or crime rate of the area?


Are there places kid/pet friendly?


What is the average price range?




You might really want to take your time to compare the above if this is going to be a big move for you.




Getting A Job

In an ideal world, you’ll already have a job when you move. Perhaps you can commute to your old job if it isn’t too far, or maybe you’ve landed one and that’s the reason for moving. This isn’t always the case though; some people do move in the hopes of finding employment once they arrive. To get a job, make sure you do the following:





See if there are any job recruiters who can help you in the city.


Have great references, especially any local references you may have like a friend or relative in the city.


If you’re applying before you move, using a friend or relative’s address in the area will give you more of a chance.


Be available for interviews, whether on the phone or in person.


Aim to network as much as possible.




Conclusion:

Hopefully, this handy checklist has given you a few pointers and things to remember so you can find the ideal place to live. Having in your head an idea of what you really want and what you don’t want will help you to narrow down your search much faster. Bonus tip: take pictures of each property as you view them so you can easily compare and remember certain aspects later on. It can be all too easy for them to melt into one another when you leave it to your memory.




Do you have anything of your own to add below for those who are looking for a new place to live? Leave a comment and make sure you come back soon!