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Are You Ready to Rent?

Although you may feel ready to get out on your own, make sure your finances are in order before you take the leap. Take a look at some rental listings in the areas in which you are interested in living and get an idea of how much you’ll have to pay to live there. If you are already making payments on a car, credit card or student loan, be sure to include these amounts in your expenses list. Gas for your car (or a bus pass), insurance (rental and vehicle), cell phone bills and an estimate of the amount you usually spend on personal items should also be included.

Find a Place You Can Call Home

Once you have set some parameters in terms of what you can afford, it’s time to start looking for a place to move into. Start by searching internet sites, classified ads and by visiting the neighborhoods where you might like to live. Whether you decide to rent month-to-month or sign a year-long lease, be sure to read what you are agreeing to carefully. The lease should detail how much rent you must pay, when it is due, how long you can occupy the apartment or house and who is responsible for utilities (some leases include them). It will also include rules about pets, roommates and whether you can paint or do improvements.

    If you’ve done everything right, your utilities should be hooked up, your bags packed and your bills paid. Determine what day you will be moving into your new place. If possible, recruit friends and family to help you move, rather than hiring a mover. The transition to making it on your own may not be simple, but if you do it right, you can avoid having to retreat to your parents’ basement. Plus, you’ll develop the skills you need to improve your standard of living as you go along.

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