I can be a tad impulsive when it comes to making decisions like these. If like myself, you’ll eventually learn through trial and error. Or… you can just read this!
1. Stay in the city for at least 7 days before moving-in
- Get to know the neighbourhoods. You’ll find out what areas appeal to you, where would be most convenient (ie. close to grocery stores, public transport) and the difference in rent between communities (by the beach: $$$).
2. Decide who you’d prefer to live with
- My dearest female readers: men are the EASIEST to live with. Just look for a clean and reasonably-organized bunch.
3. The area
- Is the place on a busy street or close to train tracks? Yes, I love my sleep.
- Is there parking?
- Where is the closest grocery store, post office and bank/ATM?
- How far is access to public transportation?
4. Snoop around and get these questions answered
- Is there air-conditioning?
- Is there a washer AND dryer (during the summer you could pass with a simple clothes-line)?
- What room would you be moving into and what does the mattress look like? No one likes bed bugs.
- Have there been any cases of bed bugs in the last 2 years?
- Would you be sharing a room? If so find out about your roommate. If they happen to be there then get a feel for what they’re like. Is their side of the room organized or a mess? Does he/she work? What are their working hours like (9-5, overnights etc.)?
- Is there a security system in place and/or is there a lock to your bedroom?
- How are household responsibilities shared?
- Does the place itself look clean? You’re aiming for cockroach-free. 🙂
- How many people share one bathroom?
- Does the bathroom have a window and proper ventilation? Mold is NOT your friend.
- Rent… obviously.
- Is there a bond? How much?
- How does the landlord insist on receiving rent (electronically, funds transfer etc.)?
- Is there a contract? For how long?
- How much notice is needed before moving out?
6. Your landlord
- If you have the chance, ask one of your potential roommates what they think of the landlord. You’re looking for a landlord that is prompt on getting back to you and quick to address concerns you may have.
Anything you think I should add? Comment below and spare others the trial and error. 🙂