Making the transition from renting a small apartment to owning a larger home is a pretty big step personally and financially, and requires a lot of careful planning that can affect your life for many years to come. It's important not to rush the process and consider all of the variables before making the move.
There are many factors that go into the decision to move from an apartment to a house, beyond the benefit of added living space. There are plenty of things to prepare for prior to the move to ensure that the transition is successful, so read on for before upgrading from an apartment to a house.
Organize your belongings and take inventory
Before you even begin packing for your move, it's a good idea to take inventory of your belongings to come up with a plan for what to do with them in your new home. For example, some things that make sense for a smaller apartment might not be needed when you move to a home. In that case, you can think of creative ways to re-purpose some things and find surprising new uses for some of your belongings. Doing this will also help you stay organized while you pack, and you'll have a good idea of what you already have and what you'll need to buy after you move.
Have a plan for all of that space
When you move from an apartment to a house, you'll have a lot of extra space that you never had before. It can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you're making the jump from a studio apartment to a three-bedroom house. Your initial instinct may be to fill every room of the house. However, doing so is a good way to stress yourself out and also a good way to clutter up your new home.
Instead, make a plan for your house. Go through each room and outline exactly what the room will be used for and what you plan on putting in it. Then, when you pack, you can mark the boxes with which rooms they belong in, so things will be nice and organized when it's time to unpack.
Start new and get rid of the old
Packing your belongings for the move is also the perfect time to decide what items you should keep and which ones you should get rid of. The last thing you want to do is fill up your new dream house with unwanted items sitting around collecting dust in the attic or in boxes stacked in your closets. Going through your belongings and setting aside what you no longer need is a great way of to weed out the junk and lighten your load for your move.
Decorate the way you want
One of the great benefits of upgrading from an apartment to a house is that you are now free to decorate your home however you'd like! When you rent an apartment, you're often restricted in terms of what you're allowed to change as far as decorating, painting and remodeling. However, with your new house you make the rules, so it's up to you to decide how to decorate it. Before you move, go through each room in your new house and make a plan for how you want to decorate and what you want to change. You can gradually begin working on these decorating projects after you move in, going room by room until you finally have achieved the home of your dreams.
Make your payments on time
Upgrading from an apartment to a house also means more money, so it's important for you to stay on top of your expenses. When you live in an apartment, your expenses will include a monthly rent payment (that can sometimes include things like cable, high-speed internet and water) and usually electric. However, when you buy a house, all of that changes. You will now have to make monthly utility payments on top of your mortgage payments, and you will be responsible for any maintenance or repair costs. Make sure that you make all of your payments on time so you can avoid losing your home.
Before you begin house-hunting, create a plan and a budget for yourself and know exactly what you will and will not be able to afford. Don't make the mistake of stepping outside of your price range and you can avoid the financial problems that often follow.
Budget for new items and furnishings
It costs a lot of money to move and a lot of money to buy a new house. By the time you finally move in, your house and your bank account are going to look similar: pretty empty. Don't forget about all of the furnishings you'll need to buy for your home once you move in, like rugs, curtains, additional furniture (remember, you're going to have much more space and many more rooms to fill), appliances, tools and supplies.
Also, don't forget about the things that you'll need to buy now that you own a home that you didn't need when you lived in an apartment-- like a barbecue grill, a lawnmower, gardening supplies, and security systems. Before you move, come up with a budget for these necessary items and set aside some funds so you won't be left without them after you move in.