By Juliana Bledsoe

So you’re moving out! Turn down for what?!

Whether escaping your parents’ house, the dorms or even getting a place your damn self, your life probably seems like that opening track from the sound of music. You twirl through potential new homes with your resounding new sense of freedom. The world is all butterflies, rainbows and “I can totally live with that for 12 months.”

You’re probably already planning parties with people you don’t know sitting on furniture you don’t own. This is probably where you should slow down and go get an ice cream or a palm reading or anything as long as you stop being an idealist noob long enough to chill out — before you ruin everything.

There are surely some lucky and/or levelheaded people that never have a bad living situation, but this will probably not to be you.

Take pause to have forethought about the things you can control. It’s the best way to ensure that your new living situation will stay livable. For the unforeseen insane landlord from hell? Learn to take it in stride, know your rights and definitely know when to get out.

Here’s a list of things that you should probably think about before you go out into the market for your new pad.


Your best friend ever is probably not your best roommate. You will likely put up with things longer without saying anything, and believe me this will fester. Or you’ll expect your live-in bestie to be understanding of things (because they totally get you of course!) that they end up finding completely absurd for whatever reason, and it will probably make you feel crazy.

Fights can get out of control quickly when you know all of the other’s biggest triggers, and it’ll hurt that much more if and when things don’t live up to your expectations. Before you rush into a situation with someone you have known and been friends with forever, think about whether you want to be friends with them afterwards. If things go wrong, they’ll likely go really wrong, and it’ll feel like a best friend break-up that you might never get over.

When it comes to getting a house with more than one roommate, the financial appeal can be so compelling. Think how much extra money you’ll have for booze and bottle rockets with all that you’ll save on rent! Seriously though, you should probably assume your roommates will do something ridiculous and annoying like spend their extra money booze and bottle rockets and generally test your faith in humanity. Worse yet, they could blow all their money and leave you hanging with half the cash and the landlord on the line as they sit in their underwear clipping their toenails.

I sincerely hope that your friends and roommates don’t turn out to be as such, but it’s important to remember that you just don’t know you what you’re getting yourself into until you live with someone. Just think about all the bazaar things you do when you know no one is looking.

This is also especially important the first time you move in with a significant other, but I think that is a whole other beast for another day. Even living on your own requires thought if you get lonely or scared easily or if you have medical problems.


Think about it. For a while. The neighbors definitely matter, and if you don’t like them, your life can tern into a kind of neighborhood feud, complete with parking wars. You can only really ever account for yourself, but avoiding crazy neighbors will definitely help promote normalcy in life.


If the place is a complete sty, you are likely dealing with slumlords, and they are not likely to fix what’s broken. If your landlord is really old, you shouldn’t expect them to be very helpful, just as if your landlord lives out of town. Also be especially weary of homeowners that may not have paid their mortgage. Try to find out ahead of time so that you don’t end up being unexpectedly forced out by the bank.

Finally, always do a walk-through before you move in, and check twice to make sure that everything gets fixed. Also take detailed notes of anything that occurs while you live in the house to protect yourself. Law errs on the side of the landlord in the state of Nevada, but courts are usually fair in most tenant disputes.


Different kind of heat cost different rates, depending on what your house is equipped with. Oil furnaces tend to be the most expensive and your landlord will typically make you pay to fill them yourself. Consider extra expenses such as these when moving into a place where you pay your own utilities, as this may be a deciding factor in where you move. You may also want to think about insulation and even how much sidewalk you’ll have to shovel in the event that it snows.

Juliana Bledsoe can be reached at