For many young people, moving into your own home is an exciting prospect, but the last thing you want to do is rush and end up feeling out of your comfort zone.
We’ve designed this simple set of questions to help you decide whether you feel you’re ready to take the plunge or not. We’ve given you a brief explanation as to why these things are essential to consider if you want to move out, as you might not have even thought of some of these things!
Do you have a steady income?
This will probably have been one of the first things you assessed when considering moving out but if you’re at the very beginning of your journey, then this is a good place to start.
If you’re going to be running your own property, you’re going to need a steady income and you’re also going to need to know how much that is. Whether you’ll have a single or combined income, you’ll need to ensure that the amount you’re expecting to receive each month is secure and you’ll also need to work out whether the amount you’ll be getting is going to cover everything.
If you feel your current job is unstable or you’re unsure as to whether your pay could be changing soon, you might want to hold off until your financial situation is stable again.
Do you have access to a reliable form of transport?
Many young people learn to drive nowadays but if you don’t, you might be relying on lifts from other members of your current household or maybe neighbours, you need to consider what you’re going to do for transport if you can’t drive and move away from these people.
Can you get to work or your local supermarket? If you have a car and a driving license then you’re sorted but if you don’t, then you need to work out whether you can walk to those places, or if there is public transport you can use.
Considering the public transport links around your prospective area is important if you can’t drive.
Both options involve additional costs, whether you use public transport or run a vehicle, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
Do you have a secure relationship with who you’re moving with?
If you’re planning to move into a new property alone, then you don’t need to consider this but if you’re going to be living with a friend or partner, you’ll need to seriously access the strength of the relationship.
Many friendships and relationships work well when you live separately or even in a family home together but buying/renting your own property can put a strain on the best of partnerships, so before making a massive commitment like this, you need to be real with yourself and assess the relationship.
Is there anything that is likely to cause problems between you? Are you going to be sharing the costs 50/50?
Do you have time to run a household?
This might sound strange but the running of a household can be time-consuming and if you live a busy lifestyle, it might not be the right time for you to do it.
Household maintenance and chores can take a few hours a week, so can organising bills and paperwork for the house, so if you’re away from home a lot then you might not have time to factor these things in.
If you do work long hours and are away from your current home a lot, then it may be best to wait until your lifestyle has settled down, and you spend more time at home.
The actual act of moving out is also time consuming, packing and unpacking, as well as transporting the items will take a lot of time.
Can you afford to live where you need to be?
If you need to live in a specific area for work, you need to consider the average property value in that area and whether you can afford to live there.
If your family home is in the area you want or need to stay, you need to remember that the owners of that house probably saved for a long time before they could get that property, or bought the property many years back when house prices were cheaper, so you may not be able to afford to live in that area.
If you have to be in a particular town or city, you may be best to stay at home until you can afford to move out in that location.
What does your credit score look like?
A very boring thing to have to consider but probably one of the most important. If your credit score is non-existent, you aren’t going to be moving out anytime soon.
For either a rental agreement or mortgage, you’re going to need a decent credit score. The problem for most young people isn’t a bad credit score, just that they don’t have one. If you’re moving straight from your family home, you may not have ever had to pay a bill on direct debit under your name, so you’ve never had the chance to build up a good credit score.
To secure a mortgage deal, you’ll need your credit score to prove you’re a reliable payer and the bank will get their money as expected, so 12-18 months before moving out, you may want to consider getting a bill under your name which leaves your account monthly to start building up your credit score.
Can you do the mundane things?
We’ve talked about the technical details of moving out but where do you stand with cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and all the other mundane chores you’ll come across once you have your own home.
You may have done the odd job, or maybe you did a lot of chores at home but not many people will be clued up on all the household chores and maintenance you’ll need to know when living alone.
If you own a car, you’ll also need to know how to do basic maintenance and checks on your vehicle that you might not do at the moment.
It is always worth asking your parents or the heads of the household to give you a rundown on how to do basic things in the house.
There you have it, our rundown of questions to ask yourself before moving out! We hope this has helped and given you a few things to think about. It’s always better to be ready than to be rushed, so take your time and make moving into your first home an enjoyable experience.