Tips for room hunting
So you are elated. You finally get the independence you have been craving for. You'll finally get to prove that you can stand on your own two feet, and everyone will start treating you like an adult instead of a whiny brat that just resembles an adult.
However, before you start floating away on cloud nine in anticipation of total freedom, come down to earth because you have to look for a place to live in.
One of the first lessons of leaving the nest is realising that the world out there is not so cosy.
Here are some tips to bear in mind when you go house or rather room hunting.
1. Do Your Homework
Seniors know the best places to live in, situations you’d want to avoid and enough experience to help you out of sticky situations.Ask them for their advice, and talk to your friends in college.
2. Be Alert, Ask Questions and Listen
It'll your first time living out on your own. Learn the basic things you need to know when considering a place to rent, such as the rental, additional charges, house fund, available facilities, house rules and safety. Whether you are renting a room from a family,or with a group of students, ask them lots of questions. Apart from getting information, it's also to gauge your rapport with them. Be alert to how your potential housemates are interacting with one another. Stay clear if they are staring daggers at each other; you don't want to move into a war zone.
3. Look Around
Don't settle for the first available room for rent. Look around to compare the neighbourhoods,the conditions and rental rates. Look at a few places before making up your mind. Check out the room or house you are renting thoroughly. Don't be shy about flushing the toilet to make sure it works, checking the locks to see if they work and sniffing the air for cigarette smoke.
4. Check out the surroundings
Location, location, location - it's the golden rule of real estate, even if you are only looking for a small room. You need to assess if your new home is accessible. You don't want to live in the most comfortable house with the best housemates if you have to walk miles to the nearest bus stop.
Make sure that it is a safe neighbourhood; such as if the streets are brightly lit and if there is a quiet stretch of road leading to the house.
It is also advisable to live where there are shops and eateries nearby because it'll be more convenient in the long run. Remember your parents are not around to cater to your every need and to chauffeur around.
5. Follow your instincts.
Is the room bright enough? Airy enough? Is the rental worth it? And most importantly, do you like the house? Trust your instincts about the house and its occupants.
As a friend once told me, “We are bound to find some problems with a place after moving in.” So, don't expect a perfect place because that's impossible to find. But err on the safe side.
6. Try to live with people you know
Sure, some people would disagree and say that you'll be putting your friendship at risk.Well, sure it may be shocking at first to find out that your so-called perfect friend is quite the slob, snores and can’t cook to save her life. Live with it. No one’s perfect.
But sometimes, living with friends is a better bet than trying your luck with strangers for housemates.
However, it may be hard to move in with your closest friends because we'll all go off to different colleges.
It may be daunting to some, exhilarating to others and just plain bothersome to the rest to stay away from home. The ability to live on your own, manage your own needs and worry about your expenses is something everyone has to go through in their life sooner or later.
After the initial burst of euphoria, most of us, being the filial (or pampered) children that we are, tend to miss home, especially when things get tough and you just want to curl up in a corner with a huge stuffed Winnie the pooh.
Then again, living away from home does broaden our perspectives, smarten us up and causes us all to grow up a great deal. It teaches us to be managers of our own lives and to bear the consequences if we aren’t doing it well enough.
The real meaning of independence is not about doing things successfully on your own, but learning to make decisions and dealing with our mistakes.