Moving house is an exciting time with lots to organise, lots to do, and quite a lot to think about. You’re packing your house up and casting your eye around your city (or others sometimes) to find a place that’s right for you, but what do you look for? Anybody who has rented more than one place has had to go through the searching and applying process many times, and it’s not always fun to apply for 15 different houses and get rejected from all of them. Suburbs like Richmond, Brunswick, Yarrabend, or Kew can be alluring with their proximity to the city, but for that same reason you may end up paying higher rates. This is the same in the UK too, there are desired locations, especially near schools. To make a bit more sense of the jumble going on in your head, we’ve put together a few things to think of when deciding where to look for your next move:

Your Ideal Place

First off, it’s a good idea to visualize what your ideal place would look like. Is it an apartment? A house? What kind of layout does it have, or how many bedrooms?  Once you’ve got a clear idea, it will help restrict your search as far as which suburb you will inspect. If you want a house with a yard, a few bedrooms, a patio and a pool then you probably won’t be looking in the inner suburbs, and definitely not in the city itself. If you want an apartment close to the nightlife, with one bedroom and a balcony, the suburbs might not be the best choice for you.

Deciding What’s Important

Now that you’ve got your idea of your ideal home, it’s time to pull it to pieces. It’s very, very rare you will find exactly what you’re looking for in houses or apartments, and often you will have to make concessions on things. If you find a beautiful house in the suburbs with a patio and a few bedrooms, do you really want to give it up in favor of searching for one with a pool? If you find an apartment in the city with one bedroom that is situated 5 minutes train ride from the central hub of bars and clubs, will you move on to look for one with a balcony? Recognizing the importance of the aspects of your dream house allows you to make concessions you won’t regret after moving in.

Navigating Prices

Let’s say you’ve now found a few places that mostly match the description of the place you want. It’s time to talk about price, because the difference of a few hundred meters can mean hundreds of dollars added or subtracted from your rent each month. Are you willing to pay a bit more for a house that is marginally closer to the beach? Or is the one further out worth it for the lower price? Once again we find ourselves cutting down things on our “ideal” place to fit to our “realistic” place. After a few overhauls, you’ll be ready to apply to what can be a very good place for you for the years to come.

Testing the Waters

At any point in the above process, it’s a good idea to walk around and talk to your potential future neighbors. If you see someone in a house you like in an area you are interested in, say hi. Ask them about the area, or what it’s like to live there. Ask them about the problems in the area, specifically, as mostly people who have lived somewhere for a while have a better idea about what goes on around their house that might not be ideal for the new resident. This allows you to be better prepared when those street drag races start at midnight sharp.

The above process can be used to great effect to guide you to a home you will be happy with for a long time, but it can be adapted to fit any style of choice. Do you want to just pick a suburb and go for it? You can absolutely do just that.

Nottingham City Skyline image by Shutterstock.

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Last Update: Thursday, 15th September 2016