What you need to consider before you start renting

— 8 min read

Renting for the first time can be exciting but can also be quite stressful. It can be a big step moving out of home for the first time, so to make the transition smoother, it’s a good idea to be organised and plan ahead.  Here are some things to consider before making the big move.

Location

When deciding where to live, it’s good to do some research first. Further out suburbs may be more affordable, however they could present transport challenges, particularly if you don’t drive. It’s important to check out how easy it is to get to your classes, workplace and the closest shopping centre.

Check the noise level of your apartment/uni

Being subjected to ‘noisy neighbours’ can really get on your nerves over time, particularly when you’re studying or trying to get some much-needed shuteye. So you might want to check out the noise level of the apartment/unit before moving in. You can get an idea of how sound-proofed an apartment is, by organising an inspection during times when your neighbours are likely to be home, such as in the evening or on the weekends.

Map your expenses

It may not be the most exciting task in the world but developing a realistic budget of your expenses can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Before moving out, make sure you have enough money to cover the cost of rent, bills, utilities (such as gas, water and electricity), transport, entertainment and, of course, food. There are also one-off payments such as connection fees, rental bonds and those items you need to purchase once you’ve moved in such as furniture and utensils. A good tip is to transfer 10% of your pay into an ‘emergency savings account’ for times when you’re hit with unexpected costs that you hadn’t planned for.

To save money on rent and bills, you could consider house sharing. If you go down this path, it’s important that everyone’s name is on the bills. If the bills are in your name only, you will be the only one legally responsible to pay. It’s also a good idea to agree on ground rules at the beginning. Discuss things such as how you will share household costs and what will happen with the rental lease if someone moves out.

Setting up your new home

In the excitement of moving out for the first time, it can be easy to forget the smaller stuff. Try writing a list of “must have items” and tick them off as you get them. It might also be worth googling apartment lists online to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

Gumtree, Facebook Market, op shops and markets can be great places to find affordable items for your new home. Tip: to ensure you get your bond back in full, look for damage-free décor. If you are renting with others, you may like to share the cost of furnishing your home.

Cooking

When you first move in, you might be happy to live on Uber Eats for a while. Getting takeaway every night is convenient, but it’s also expensive. Cooking from home saves money and it’s usually a much healthier option. So if you haven’t spent much time in the kitchen, it might be worth learning some simple recipes for your weeknight meals, before you make your big move.

 

There’s a lot to think about when renting for the first time. It’s a good idea to do your research and make sure you’re prepared financially for the initial outlay and the ongoing costs.

* This article was outsourced to a freelance writer and provides research based on factual information. The information is general and is not intended to serve as advice. DPM Financial Services Group recommends you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.