With more and more young adults opting to stay at home with their parents, flying the coop can seem an increasingly daunting and stressful task the longer you leave it.
We’ve generated a six-step guide to help make the transition from your family home to independent fancy-free living as smooth as possible.
Step 1. Find the right spot
Regardless of whether you’re planning on buying, renting or living in a share house, you will have to decide on the location that best suits your needs, budget and lifestyle.
Ask family and friends if they have any areas to recommend. For example, some of the best places to live for young professionals include Richmond, VIC, Paddington, NSW and New Farm, QLD.
Once you have a few suburbs in mind continue your research online. Perhaps check out some suburb reviews on Homely to see what the locals have to say about that specific area.
Online research is all well and good, but there’s only so much you can take away from photos. Be sure to attend a few open houses to see what kinds of properties are out there in your price range and at the same time get a feel for the neighbourhood you’re interested in.
Once you find a potential place to call home be sure to check its proximity to your workplace, university, family, supermarkets and public transport, as no body enjoys a long arduous commute every day.
Step 2. Set a budget
Living independently can be very expensive, so it is essential to plan ahead and work out your budget before moving out. A budget will help establish whether you can afford it and perhaps more importantly ensure you won’t be subsisting on two-minute noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When working on your budget consider the cost of rent, utilities (electricity, gas and water), groceries, clothing, pay tv and the internet, transport costs, parking permits (if required), furniture, appliances, extras and entertainment. Don’t forget to factor in certain ‘hidden’ expenses like the security bond (typically four weeks rent), utility connection fees and home and contents insurance.
To determine if your move will be sustainable in the long term, we recommend calculating your known monthly income and planning a monthly spend covering food, bills, rent, transport and extras.
Step 3. Set up house rules
If you’re moving in with a friend, partner or flatmates communication is the key to living in a happy and comfortable household.
The best way to avoid conflict in a shared environment is to set ground rules early on. Good topics to discuss with your new roomies include having guests to stay over, house parties, labelling food, shower time limits, loud music, pets, leaving dishes in the sink and smoking.
When raising concerns with your housemates always remember to respect others’ opinions and listen to their feedback. It’s important that you feel like you can be honest and open with the people you live with. At the end of the day if you’re not comfortable in a certain living situation there are always other options out there.
Step 4. Nail the chores
With moving out of home comes adventure, freedom and newfound independence, but with independent living comes great responsibility.
To avoid being overwhelmed by housework try making a schedule of chores for the first few weeks. This will help you to get into a routine of doing the laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, cleaning, cooking and putting the bins out. It can be worthwhile to draw up a cleaning roster if you’re living in a share house to make sure everyone is chipping in equally.
Before your grocery shop it’s wise to plan out your meals for the coming week, so you a) buy what you need, b) don’t over spend and c) don’t blow the budget on take away meals. If you’re moving in with housemates it can be fun to take it in turns cooking dinner or arranging a weekly group dinner to catch up, bond and voice any concerns.
Step 5. Seek help
If you’re having financial or emotional trouble once you’ve moved out don’t be afraid or too proud to seek help and advice from others.
If you’re moving out for the first time it can be good idea to do a trial run before going the whole nine yards. You could have a crack housesitting for a friend or let your parents put their feet up and run the family household for a month or so.
Remember your parents have been through the same transition when they were young. They may be able to help you out with a loan or offer valuable advice about how to best go about managing your household chores and bills.
Once you’re settled in if you have any pressing questions about your new neighbourhood (i.e. the best places to eat out or if there is a 24 hour pharmacy) online forums, like Homely’s Q&A, are a great way to get valuable insights and opinions from experienced locals.
Also, remember there are a number of community organisations that can be great source of advice in times of stress and hardship. Such as:
• Lifeline Australia
• Home Ground Services
• Relationships Australia
Step 6. Stay in touch
Having looked after you all your life, your parents or guardians are very likely to miss you when you move out and vice versa. So be sure to visit, text, call, email and Skype your folks regularly and try not to run back home to use their Wi-Fi and laundry too much.
Happy house hunting!
From the Homely team