Calling all new grads! Searching for your first home after college can be an overwhelming experience. It’s exciting in that you are starting a new chapter in your life, but it may also be stressful trying to figure out where to start! Whether you are just beginning to think about making the jump, or if you’re constantly checking MLS listings in Canada or in the U.S., here are some tips from Zoocasa on finding your new place after college.
Take a Look at Your Finances
The first step is to determine just how much you are able to spend monthly. This will give you a good idea of what types of apartments you should look into and what types you shouldn’t even waste time on. Remember to factor in any additional monthly bills and expenses that you’ll need to spend. If you managed to get through post-secondary education without incurring student loans, hats off to you! However, most graduates will likely have some form of debt after graduation so you’re also going to need to deduct those monthly payments from your monthly budget as well.
Location, location, location
This is a fairly obvious one, but it’s also one of the most important tips to note when on the hunt. After you have an estimate of what you can afford, you can start looking at neighbourhoods that fit your capabilities. Perhaps you have already secured a new job in the city and are looking to be closer to your job, or you might not mind the commute and choose to separate home and work. It would also be a good idea to take into consideration what types of activities you would like to have around. Do you enjoy being adventurous and going on hikes, do you have a dog that you would love to take to a local dog park, or would you prefer being closer to shops and restaurants? Your lifestyle needs should play a big influence in deciding where you should settle down.
Consider a Roommate
If you feel that you are not completely ready to live alone yet, or if you simply like the idea of having company all the time, looking for a roommate may be part of your apartment hunting process. A roommate can also be a good option if you find a place that you love but would prefer to split the cost of your monthly payments. You may already have a friend in mind, or you might be looking to meet someone new! Whoever you choose, it is important to communicate with your roommate beforehand and ensure that you see eye-to-eye on any household rules and responsibilities to avoid any future disputes.
You Get What You Signed Up For
After you’ve found the perfect first place, it is time to get the paperwork done. This process is definitely not something to rush as it will outline everything you need to know about your new place along with any rules and restrictions that may apply. Make sure you read every page of any agreements that you sign and ask to clarify any terms and conditions that you are confused or unsure about.
Remember to be patient throughout the process as this is a big milestone and will require extensive research. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, for example, is a good source of information about all things housing such as rental rules, data and research, and mortgage information. Kicking off the apartment hunt with the required knowledge or finding someone you trust to accompany you throughout the process will allow for an enjoyable transition into this new stage of your life. Happy hunting!
Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings on zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app.