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Flying The Nest: Everything You Need to Know About Moving Out For The First Time

Flying the nest and moving out of your family home is a rite of passage in most young adult’s lives, and it can be as scary as it is exciting. On one hand, you’re finally able to go it alone, live independently and stand on your own two feet. On the other, you’re now completely responsible for supporting yourself and maintaining a property. Whether you move out when you’re eighteen or in your late twenties (or beyond!) it’s a big change in your life. There are certain things you can do to prepare to make the whole process run much more smoothly and give yourself the very best start. Here are some ideas.

Work out your finances

First things first when you’re planning on moving out for the first time is to work out your finances. If you’re planning on buying your property, this will involve saving up for a mortgage deposit and fees, and getting your credit score into the best shape possible. If you’re renting, you’ll need to save for a security deposit, first month’s rent and any estate agent fees too which can be more expensive than you think. Moving out really is costly, it’s not until you come to do it yourself that you realise just how much cash you need- and neither buying or renting is a cheap option. From there, you’ll need to work out what your monthly expenses are likely to be so you can see if you can actually afford it. Work out what things like gas and electricity will cost each month, water rates, tv license and any taxes. On top of this, you’ll need money for food, for socialising, if you own a vehicle there will be costs for this, otherwise you’d factor in the cost of public transport. Try not to overlook anything here, an accurate breakdown of costs will prevent you from moving out and finding that you’re struggling where you can’t afford things. If you find that it’s going to cost more than you can pay, you might need to look into purchasing a smaller house for example, or if you’re renting consider a property share.

Finding the right property

Once you know what you can afford, the next step is finding a property within your budget. Run some searches on property listing sites and work out what your deal breakers are. Chances are, you will have to be flexible on the property you go for, especially if it’s your first home as your budget won’t always be the biggest. But it’s not to say you should settle for something you really don’t want. For example, could you buy a one bedroom property, or are you planning on having a baby in the next couple of years? Do you work from home and need the extra bedroom as a home office? In this case, you’d rule out all one bedroom places. If you know that you absolutely don’t want to live on a busy road then you’d rule out all places like this. If you’d like a garden but could live without one, then this is something you could be flexible on for example. It’s all about finding a place that checks as many as your boxes as possible, and doesn’t have any of your deal breakers. Google maps is a great way to check out the streets of potential houses easily and can save you time and money compared with going there in person. If you like the look of the street as well as the house online you can then book a viewing. But if you look on the map and see the house is next to a boarded up property, opposite an old factory or something ugly or the street generally doesn’t look well maintained then you’ve saved yourself a trip.

Buying everything you need

Once you’ve decided on the property and are waiting for everything to be finalised, now is the perfect time to start buying what you need. If you’re buying, this will be waiting for your solicitor. If you’re renting, you might need to wait until the previous tenant has moved and the property has been inspected/ cleaned. Either way, you can be waiting around for some time until you finally have the keys in your hand. Use this as an opportunity to buy what you need, that way you can spread the cost and have the basics when you move in. Everything from crockery to cutlery, pans, utensils and towels you’ll need. You’ll need cleaning stuff like a vacuum and a mop, not to mention cleaning products. You’ll need a bed and bedding, furniture and you might need larger appliances like a washing machine, dryer and fridge depending what’s in the place you’re moving too. You can have fun acquiring all kinds of accessories and decorative pieces to make it feel like home. Don’t overlook things like bin bags, kitchen roll and food staples, all of these things can be purchased or acquired ahead of time. Buy what you can, scour second hand stores and ask friends if you’re on a budget but generally make sure you have everything you need to get started. Most people will be happy to help you out when they know you’re first starting out on your own, so see what friends and family are able to do for you with some of these things.

Moving day

Once you’ve finally decided on the property, everything has gone through and moving day finally arrives, know that it can be a bit of a stressful experience. If you’re moving larger items that you’ve acquired before the day, a removalists company could be your best bet. If it’s lots of smaller items, you might be able to get away with roping in family and friends and doing a few trips in cars instead of having to hire a van. Have any important documents you might need easily accessible- putting together a ‘moving day essentials’ suitcase is a smart move. This could include things like your phone charger, cleaning products, toiletries and other bits and pieces that you’ll need on the day. It saves you from having to dig around in boxes before they’re unpacked.

Changing your address

Once you’ve physically moved, you’ll need to notify the relevant companies of your change of address. Your doctors and dentist are two to consider- you might even want to switch t somewhere more local if you’ve moved further out. Your work and all of your bills will need to be notified about your new address, as well as friends and family. If you own a vehicle, you’ll need to change the address here, as well as with your bank. In some cases, companies will accept your change of address once you have your moving date and before you’ve actually moved. Others will only accept this the day that you’re in the property, so you can do some ahead of time and the rest on the day you get the keys.

Set up your bills

On the day you move into your property, you should take meter readings for your gas and electricity, as well as your water meter if you have one. That way, you can get accurate bills and you don’t end up with costs from the previous tenant or owner. You’ll need to call up and put all of the bills in your name, and get things like your broadband and phone line set up. Again, it can be worth doing your research ahead of time and knowing what company you plan on using, with a bit of luck they can set you up to go live shortly after you move in. If you work from home and know you can't be without internet at your new place even for a couple of days, you can plan ahead and make arrangements so you’re not caught short. You could buy some extra data on your phone and tether your laptop, or you could see if there’s a coffee shop or other public space nearby where you could quietly work. Knowing these things can all help the process run much more smoothly.

Moving out to live by ourselves can look different for everyone. Some will be young and others a little older, some will have a healthy budget and others will have to be more frugal. But whatever your circumstances, planning and getting organised is the best way to go about things.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move into their own property for the first time? What pitfalls did you experience when you first moved out?