The possibility of moving out of your parents’ house and getting your own place is one of the most exciting things about adulthood. Whether you need to live somewhere closer to work or if you just want that taste of independence after a lifetime of living under your parents’ roof (and rules!), read our six tips before you get your house keys.
- Rent or buy?
The decision to move out will depend mainly on whether you can afford it. To decide on this, you’ll also have to decide between buying or renting.
Start by looking at your budget to see how much money you can put aside for rent/home loan repayments (if you don’t have a budget, read our guide to learn how to create one).
Then, look at online property portals or in newspaper ads to see how much it would cost to buy or rent a place in the location you want to live (don’t forget to check the upfront costs of buying a home, and make sure you have enough savings to cover that!).If you can afford to buy, read our guide to learn all you need to know on buying a home, or watch our video on why you should buy a home. If you’re looking to rent, move on to point
- What kind of living arrangements are you ready for?
Single or sharing? Furnished or unfurnished? Does the kitchen have a stove? These are some of the things you need to think about before moving to your own place.
Roommates or housemates will help you split the cost of rental and bills, while unfurnished places are usually cheaper to rent. At the end of the day, these decisions will affect your rental/moving out costs, so it’s important that you know what kind of place you want to come home to before choosing a property.
Use the checklist below to see help you make a decision.
|Unfurnished or Furnished|
|No. of Rooms|
|No. of Bathrooms|
|Type of Kitchen (Wet/Dry)|
- Make a detailed checklist
While you’re thinking about point 2, create a checklist to help you choose which property to rent. Your checklist should look into these three things:
i) Cost: The cost of moving out is split into upfront costs and monthly costs. Upfront costs will include things like moving costs and furniture for your property.
Next are your monthly costs like rent and utilities. Always make sure the rent of the property you choose is within your budget.
ii) What can the property give you: Aside from a roof over your head, list down all the things you need from the place you live in, like air conditioning, water heaters, internet connection or kitchen appliances like a stove and fridge. Make sure you narrow the list down to things you really need so you don’t end up paying extra to live in a place like a condo with a swimming pool which you might only use once a year.
iii) Location: Location is an important thing to think about, but remember that it will also affect the cost of the property. If you choose a place that’s closer to work or has good public transport connectivity, you might have to pay higher rent. Or you could choose a cheaper place but have to spend more time travelling to work daily. If you don’t mind the commute, this option could be better for your finances.
Click here to use our sample checklist.
- Take a trial run
Cars aren’t the only thing you can take for a test drive. If you’re not sure how much you can put aside for living on your own, have a trial run!
For example, if you want to rent a place that costs RM500 per month, start putting away RM500 every month for a few months, plus another few hundred ringgit for bills and emergencies, to see if you can survive on the balance.
If you can live on the money you have left after setting aside your estimated monthly costs, you’ll know for sure you can afford to live on your own. Plus, you can use the money you’ve been saving towards your rental deposit and other moving out costs.
- Shop around
Always shop around before choosing a place to stay. Be realistic about what you can afford and have the patience to search high and low for the best deal. Some online platforms will give you the option of renting a place without having to put a deposit, lowering your upfront costs.
- Check your tenancy agreement
Your tenancy agreement is the contract between you and your landlord. The agreement will include information about the property, how much you have to pay for rent and for your rental deposit, how long you’re allowed to rent and other rules like what you’re allowed or not allowed to do and what your landlord is responsible for, like paying for repairs.
Make sure you read your agreement carefully before signing so that you know exactly what rules you have to follow when living in your rented place.
Moving out can be tiring as you’ll have to make all these decisions. But it can be less stressful if you plan it out. So, make sure you use a checklist and stick to your budget! To learn more on planning and budgeting, click here.