Apartment Hunting With Your Sweetie? Tips for a Stress-Free Search

Smiling couple sitting on the floor with laptop in the new apartYou’re moving in with your significant other, which is a big step. Unfortunately, apartment hunting with a second person can be highly stressful, especially if you both have different needs or ideas of what you want in an apartment. It is all about compromise and pre-planning. If you do, you can find an apartment that satisfies you both.

Pick a Location First

You both have jobs, family and maybe even school. So, you need to decide what city you will live in and how far each of you will have to drive. Do you want to live downtown? Or do you want a quiet neighborhood? These are all questions you need hashed out before you even look at apartment listings.

Decide How Much You Can Afford

Just because you’re combining incomes for rent doesn’t mean you need to rent something extravagant. Sit down and see how much you can comfortably split and who is paying what. Will you split the rent 50/50 or will one person pay more than the other? A budget should also include the utilities you’ll have to pay for. Also, decide your preferred rent and the maximum rent you’ll pay for — just in case you find an apartment you agree on, but it is out of your budget.

Think About Size

Most couples get a one bedroom only to realize they should have upgraded to a two bedroom. If you have friends or family from out of town that like to visit, adding that second bedroom could be beneficial. Also, if your main living space is small, a second bedroom could serve for an office or study room.

What Amenities Matter to You Both?

You both will have different ideas of the amenities you want, but create a list of amenities you both label as priorities — such as parking spaces, pool, laundry, etc. Also, if you are only assigned one parking space per unit, how will you share that space?

Hash Out the Differences in Private

Don’t start negotiations or arguments about your apartments during the hunt. Instead, sit down at home and discuss everything before you ever start searching. By having your budget established, amenities edited and needs listed you can find an apartment that works for both of you. Moving in is a big decision for most couples, and moving in general is stressful. Therefore, you can save a lot of headaches and prevent your moving-in experience from having a rocky start by refining the details ahead of time.

May 2014