Thursday, January 14, 2010

Moving Houses 101

When moving from one place to another, the most important thing to consider is where you will live. As an expat who has no permanent address, finding a place that I can call home is of utmost important. It doesn't matter whether you are looking for flats, townhouses, Philly apartments, mansions, or a studio, what counts is that you are comfortable living in it. After all, you will be paying the rent so better make the most out of your budget.

So what should one consider when looking for a new place to live? Based on my experience, one must consider Accessibility & Convenience, Security, Size, Facilities and Budget.

Accessibility & Convenience
. Is public transportation within easy access? Are there schools, hospitals, clinics, groceries, banks, church, etc. within the vicinity? If the unit is on a higher floor of the building, is there a lift or elevator service? When looking for an apartment, one should consider that these are within easy reach to make life easier.

Security. Is the apartment equipped with security devices such as automatic locks,video surveillance cameras, fire extinguishers and emergency exits? Is the neighborhood safe? Is there a police station nearby? When it comes to you and your family's safety, one must not settle for less.

Consider the number of persons who are going to live in the apartment. Is there enough space for everyone to move freely? How many bedrooms do you require? Is there enough daylight and sunlight that can filter through even in winter? In general, the minimum overall floor area for a family of 3 persons is 60 square meters.

What is included in the apartment? Do you require a fully furnished one? Is there a built-in kitchen? Is there a garage or parking space? Do you need a tub or just a shower or both? Are there enough sockets for your electrical appliances? Is the unit well-lighted? Would you like a terrace or a garden? These may seem silly but these are the small details that you should consider as they will all contribute to your comfort once you move into your new home.

Budget. The apartment must of course meet your budget. Otherwise, you won't be able to pay the monthly rent.

All things considered, wouldn't it be great if you could take a look at prospect units online first?
Then when you have chosen around five, contact the real estate agent and ask if you could have a look? It will indeed save you all the time and effort. And it will help you in making a wise decision.

So whether you are moving houses or not, I hope that this short guide will help you choose wisely. Happy house hunting!

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