Staying in your home after getting a divorce isn’t for everyone; memories can make it hard to remain in a space where you were once happily married, and for some individuals, it’s best to start anew in all facets of life, including living arrangements. Other times it may be the terms of your separation that deem it necessary for you to make a move. If you’ve decided to move into an apartment after your divorce, and your financials find you unable to purchase your own place for the time being, keep these rental tips in mind.
The Costs of a Home
If you’re still determining whether or not you want to stay in your marital home (and that’s a viable option for you), consider the costs that come along with this decision. You’ll be in charge of the mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, maintenance, repairs, interest, and any unexpected costs. In contrast, renting an apartment can greatly simplify your life. Pay the rent each month and handle your utilities and you’re set. Your landlord will be in charge of maintenance, and you’ll have someone on hand to help you should anything come up needing repairs in the home.
Determine Your Budget
Divorces can be extremely expensive, and depending on legal fees and other financial aspects of the process you might find your budget is significantly slashed. Be sure you know what you can spend on rent each month before beginning your search; the last thing you need to do is find yourself in a living situation that you can’t afford right after moving.
Prepare to Downsize
This really should go without saying but the realities of moving from your marital home to an apartment can be a downsizing slap in the face. The fact of the matter is it’s a necessary evil, and you might find the simplification it provides is exactly what you needed (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time). You’ll need to take inventory of all the items you’re taking with you, and determine what might be left behind, thrown away, sold, or donated to charity. This process of cleaning out old possessions can be very cathartic, and sometimes difficult, but always necessary.
Finding the Right Apartment
It’s a competitive rental market out there right now, and this heavy competition can make it hard for individuals to secure the apartment of your dreams before someone else snatches it up. With that said, it’s important to be diligent about your apartment hunting. Look multiple times per day, and don’t rely on Craigslist to offer the apartment you need. Look at websites like ApartmentFinder.com to find certified listings that come with professional quality photos and detailed apartment summaries. If you have children, it’s important to find a place that works for your entire family. Luckily, apartment listing sites like this have a variety of filters that you can utilize to narrow down your search and find the right match.
Keep Your Identity Safe
When it comes to apartment hunting, you’ll feel like you’re giving out personal information right and left. Landlords can’t make an informed decision about who they want to reside in the property without having access to your social security number. This allows them to check your credit and figure out whether or not you have a criminal history. However, handing over your SSN and bank statements can be a harrowing task considering the risks involved. The last thing you need to worry about after making a move and dealing with your divorce is identity theft; unfortunately, these days the threat of having your identity stolen is common. Always be sure the landlord utilizes certified rental credit check services to ensure you’re safe.
Letting go of the home where you’ve raised your children and had wonderful memories in is a heart-wrenching decision, but it can be in your best interest and make your family the happiest it can be. Keep these tips in mind when you begin your hunt for a new apartment following or during your divorce proceedings.