With the rush and excitement of planning a wedding and honeymoon, it is all too easy to let one of the most important elements of married life fall by the wayside: the apartment search. For some couples, their wedding day marks the first time they will live together. For others, they may want to upgrade their current apartment to a place that reflects their new stage of life.
Finding an apartment involves careful planning to ensure you and your spouse are on the same page. By following the steps below, you and your loved one will have a much easier time deciding on a home you are both happy with.
Step #1: To rent or to buy?
Many newlyweds are eager to begin the home buying process shortly after their wedding day. While homeownership has many rewards, renting is a far more flexible—and often more affordable—option for newlyweds. For example, are you or your spouse are planning on changing careers in the near future? Would you both like to relocate to another city for work or pleasure in the next few years? If so, renting is likely be the best option for you.
Additionally, several expensive costs come with homeownership, such as repairs and maintenance, property taxes, closing costs, a mortgage, and—if applicable—mortgage insurance and homeowners association (HOA) fees. After paying for a costly wedding, a home purchase may put a significant strain on a couple’s budget.
Step #2: Determine whether you need a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment
When determining whether to move into a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, it is always best to consider your work-life schedules. Do you or your spouse work from home or have a home business? Do you have hobbies that tend to take up a lot of space? Do you plan on starting a family soon? If any of the above applies, we advise considering a two-bedroom apartment.
If the above doesn’t apply, it may still be beneficial to have a two-bedroom apartment to give each other space when needed, especially if you are living together for the first time. The second bedroom can serve as a music studio, TV room, gaming area, or just a peaceful space to relax and unwind with a book. You will also most likely receive many wedding gifts, making a second bedroom a great area for additional storage space.
Step #3: Make a list of items you currently own
After deciding between renting vs. buying and one bedrooms vs. two bedrooms, take some time to sit down together and take inventory of the items you currently own. This is especially applicable to those who are moving in together for the first time, as you will most likely combine items from your current residences.
If you live separately, each person should walk through their current home room by room and create a list of items they own. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list—it should just provide an overview of furniture, artwork, and other household items you have. Carefully review the list and mark the items you want to keep and the pieces you are comfortable selling or donating. You can create a third section that lists items you’re on the fence about. If you live together, go through your current home separately and make your own lists about what you prefer to keep and get rid of.
Many newlyweds are eager to begin the home buying process shortly after their wedding day. While homeownership has many rewards, renting is a far more flexible—and often more affordable—option for newlyweds.
Step #4: Have an honest conversation about your current household items and furniture
After you and your partner have taken the time to create your separate lists, sit down together to review. Have an open and honest conversation about what you are willing to part with and what you would like to keep. When going through this process, remember that you will likely get many new gifts and appliances from your wedding registry.
Your new apartment will give you and your spouse a chance to start fresh and decorate a new space, so keep your registry items in mind when preparing to eliminate older appliances or items you own currently. If you have conflicting design ideas, try to take some extra time to research new furniture and décor that suits both of your styles. If your budget allows it, you can also rent a storage unit to hold extra furniture.
Step #5: Have an open conversation about your lifestyle habits
If you’re already living together, chances are that you and your partner have picked up on one another’s living habits. Although some habits may seem insignificant, details around cleaning the dishes, the thermostat temperature, closet space, sharing food, daily routines, taking care of pets, and overall cleanliness can often cause conflict for newlyweds. For those who live together currently, make a list of items you would each like to discuss to make cohabitating even more enjoyable.
If you are moving in together for the first time, make a list of details your significant other may not know about your daily routine. Provide insights into your daily habits, such as how often you do the laundry, your preferred thermostat temperature, your preferences for watching television, sharing food, cooking, cleaning, closet space, morning routines, etc.
If one or both of you will be bringing pets into your new home, consider these tips for finding a pet-friendly apartment in your area.
Step #6: Move your items in before your wedding day (if possible)
If possible, begin your apartment search well before your wedding day. If you can move your items into the apartment before your wedding as well, that’s even better. That way, you can settle into your new home right after your honeymoon, making the post-wedding phase infinitely less stressful.
Key takeaways for apartment hunting as newlyweds
Apartment hunting is an exciting step for newlyweds, but it can be stressful as well. Give yourself space when needed and be open, honest, and understanding about one another’s lifestyle needs. Think ahead and consider whether a one-bedroom apartment will provide enough room to accommodate your collective hobbies, work, wedding registry gifts, and plans for the future, or if a two-bedroom apartment would provide more space for you and your spouse to grow into over time.
If you are just beginning your rental search and are unsure where to start, consider one of Draper and Kramer’s luxury properties. Draper and Kramer’s portfolio of luxury apartments offer every imaginable amenity—24-hour doormen, elevators, fitness centers, rooftop lounges, and more—offering an inviting space for you and your spouse to feel truly at home as you settle into a comfortable routine as newlyweds. Happy apartment hunting and congratulations!