Your relationship has gotten serious! With hearts in your eyes and butterflies in your belly, you’ve decided to move in together. Now, you’re ready to tackle your first cohabitation challenge: apartment hunting. This process can quickly move from exciting to stressful if you let it. Here’s how to navigate the tricky waters of apartment hunting with your significant other so you can begin your journey as roommates on a loving (and peaceful) note!
1. Pick a location.
Obviously, the location of your new, shared apartment is an extremely important decision. Maybe you both love an area of town and this is a no-brainer. However, there may be some necessary compromising. What if you both want to live as close as possible to your workplaces, but those are on opposite ends of town? An apartment smack dab in the middle might be your best bet. Keep an open mind and figure out a location that will work for both of you.
2. Determine your budget.
First and foremost, talk about rent. Some couples split the rent right down the middle, while others split it in other ways – that’s a matter of your personal financial situations. It is crucial that you and your significant other are both honest and open about how much you are willing and able to spend on rent each month. The living situation will end in disaster if you don’t speak up and end up renting an apartment out of your price range! Once you both have your budgets on the table, you can figure out which apartments are realistic options.
3. Figure out which furniture is coming with you.
Because you’re combining two households, you need to determine what furniture you will each contribute to your new home. For example, decide who has the better (i.e. comfier) bed, and bring that one! Take inventory of what you each have, and figure out which things will come along and which things will be donated or sold. If you need to purchase new items, decide how you’ll pay for them. You may split things 50/50, or you may each be in charge of buying different things.
4. List your “must-haves” in an apartment.
You probably have some things that you absolutely need in your new space. Maybe that’s a washer and dryer in unit, a walk-in closet, a dishwasher, a balcony – whatever! Think long and hard though… what can you really not live without? You’ll probably end up with one, maybe two things. Share those non-negotiables with your partner and listen to theirs as well. Then, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for as you apartment search.
5. Decide on the other financial logistics.
After all, rent is not the only expense you two will have. Decide how you’ll handle things like your cable, Internet, and utility bills. Same with groceries and other household necessities like toilet paper, laundry detergent, and so on. Maybe you’ll keep it simple and split everything down the middle, or maybe you can delegate expenses. Make sure you have a conversation about it though, because “winging it” is a good way to get into arguments.
Apartment hunting with your significant other doesn’t need to be stressful. By discussing these five big things, you can create a plan and go into the process with a clear idea of what you both want in a living space. When all’s said and done, make sure to tell your landlord where you found them. ApartmentSearch.com is the only national apartment-locating service that pays you for using it – up to $200, in fact! Find your apartment and then use that money to treat yourselves to a lavish date in your brand new city.