Tips for Transitioning From an Apartment to a House
Say you’ve lived in an apartment or rented condo for many years. The limited space allowed you the opportunity to choose furniture wisely and adapt to a compact existence. If you came directly from a dormitory or your parents’ home, you no doubt had the skills to deal with little wiggle room. In fact, the acquisition of a two-bedroom pad may have left you feeling agoraphobic! Well, now you have found a larger home – a house, with a yard and maybe a garage and a backyard deck. You finally have the freedom to move around freely without hip-checking tables. Before you move in, though, you ought to think about ways to make the transition smooth.
Why is it important to take a moment before hauling in boxes? With the purchase (or rental) of a house, your first inclination may be to fill it up. Coming from an apartment, it’s possible to have very little to bring over. Entire rooms in a larger home might be left empty until you decide what to do with them. Don’t be tempted, though, to embark on a shopping spree just yet. There are other things to consider:
1) Yardwork. If you buy the house, you buy the yard that comes with it. The one advantage to apartment living is that you didn’t have to worry about mowing a lawn or raking leaves, or cleaning out gutters. Before you redecorate the interior, make sure you budget enough for lawn and outdoor tools as you need them.
2) Security. In an apartment or condo complex, you may have enjoyed a gated community and a security guard, and even a built-in security system covered in the rent or fees. In your home, you’re responsible for setting that up yourself. If you want home security, be sure to budget a good plan.
3) Transportation. Consider how the change in address affects your commutes – not just to and from work, but anywhere else you go. If the trip to the grocery store takes a bit longer, you burn more gas, and may need to refuel more often. When you move, you’ll need to consider changes in where you shop, where you go out to eat, and other factors. You’ll either adapt to patronizing new businesses or putting more money in your gas budget.
A move can be highly stressful, but ultimately rewarding. Think about what your move from an apartment to a house entails, and make the right decisions for comfortable living.