Sunday, February 24, 2013

Greener Pastures

This post brought to you by apartments.com. All opinions are 100% mine.
I've heard that some people live in the same home for their entire lives, but I don't know anyone who has done that.    The census bureau estimates that Americans move an average of fourteen time throughout their lives.  Last summer's move took my personal total to nineteen and we'll be facing a twentieth, when my daughter completes her schooling here.  We're beginning to feel like moving pros, so here are a few tips on finding a new residence.

  1. Get Excited
    This is easy, if you've made the decision to move on to greener pastures.  Even if the change has been precipitated by your spouse's relocation, a change in finances or other circumstances beyond your control, look at the positive aspects.  Research your new location.  Are there historical landmarks?   Extensive dining and entertainment choices?  Gorgeous scenery?  Finding out what makes your new location special, will help you get excited about the change.  Even in-town moves offer an opportunity to find your dream space and every move provides a chance to review your possessions and declutter your life.  That's certainly reason to get excited!
     
  2. Use Good Tools
    Finding a new home may seem intimidating, but using the right tools will cut the job down to size. We like to use apartments.com to quickly locate potential homes and get an overview of rental prices and locations. Apartments.com makes that super easy.  Just enter a zipcode or city.  You'll get more than listings, a handy map pinpoints the locations.  That's especially helpful, if you're trying to find a home close to a new workplace or school.   After you get an overview, you'll want to narrow your search.  Do you have pets, need two bathrooms or have a firm price threshold?.  Apartments.com provides an easy-to-use search bar at the top of the page to help you find your match. You can easily sort your search results in several ways including price and special offers.  People on the go will appreciate apartments.com's mobile app, which lets your fit your home search into your busy schedule.
     
  3. Know Yourself
    A complex that features a pool and a clubhouse might be perfect for someone who loves to swim and hang out with the crowd.  A homebody with a penchant for jewelry making, might prefer a quieter complex with an extra bedroom for crafting.   Recognizing your personal lifestyle will help you select amenities that provide the most impact for your housing dollars.  Apartments.com offers extensive information on apartment complexes including floorplans, photos and even 360 views of many living spaces.    The site is easy to navigate too.  I just hate it, when I check out a particular residence, then find that I've lost my original search list.  With apartments.com's "Back to Results" link, that never happens.  So explore different homes and consider what works for you.   Do you want a spacious kitchen or do you eat most meals out?  Does your family spend many hours in your common living areas or do you spend more time in your own separate spaces?  Parents of very young children may prefer to have all the bedrooms in close proximity.  Parents of older children may welcome bedrooms that are separated by a common living area.
     
  4. Stay Flexible.
    Hopefully you'll find the home of your dreams. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, things don't work out or circumstances change. You add a child, the nest is emptied or that great country view doesn't compensate for a longer commute. Rentals allow you the freedom to change your mind. So learn from experience and find a better fit.
Ready to make a move?  Be sure to check out apartments.com.  Happy in your current space?   Check out apartments.com's Apartment Living section.  It includes great articles on everything from entertainment and decorating to renters' rights.    Follow apartments.com on Twitter (@aptscom) too.  It's another spot for great ideas.  I loved the one on de-stressing your laundry space.  Check it out.

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