It’s an exciting time when you finally upgrade from an apartment to a home. Moving from an apartment to a single family home usually means more space, more stuff, and more responsibility. But it also means you have a lot more room to create the home of your dreams, and gives you the space you want to live comfortably. Everything from parking to entertaining gets a bit easier when you’re in a home, and you have more freedom to make changes and upgrades in a home vs. an apartment.
When it is time for the big move, make sure these 6 things are on your list to buy, borrow, rent, do or find to make the transition from apartment life to house life a little smoother.
With a new house usually, comes a new yard. Chances are, you didn’t have a lot of private yard space in the apartment, so you probably had no need for a lawn mower, weed-whacker or other gardening tools. Maintaining a yard is a big factor when owning or renting a home, and you’ll need a few good tools to get the job done. Even if tending to your yard isn’t on your list of favorite things to do, being part of an HOA will require that you follow their guidelines on yard upkeep. If you’re living in an area where it snows, a snow shovel may be helpful, whereas a hose and sprinkler will be beneficial for hot, desert climates.
Long gone are the days where the maintenance man at the apartment complex could swing by to fix a pipe, squeaky fan, or other common household issue. Now that you’re in a home, having a basic tool set will be handy when dealing with leaky faucets, blown out light bulbs and other small problems that are bound to happen in the time you live there. A tape measure, hammer, screwdriver, nails screws, wire cutters and pliers are all great to have around your house.
Back at the apartment, you may have paid little attention to when, where and what was being done in order to keep the critters out of your unit. Now, keeping bugs out is your responsibility. You could hire a monthly pest control company, or you could head to your local home improvement store and buy a spray to use around the perimeter of your house to keep creepy crawly things out. Spraying glass cleaner on a bug may have worked back then, but now you have to be diligent about safely and effectively keeping bugs out of your home to avoid any health issues or destruction that they can cause.
Most homes come with smoke detectors, but you’ll have to buy carbon dioxide detectors and fire extinguishers on your own to ensure you are prepared in case of a fire. Mike the maintenance guy won’t be around every quarter to check if the alarms are working, and you won’t get a cute reminder email from the apartment complex reminding you to check them yourselves. With a bigger home comes bigger responsibilities, and ensuring your home and family are safe during a fire is a big one.
It’s safe to assume you won’t have security on hand at your new place, which means you need to make sure your house is safe and secure. You could purchase a monthly monitoring system to keep thieves out, but at the bare minimum your front door should be sturdy, secure and have working locks. A door with a large window may be nice to look at but can make peeking inside your home easier for people who shouldn’t be peeking. Motion activated lights on the outside of your home is a good idea, and it is always a good idea to talk with your neighbors and communicate if you ever see anything that looks out of the ordinary.
Since you’re moving into a bigger space, you may worry about how to make it feel as cozy and intimate as your apartment did. Here are a few easy and inexpensive tricks to create that warm and welcoming feeling in a bigger space:
- Think about the lighting- In your apartment, the common areas probably had overhead lighting, sometimes connected to a fan. If your house doesn’t have this in the larger areas, you may want to consider floor lamps. This not only adds the light you need but can serve as a decorative piece as well.
- Multi-use accessories- If there is an empty corner that just looks like it needs something, consider buying a beautiful potted plant. This will help fill up a room that is lacking and also adds some color and greenery to your home.
- Work with an accent- Pick a bright color to paint an accent wall in a few of the rooms of your home. A warm color in the living room makes it feel more inviting, and a cool blue or green hue in a small bathroom can open up the space and make it feel more relaxing. You don’t need a lot of paint for an accent wall, and it really makes a different in the aesthetics of the room
- Use what you have- don’t feel like you have to go out and buy all new furniture for your new house. Use what you have, and even reinvent uses for things if you can. Once you’re all settled into your new house, you’ll have a better idea of what the home needs that you can buy or get from a friend. It’s also a smart idea to buy second-hand furniture or ask around your social circle for people getting rid of perfectly good furniture. Wait for big sales, or add a little elbow grease and love to the stuff you already have to make it worthy of your new place.
Whether you’re a college grad finally moving up in the world and trading your college apartment for a grown up house, moving your growing family into something a little more spacious, or upgrading to an exciting new city for a fresh start, the shift from apartment living to house living comes with a lot of changes. Being aware of some of the things you need to do, know or have before making the move can make the first few weeks in your new house easy and stress-free.
Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches