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Confessions of a First-Time Renter: Making the Big Move

Moving out for the first time can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. (Spoiler alert: I haven’t.)

 While most young adults have already moved out for college, I went to a university close to home and commuted. After graduating, it just made sense to live at home and make the 30-minute drive each way to work to help save up money. After a year and a half though, it was time – time to totally gain my independence. (Sorry Mom and Dad, love you!)

Let me tell you – apartment hunting was not as easy as I anticipated. You should have an idea of what you absolutely want out of a place, and what you’ll compromise on. I wanted to be close to work and be able to have a pet. Not to mention, it needed to be affordable.

While there was no shortage of reasonable places near work, it was difficult finding a pet-friendly apartment that didn’t charge an arm and a leg to have one. I used Craigslist and rental apps, but family and friends are also an excellent resource. They might know a friend of a friend who needs a roommate or has an open rental.

Following my own advice before signing a lease, I made sure to call and set up a time to tour apartments in person. After a short search, I found one that I knew was the one for me, even though it didn’t have off-street parking. The landlord was very accommodating and straightforward. Right off the bat, I found out that they required their renters to have renters insurance, which helped instill trust on my part.

As the big day approached, there were logistics to figure out. I would need to get renters insurance (and my own auto policy), switch my utilities, pack up my life…the list went on. I was astonished by the sheer amount of work that went along with moving out.

A move-in date had been set, but reality knocked and it got pushed back. But, hey, they say everything happens for a reason. A week later, I woke up to moving day–and a torrential downpour. How the heck was I going to move a mattress on an open trailer in that? Luckily, Mother Nature was on my side and the weather cleared up. My whole family helped and we were done in a single morning.

I was all excitement, but one thing most people don’t tell you is that moving is exhausting. It is no easy task to pack up your life and move it all, even if you’re only moving 30 minutes away. But when I crawled into my bed that night (the only piece of furniture in my entire apartment aside from a Papasan chair), it was with the immense satisfaction that it was in my own place.

So far, I’ve learned three valuable lessons from the experience:

Make a list. Seriously, do it. I mentioned above that there were so many things I never thought about until moving day. A list will help you keep on top of things.Take what you can get. You need so many things when you move out for the first time. While I was tempted to buy everything brand new, I was happy to get a second hand dish set, toaster oven and chair from various family members. Thanks, fam!Roll with the punches. I was disappointed that my move-in date got pushed back, but happy I had a considerate landlord who was honest about the state of my bathroom. (There was still a hole in the ceiling – enough said).

Feeling safe and protected in your home is important, whether it’s your first apartment or your fifth. Renters insurance can help you achieve that without adding undue stress to your life (or your budget). Talk to a professional like an Erie Insurance agent to learn about your options and get a free quote.

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