Now that Match Day is over, the time has come to plan the cross-country move. I’m not an expert, but I’ve gotten a crash course in the process and I thought I could share what I’ve learned so far.
- Make a budget.
Figure out approximately what your salary will be, and what your expenses will be. Many websites suggest that you can fairly comfortably afford rent that represents a third of your net income. Once you have a rough budget figured out, you can start looking at rentals. Having a strict upper limit for rent will help you sort through the many options you’ll be presented with, and make it easier to wave goodbye to gorgeous rentals that are outside of your price range.
- Search many rental sites and check often.
There are quite a few sites that landlords can use to advertise. It’s worth exploring several of them because sometimes desirable properties will be listed on one site but not another. You don’t want to miss out because you’re laser focused on one particular site. Widen your net to make sure you are exposed to all your potential choices. On the other hand, don’t expect each site to have unique offerings. There is a lot of overlap. But by being vigilant and thorough, you can find many suitable rentals in your price range.
- Be forward if you have a pet.
If you have a pet, you will probably need to cast an even wider net to find a property that will take you along with your furry friend. Some rentals will explicitly say “no pets” but if it’s an ideal rental for you, it’s worth a try asking if a well-mannered pet would be considered. The landlord might be willing to rent to you with an increased security deposit or monthly fee. The worst they can say is no!
- Consider your commute.
Figure out what method you’ll use to commute and how long a commute you can tolerate. This will also help you narrow down a list of potential rentals. Living really close to the hospital is a major priority for me, so I check all the rentals on a map to make sure they’re within a certain radius of the hospital and that the route looks amenable to walking and biking. Decide on what kind of commute you’ll accept and search accordingly.
- Decide what possessions to keep.
Depending on how far you’re moving, and how much you like your current belongings, you may choose to sell your things and start fresh or transport your possessions to your next location. Or you may choose a combination – selling bulky items or items you can do without, and prioritizing the transport of a select few possessions. Moving vans cost a lot, and moving a car cross-country isn’t a piece of cake either. Take stock of your belongings and see what methods will work best for you.
That’s all for now! Time to look for more apartments!