Taking the first steps into adulthood might seem hard and overwhelming, and they are. But it’s not as bad as people tend to make it up in their heads.

First thing’s first, you need to choose an apartment. There are a few points to look out for when first visiting a flat. Whenever we step through the door, we tend to fall in love with the idea of moving out, and that clouds our judgment, so you have to be prepared.

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When are you going?

It’s better to go in the daytime when the sun is highest. This way you can see how bright and warm the apartment actually gets, and which are the darkest and coldest areas of the apartment. And those who saw the movie Se7en know that you need to stay more than ten minutes in the apartment, otherwise you’ll be stuck with the subway rumbling under your feet every 6 minutes

Make yourself at home

Probably the one thing no one does when viewing an apartment is to actually look around. Touch things, open the taps, check the lights, draw in the curtains. You’re going to live here, it’s okay to make sure that everything is to your liking.

How many windows are there?

You want a lot of natural light in your apartment, and a chance to create drafts in the room when airing out the apartment. For this, you need a lot of windows, or at least a few bigger ones on either end of the flat. And always take a look at the insulation!

Ask about the apartment’s location. What direction are the windows looking? When is your apartment going to look brightest? Will the sun burn out your eyes every morning? Will you have to use thick curtains in the summer to avoid boiling up every afternoon?

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The layout

When you’re cooking something oily, that has a strong scent, or a lot of smoke, will the carpet and furniture in the living room drink in that smell and texture? Will you have to clean the shelves every day because of the oil that’s in the air?

It’s not a problem if you have some distribution difficulties, but you’ll have to account for them once you move in, so it’s best to take note when looking around in the apartment for the first time. Get the feel of the apartment’s flow.

Look out the window

You don’t need to be conspicuous about it, just take a look at what you’re going to be seeing from now on. And more importantly, who has a view into your room. Will you have to buy drapes? If you dust a carpet, whose head will the dust fall on?

Check the ‘wet rooms’

And I don’t mean whether it’s clean, you can always do that later. I mean check the taps, the sinks, the showerhead, and make sure you won’t have to replace them once you move in.

If the person leading you around actually knows information about the apartment, ask them when they last changed the sinks and the shower, and what brand they used, so if you have any difficulties, you know what to buy. And if you want to be that person, ask them to close the door and flush the toilet, to check how soundproof the door is. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Ask about the soundproofing of the apartment

You wouldn’t want to disturb the neighbors with loud music, and you don’t want to listen to their radio either. And if whoever’s leading you around lives there, ask them about the neighbors too.

If you have a dog next door who loves to bark through the night, it’s better to know. Also, if you need any help, if there’s a power outage or any emergency, it’s good to have neighbors you can count on.

Check the outlets

This is second nature to young adults, it’s the first thing we look for when entering any room. Where’s the outlet?! But for some reason, people don’t check thoroughly when renting. For example, the number of outlets in the kitchen is crucial. So take a good look around.

Talk a lot, have opinions, and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be shy to try things out, or ask them to try something for you. Make yourself at home, and be practical. But what’s most important, is that you feel at home. And if you forget to ask about the soundproofing, you can always laugh about the daily arguments the neighbors keep having.