Moving out can be a real challenge, though planning ahead can help you to prepare for it. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

Almost all young adults look forward to moving out of their parents’ house. You have independence, freedom to decorate as you wish, and most importantly, a place all to yourself. From my own experiences of trying to move out, these are the 5 most important things to keep in mind.

Location: Deciding that you want to move is the easy part, but choosing a place with a good location is where the challenge begins. When looking for a place online, don’t forget to check out the neighborhood that surrounds it. If you prefer somewhere quiet, an apartment right next to the highway probably won’t work out well. Though a unit in a smaller area might be a better fit. Be mindful of who your neighbors are and what business are nearby. Consider safety, convenience, and entertainment before making a final decision.

For example, an apartment on Kapahulu Avenue would be a great location for KCC students since it’s close to campus, near a supermarket, and public transportation is accessible. 

Transportation: If you depend on public transportation like me, making sure the unit is near a bus stop is extremely important. Even if you are able to drive, not all apartment complexes have stalls for their residents and some places charge monthly fees to have a stall. Walking or biking to important locations is also doable if you like exessive exercise. If you don’t own a bike, that won’t be a problem either.

Biki bike stations are located all around Waikīkī and Honolulu where you can rent a bike for a rate of $4.00 for 30 minutes. Credit or debit cards are required in order to rent a Biki bike, prepaid cards are not accepted.

Rent: One of the most difficult parts of moving out can be creating a budget. Think about what you would realistically be able to spend on rent and other necessities in a month while also having extra cash to spend and save for emergencies. Apartments aren’t cheap, especially in Hawaiʻi. The average rent for an apartment in Hawaiʻi is close to $2,000 a month, according to RentCafe, and failing to plan ahead will set you back. Be sure to check what furniture and appliances come with the unit so you can prepare to allocate funds for additional furnishing supplies. Moving costs can also be expensive, though most people opt to rent a moving truck or enlist the help of family and friends.

Landlord: Renting an apartment for the first time can be daunting, and depending on the landlord or property manager, it can turn out to be a positve experience or a negative one. Make sure you have a lease agreement and that both parties acknowledge before you move in. Anyone who is trying to rent a unit without an agreement essentially has no security. The landlord can increase the rent unexpectedly, ignore maintenence requests, and even kick you out with no notice.

Credit Scores and Guarantors: Having an established credit score can help when you are applying to rent an apartment. The score will show the property manager if you are a potential tenant or if you’re on the riskier side. Credit scores over 650 are adequate to rent an apartment. However, having no credit history is OK too. In order to provide proof of financial stability, you may need to provide pay stubs or other documents. Some apartments may require a guarantor to sign the lease agreement in case the tenant should fail to pay rent. In this case, the guarantor will be responsible for covering debt left by the renter regardless of whether they live in the unit or not.

Apartment hunting and moving out is something that everyone should have a good experience with. Keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight, though careful research and planning will help you find the perfect place to live.