If you’re hunting for your first condo to rent, either for work or studies, the process of searching for the right place and then living by yourself may seem daunting at first. These tips should help you to find and maintain the right apartment for you and avoid any rental disasters.
- Stay Within your Means
Before you start looking, decide upon your budget for renting, including moving costs, furniture, utilities, and emergency costs and then stick closely to this budget when you make up your shortlist. Going over your budget or overestimating it can result in getting yourself into a bad financial situation that can be difficult to recover from.
- Keep Your Deposit Secure
You can ensure that you will get your deposit back when you move out by taking care of your furnishings and avoiding anything which could cause damage. It is also a good idea to ensure you have pictures of your flat before you move your possessions in so you won’t be charged for any scratches or marks that aren’t your fault. It may seem obvious but regular cleaning and maintenance will help immensely in getting your deposit back.
- Make the Best Use of Your Space
Large flats are obviously out of most people’s budgets, but you can still find a smaller place that will be cosy without feeling cramped. Apartment Therapy has a lot of great tips for making the most out of a small space, including using concealed storage, such as hollow end tables. Small kitchens can feel especially confining especially if you can’t afford a full size freezer or a cooker. But there are still plenty of tips available online to eat nutritious meals using limited equipment and ingredients.
- Utilize Natural Light
Don’t go overboard on lamps and lighting fixtures. Open up your curtains and use natural light as much as possible to both provide a better atmosphere and save on your electric bills.
- Investigate the Neighborhood
If you can’t yet afford a car, have a look around the neighborhood before you move in or see what is close by on Google Maps. Ensure there is a supermarket, pharmacy, bank, and any other places you will be using on at least a weekly basis close by to avoid having to travel too far or use public transport, which will eat into your expenses even further. If driving to a supermarket is unavoidable, at least stock up and buy bulk portions each time to save yourself the gas money.
- Don’t Go Overboard on Food
If you are living by yourself for the first time, it can be tempting to overspend on food you don’t need and then throw most of it away as it spoils before you can eat it. This is all money that could be put towards buying furnishings and decorations for your new home. Instead, list out all of the essentials you will be needing, see how much is left in your food budget for treats, and only buy from your set list and within your budget. This will prevent you from overspending. It is a good idea when you first move in to stock up on essentials that you will be using frequently such as cooking oil, salt, sugar, and coffee. For perishables, buy only what you need when you need them.
- Buy Portable Utilities
Washing machines, dishwashers, and sometimes even freezers aren’t always available in smaller rentals and the cost of using a communal washing machine soon builds up. Many companies are selling portable or smaller machines for people who live in more cramped spaces. Compare portable washing machines from Top Ten Reviews or search online for portable dishwashers.
- Search for Cheap Options
Brand new apartments close to the city centre are certainly attractive but they are also too expensive for most first time buyers or renters. Ground floor units, older buildings, and neighborhoods further away from the central business district are just some of the cheaper options to keep an eye out for. Search for apartments for rent on PropertyGuru Malaysia and other real estate websites, open up the search options, and you can still find a quality, safe place to live by traveling a little further for work or making a few other sacrifices.
- Second Hand Furniture
Unfurnished condos are cheaper but for a reason- furnishing an apartment is expensive. Avoid breaking the bank by shopping at second hand stores or searching online for people who are selling their old furniture. You can furnish your flat and get the look you want for a fraction of the price.
- Keep Rising Prices in Mind
Inflation, changes to the housing market, and other factors mean that sometimes your rent can increase slightly. If you stay in one place for a long time then your rent could be a lot higher when you leave than it was when you moved in. It is inevitable so be sure to include this in your long term budget and if you can, save some money each month that you can use in this instance.
Apartment searching and living doesn’t have to be a headache, and you don’t have to move house every six months and go from one terrible dig to another. Follow these tips and your first apartment will provide lasting positive memories and won’t be a disaster.