Is It the Right Time to Get Your Own Place? This Checklist Will Help You Find Out

By Alicia Geigel on October 22, 2018

As an adult, a huge goal is to ultimately move out of your parents’ home and get your own place. Sure, living with mom and dad isn’t necessarily bad, but there comes a point where you want to have your own space, have the privacy to do what you want, the freedom to establish your own rules and set your own boundaries.

Despite this desire, today, millennials are slower to become homeowners than the generations before them. This is the case for many reasons, one being the increasing rise of millennials with student loan debt, making it difficult to accumulate enough money for a down payment on a home plus a mortgage. According to Adrienne LaFrance of the Washington Post, “from 2009 to 2012, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the portion of people under 30 with more than $50,000 in student debt doubled from 5 percent to 10 percent. During that same time, the homeownership rate fell twice as much for 30-year-olds with student loans as it did for those without such debt.”

Given the rise in tuition rates and the increase in student debt accumulation, it is no surprise that there are a higher number of millennials moving back in with their parents and waiting to get a place of their own.

According to Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center, “Broad demographic shifts in marital status, educational attainment and employment have transformed the way young adults in the U.S. are living.” Additionally, in an analysis of census data, Pew found that, “In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.”

The odds aren’t exactly in the favor of millennials when it comes to moving out and having a place to call your own. This doesn’t mean it is impossible, however! Are you currently living with your parents but have dreams of having your own place? Unsure of where to start when it comes to moving out? Are you in need of some tips to help guide you on this big life transition? Check out my comprehensive guide on deciding whether or not its the right time for you to get your own place!

Infographic by Alicia Geigel

Being Financially Stable

Perhaps one of the most important things to evaluate before you move out is whether or not you are financially stable enough to do so. This may seem obvious, but for some who act on impulse, this can sometimes be easily overlooked.

Before you move out and get your own place, you want to make sure you do the following: have a secure job, maintain a steady income, and effectively balance your budget. Being financially stable once you move out and get your own place helps to establish a good foundation that you can build off of in the future.

Secure Job: Securing a job before you move out is necessary for the simple reason that- you need a job to have money, and you need money to pay your rent and other necessities. Before moving out, determine whether or not you have a secure enough job to live well on your own. Do you have a part-time job that doesn’t pay enough? Is that babysitting job not cutting it?

These are things you want to look over before you even question wanting a place of your own. Additionally, hypothetically imagine if you can either commute to your current job or solidify a position at a new company so you’re not stuck trying to figure out the impossible.

Steady Income: Maintaining a steady income goes hand-in-hand with having a secure job. Does your current job pay inconsistently, whether it be price or timing? With your occupation, is work sometimes difficult to find? Ask yourself these questions and seriously evaluate your answers before entertaining the idea of having your own place.

It’s important to have a steady income so you have the security of knowing your bills will be paid on time. Plus, many landlords/property managers like to see proof a steady income and even a credit report from potential tenants to ensure that rent can and will be paid on time.

Create a Budget: One helpful tip to use before considering moving out is to create a budget of all of your expenses. Get a binder, notebook, or use a Word Doc on your computer to create a list of everything you spend and what needs to be paid each month, along with your monthly income.

Include things like a phone bill, a car payment, insurance payment, gas, groceries, student loans, electric, water, etc. Add up the total amount that you either currently pay or estimate that you will pay, then deduct this from your monthly income. Do you have enough cushion room to relax or are you cutting it too close?

Finding a Place to Live

Another key and somewhat obvious thing to evaluate before getting your own place is finding a place to live. Consider whether or not you want to stay close to home, move somewhere more affordable, or move to the area of your dreams. Think about what makes sense for you and your current situation.

Further, think about whether or not you will have a roommate. Some people can afford to live on their own once they move out, while others need to live with one or more roommates to help balance out the costs of rent. Will you be able to have your own space? Can you handle having roommates?

On Your Own vs. Roommate: There are a few reasons why moving out on your own is good. For one, you don’t have to worry about sharing a space with someone else again and you can have your own space. This means more privacy, more freedom, and setting your own rules and boundaries.

However, living on your own means you are fully responsible for your rent and utilities, which can be hard for someone who is just starting to live on their own. On the contrary, living with a roommate can make paying rent easier, as you are sharing the bill with someone else. Additionally, having a roommate can make you feel better, emotionally, about the transition to adulthood — especially if your roommate is someone you know.

A blog post by Unpakt.com suggests a couple ways to approach living with a roommate, “One great option is to team up with a friend, look for a home, furnish it and move into it together. Another option is to move in with somebody who’s looking to share their apartment- that could be even more economical as it is likely their place will be mostly furnished.”

Location, Location, Location:  Another important thing to think about when moving out is where you will be moving to, i.e. the location. As stated earlier, you’ll want to consider location in relation to your job and places of interests, like your wants and needs. You don’t want to have to make long commutes to your job or even places you need like the grocery store or a doctor’s office.

Additionally, you want to make sure your potential new location is safe. While places with low rent are desirable, you want to make sure it is in a safe area. Don’t settle for a dangerous location just to save a couple hundred dollars a month because ultimately, the stress and potential dangers you may endure isn’t worth it.

phone, talk, hand, woman, conversation

Image via Pexels

Talking with Your Parents

In addition to being financially stable, talking with your parents is another key step to take when considering to move out on your own. It is important to keep an open dialogue with them and make sure that the doors of communication are open. If you do this, you can do each of the following in a healthy and effective way: ask for help, voice your concerns and worries, and evaluate your emotions. No one should be in the dark about this, after all, this is a big step you’re taking in life!

Ask for Help: Listen, I understand. There comes a point in time when you reach a certain age where you feel that you shouldn’t really ask for your parents help anymore. There’s that little voice pestering you in the back of your head that spews thoughts of negativity and suggests that doing so doesn’t make you an adult or makes you some kind of moocher. This isn’t true in the slightest. Before moving out, during the move (if you’re ready) and even after the fact, always ask your parents for help if you need it.

This may be in the form of borrowing your dad’s truck to help move big pieces of furniture or having your mom help you with balancing your budget. Regardless of the cause, your parents are going to be more than encouraging of you making this change and will do whatever they can to help!

Voice Your Concerns and Worries: Planning a big move is not the time to internalize your fears, doubts, worries and concerns — in fact, its the perfect time to share them! Everyone is going to be nervous about making a such a big decision in life, so it is important to voice any concerns and worries you have to your parents.

Regardless of what you may be thinking, your parents will have a lifetime of wisdom and advice to offer for any of your concerns and help to offer encouragement for taking this big leap in life. Keep the doors of communication open and never forget that it is OK to share what is on your mind with those you love.

Evaluate Your Emotions: In conjunction with voicing your concerns, its important to self-reflect and evaluate your own emotions. Do you feel that you are emotionally ready for the move? If you don’t have to move out for school or for work, consider staying at home to save money or until you’re emotionally ready.

However, if you cannot stand being at home, whether its because you have no privacy or have to abide by rules or if you don’t get along with your parents, then moving out might be the best option for you. Open up your heart and mind and do some serious self-reflection, don’t forget to talk it out too!

couple, key, apartment, home, move

Image via Pexels

Making the Move

If you’ve weighed all of your options, feel comfortable financially and emotionally, then take the jump and make the big move! You will have the support of friends and family and this will ultimately be a great decision that will foster growth, a ton of learning, and great fun. For the move, it is important to make sure you don’t do everything on your own because, well, it’s hard and stressful (but also not impossible). Consider either asking friends or family for help or think about hiring professional movers!

Ask Friends or Family for Help: Friends and family are more than likely to be expendable to you and help you out during this big transition in your life. Friends and family can help you carry big boxes in and out of your new place, help transport bulky items, and assist with decorating and making sure everything has a place. Not only will having the help be useful, but the experience will be a fun bonding experience as well!

Hire Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers is a huge help when planning a move. For one, you don’t have to worry about depending on others for help and you don’t have to break your back in the process. Marian White of Moving.com notes some of the pros of hiring professional movers, stating that doing so can be less stressful, save more time and have damage proof goods. On the contrary, White suggests that the negatives of hiring professional movers being the high expenses, a lack of control and impersonal. Evaluate your budget and the availability of others to see if hiring movers is right for you!

Trying to move out and have a space of your own in today’s economy is not easy. There are a lot of things to evaluate and consider, such as: being financially stable, emotionally ready, location and the moving process in general. If you are considering moving, just remember to weigh all of your options and make the best decision for your mind, heart and wallet. It is never too late to start! As always, good luck.

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | photographer | food blogger if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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