Happy Monday, Lovelies!
If you didn’t catch my IG Story last Friday, then you missed the exciting news that we applied & got approved for an apartment in Hoboken! Although nothing is signed to make it official yet, we still have to take a look at the actual apartment & get the all clear, we’re so excited to be getting closer to starting this next chapter together. Hoping we’ll get to see it this week & get the ball rolling – TBD!
This process of looking for apartments together, as a couple, spearheaded the idea to write a post about it. I know many of my readers are living with their partners/have been for some time, so this post might call out the obvious. However since it was very new to me, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned while taking this step with T in hopes that it will inform someone else who’s also on this journey for the first time. Also I’d LOVE to hear the tips you veterans have when it comes to living together, as I’m sure we’ll have many opportunities to exercise those down the road as well.
Be On The Same Page With Your Max Budget
It’s one thing to agree on a max budget you’re both comfortable with, but you have to consider the added fees & charges to a given rent’s posted price. Are both of you willing to pay a little more if it’s the dream space? Or will one of you feel uncomfortable exceeding anything higher that what was originally agreed upon?
In our circumstance, we had to factor in fees such as amenities, parking, pet, water/recycling/sewage in addition to our rent’s posted price, which was below our max budget. All together, the total price practically meets our max budget. Since we loved the space we applied for & felt the fees were on the lower end of most other places we looked at, we were both in agreement with the total price we’d be paying.
List Out Ideal Space Expectations & Must-Haves From The Start
Before beginning your search, you should both list out the things that are most important to you & that will keep you happy when merging lifestyles under one roof. For me, I knew I needed a separate space or room with a door to use as my office/closet. T agreed with that so we only looked at places with such accommodations.
I’m very aware that most influencers who move in with their boyfriends have a tendency to “take over” without intention; it just happens, from packages to staging indoor shoots. I didn’t want our friends to come over and get the impression it was MY new apartment that T shares with me. Plus, I firmly believe that business & pleasure should stay separate, for the most part. Therefore, having a separate room with a door I can close will keep it apart the right way.
Respect Each Other’s Deal-Breakers
I’m very lucky how easy going T is with most things, so I very much respect the very few things he wanted when we agreed to move in together: 1) no high-rise buildings, and 2) no tv in the bedroom. As someone who’s literally moving from a high-rise building with a terrible habit of falling asleep with the tv on, I knew this would be a big change for me but ultimately, the pros outweigh the cons. I wouldn’t mind living closer to the ground floor, especially after having to walk down 27 flights of stairs when the elevators shut down (lol what a nightmare) and I would benefit breaking my bad habit by not having a tv in the bedroom.
My main deal-breaker was having a doorman building, or virtual doorman in a secure neighborhood. I get too many packages & knowing how many deliveries are lost due to theft when on left the street, I didn’t want to consider living someplace without a guaranteed package delivery system. The second deal-breaker is more superficial, but it was having an in-unit washer/dryer. After having it for the past 18 months, there’s no way I’d willingly go back to sharing a laundry room with other tenants lol.
Consider What The Weekly Commute Will Be For Both Sides
Since I work primarily from home, this wasn’t as big of a concern for me. But T has been doing the reverse commute from Jersey City via the path and knows the exact time it takes to get from door to door. Moving to a new location will mean changes to his set commute schedule, which can be super stressful in the beginning especially after a move.
So we mapped out all of our transportation options (ferry & bus) and have been “practicing” them when we get the chance. So far, we determined the bus would be the quickest & cheapest option for him to take in the morning, only adding 10 additional minutes to his existing commute time (as we know of now..)
Discuss Everything Out Loud & Often
Unlike most conversations you have as a couple, anything concerning a lifestyle change is important to talk over & over about with each other should you feel the need to do so. It’s a big step & an important one, with plenty of opportunities to test your relationship.
Communication is always key, but in this circumstance it’s VITAL. Don’t shut down the other person, even if it’s something that’s been heavily discussed before. It’s usually someone’s way of figuring it out themselves out loud, while respecting the opinion of the person he/she is talking out loud to. As long as you both are willing to discuss with each other, there won’t be any intentional surprises that could damage credibility.
Be Willing To Compromise
This kind of goes along the lines of respecting each other’s deal-breakers (aka tv in bedroom) but you should both be willing to practice some give & take as you take this big step together. It’s one thing if it’s a need (i.e. deal-breaker) but at the same time, no one wants to feel like his/her wants aren’t as important to the other, especially when going from living alone to having a roommate with benefits.
You both need to be willing to compromise on certain things as they come up, and find an equal balance that accommodates. For instance, T wants to keep his mattress which means mine would have to go to my sister’s apartment in the spare room. I love my mattress but he loves his more, so I said that’s fine, as long as we can keep the adjustable platform my bed is currently on.
Remember It’s “Ours,” Not “Yours”
If you don’t practice this way of thinking before moving in, then it might jeopardize how things might turn out. At the end of the day, you’re both giving up a degree of your independence by moving in together & you’ll have to start making decisions as a team instead of a single player.
The main reason I wanted to have a separate room with a door is so I don’t unintentionally make T feel like he’s living in MY space. I can close it off and respect the living, kitchen, and bedroom spaces as the places we SHARE. Everything from what furniture we get to where we store the vacuum will be decided & agreed upon together. Even if he doesn’t care how things are laid out or where things are stored, I’ll still ask for his input because at the end of the day, I want him to know I care about what he thinks & will listen should he suggest an alternative method.