We are moving in less than 30 days and we still have not found a place to live!!! I know, I know, we are really living on the edge! The uncertainty of it all drives me crazy.
The problem we are running into is that so far there is no "perfect" place. This is just a temporary move. We plan on renting for 1 more year before purchasing a home. So this decision won't impact us forever, but it still is an important one. We made a lot of mistakes when we chose our current apartment. The whole place feels very crammed and the kitchen has ZERO counter/cabinet space. We don't even have a drawer that fits our utensils!! It's terrible. So we are trying to be very selective with the next place we chose.
I have decided that there are several factors that are important when choosing a place to live. The problem is finding the balance and deciding which ones you can sacrifice and which ones are the most crucial.
Since we all have different priorities, I will leave that part up to you. But here is what I found to be worth considering when choosing a place to live.
- This one's pretty self explanatory. A lot of times you will get more for your money if you move a little further away, so you really have to think about the how much that money is really worth. Can you make a longer commute to work? or would you prefer to live closer and pay more for a potentially smaller place?
2. Access to freeway
- How close is it to the freeway? Will the commute to work take long?
3. Distance from grocery stores
- I hate long grocery store trips. I typically average around 30 minutes grocery shopping so the last thing I'd want is to add to that with a long commute.
4. Distance from shopping centers (Walmart/Target/Mall/movies)
- You always want to make sure it is centrally located. Typically I take it as a good sign if I see a Walmart or a Target nearby. If the city you are moving to doesn't have one close, then the grocery store probably won't be close either and I doubt you'd be seeing any Starbucks around town.
5. Square Footage
- Will all your furniture fit? Will you end up feeling crammed? Will you feel comfortable inviting people over for small get togethers? Scott was just mentioning to me how he never felt comfortable having people over in our current apartment, because of how crowded it all is. We definitely need something a little bigger this time around!
- This is huge! Check out the kitchen! Look at cabinet space & counter space. Is there a pantry? Will your pots & pans fit? Will your utensils fit? Where's the laundry room? Is it in a convenient location?
7. Safety of neighborhood
- Of course safety is important. You can ask neighbors how safe they feel the neighborhood is. I would also check out crimereports.com to see if there's been any theft (or worse) in the area. For me, safety is a huge priority. I have a one year old and a baby on the way. David hates being couped up indoors so I want to make sure we live somewhere I feel safe taking him for walks.
8. Distance from relatives
- Some people want to be close to relatives, some want to be far. I would love to be close to my sister, but that's probably not going to happen. We did, however, find a place close to my in-laws. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that one yet..
9. Appliances included
- Right now we are debating between two different townhomes. Both are in the same neighborhood. One comes with a washer & dryer and one does not. The one that does is a little more expensive. But then you'd have to consider the upfront cost of purchasing a washer & dryer for the other place. It's a toss up really..
10. Age of neighbors
- This may not matter to everyone, but for me I love a younger neighborhood. When I was growing up, we had tons of neighbor kids our same age. I think it would be so fun for David to be able to make friends and have play dates with kids in the neighborhood. Plus if I see kids playing out in the yard, I take it as a good sign in terms of neighborhood safety as well.