A Millennial’s Guide to Creating the Best Urban Living Environment to Fit Your Life

By June 30, 2017normalBlog

Do you have a strong desire for more freedom and mobility but don’t know how to make it happen? You may feel stuck where you are with the motivation to start working towards your goals, but you just cannot picture the necessary steps to get started with the change. Follow Lydia Lois’ advice on how to move out in your twenties and start taking notes because the official time to start “glowing up” is right now. So spread your wings and start adulting. And remember…

…“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

Step 1: Choose a Location that is Convenient for You

Work hard, play hard is what they say. And the millennial generation does just that with ease. You may be a natural hard worker building yourself up in the business world or a party animal searching for the hottest nightlife in town. Let’s be real though…you are probably both. Whatever your personal lifestyle leans towards, it is important that you live in an area that will help support your goals all while providing excitement, convenience, and fun to your life.

Would you rather…work somewhere where you can play…or play somewhere where you can work? If you have a job that is influencing your move, be sure that your new home is conveniently located within close distance to the office, unless of course you are a fan of traffic and long commutes. Smartasset.com is an excellent site that calculates your exact commute time from your home address to your work address.

The site also compares addresses and transportation methods to give you a visualization of what home location and transportation method combo will work best for your work commute. Be careful when considering your commute options. After all, it has been proven in studies mentioned in both Forbes and Psychology Today that long commutes tend to be thieves of happiness! In fact I strongly recommend checking out Helen Sanders’ article in Health Ambition about this very topic.

On the other hand, if you have a passion that is influencing your move, why not make it your home. Do you support local businesses and enjoy being involved in the community? Are you extremely loyal to your daily coffee shop visits? Maybe you are outdoorsy, into sports, or a health and fitness fanatic? Search the websites of your favorite sports teams or sporting goods stores and see what they are talking about. Many high traffic sites have a blog page that will link you to the exact places you want to be. City Sports Blog, for example has shared the 4 best places to workout outside (for free) in the Northeast. Also, sports news websites like Bleacher Report are giving us The 10 Best Sports Cities in the U.S.

Same applies for every area of interest under the sun. Musicians, performers, stylists, and cultural enthusiast…Have a favorite artist or band? Search their websites or check out sites like rawartists.org to find showcase locations all over the country.

Go where the food is, the art is, the love is, the booze is. Basically anything that can be consumed, go there.

Whatever your passions and priorities may be, you should be sure that your home is conveniently located near to what makes you feel alive and well. You never know, maybe your job and your passion will be so close that they will become one. That is the new day American dream after all, am I right?

The Best US Cities For Music Lovers | Culture Trip

Top Theatre Cities in the US | USA Today

The 10 Best Food Cities in America | The Washington Post

25 Beautiful US Cities to Live in if You Love Spending Time Outdoors | Business Insider

America’s Best Cities for Nightlife | Travel + Leisure

America’s 25 Best Cities for Young Professionals in 2017 | Forbes

Step 2: Know Your Budget and Amenity Preferences

The next step in creating your ideal new age urban lifestyle is to decide upon a budget that is appropriate and affordable for you. Now don’t let budgeting scare you. It’s not all about spreadsheets and formulas. Your personal budget, simply put, is the laying out of your priorities and aligning your money with those priorities. Learn about budgeting and prioritizing from the inside out at youneedabudget.com. It is important to know how to develop a proper budget that is flexible and adaptable to a young lifestyle that is always changing.

Once you have a solid idea of how a budget works, the easiest way to actually create one for yourself is by making use of…yes…you guessed it…the internet. There are a whole lot of budgeting sites and apps out there. In the earlier stages of life it is best to use a site that is free, simple, and created for young people like yourself. Mint is a popular website and app that helps you create a budget, track and pay your bills, and check your credit score all for free. And it is very commonly used among the millennial generation. Other free budgeting sites and apps similar to Mint include Digit and Level Money.

Once you have a solid budget and an idea of what you will be able to afford in monthly rent, you should consider the amenities that are most important to you when searching for a new home. You must then consider how much more you are willing to pay per month for these amenities, because they are not always included in the monthly rent. It is assumed that wifi availability is a must. Are fitness areas and communal lounges important to your lifestyle? Do you have a specific apartment design that you are looking for?

Maybe you prefer a modern industrial loft style with an updated kitchen. An in unit washer and dryer may be a must have. Or even a swimming pool or a balcony with a nice view! Many sites allow you to search for properties based on your amenity preferences. STL City Wide’s apartment selector tool for example prompts you to pick and choose your preferred amenities before matching you to the properties with the specific features you are looking for.

Your budget is a special tool that will help you make your hopes and dreams a reality and it is important that you know your priorities in order to understand your budget.

Budget Planning For The Millennial Generation | Protective

5 Tips for Millennials Who Need to Get on a Budget | Huffington Post

How to Budget for Your First Apartment | The Balance

Rent Calculator: How Much Rent Can I Afford? | Rent Lingo

Which Apartment Amenities are Most Important to You? | Rent.com

12 Amazing Budgeting Tips For Millennials | Wall Street Survivor

Step 3: Decide Upon Your Ideal Roommate Situation

Now that you know everything that you want your new life to be like it’s time to decide if roommates should be added to the picture. Maybe you already have your ideal roommate situation set up and are happy with it. Or maybe you don’t know what to do and need some guidance. Thespruce.com created a list of both reasons to have or not to have a roommate.

These lists can provide you with helpful insight and open your eyes to the best option for you. In either situation it is important to know ahead of the game that your roommates or lack of roommates can make or break your happiness and well being. Be sure to carefully consider your options and do what’s best for you and no one else. These are your selfish years after all, so take care of you!

If you do decide to take the roommate route you should know the pros and cons of living with specific people. Are you planning on living with friends, a significant other, a stranger, or on your own? No matter what option you choose, you should never go into a new roommate situation blind…even if you know them very well. Talk to people you trust or search the web for good quality advice. Refinery 29 shared 13 Things to Know Before Moving in With Your Significant Other and About Dating & Relationships shared helpful tips about moving in with a friend.

Talking with your potential roommate/s face to face in order to understand each others’ living style and weigh out the potential risks and benefits is one of the most mature things you can do before you make your final decision to make the move. To give you an idea of topics, MyDomaine.com cultivated a list of 30 Questions to Ask a Roommate Before You Move in Together. Make sure you and your potential roommate/s also decide on a well thought out plan of action just in case times get hard. This kind of talk can be a savior for your relationships if things do start to go bad.

Moving in with anyone is always a risk and so is living alone. But you should know that having roommates or the lack thereof can be a huge blessing. You may find that your roommates become your new best friends or you might find that your relationships strengthen after the move. If you still don’t know the best option for you, Psychology Today created the Roommate IQ Test. This along with some other online articles can get you started on your search for the living situation that will be best for you.

Living With a Roommate: How to Make it Work | Forbes

Moving In Together: Discus These 7 Things First | Vogue

10 Questions to Ask Your Next Roommate Before Moving In | Apartment Therapy

Top 21 Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Alone | Wise Step

Roommate Roulette: Tips for Moving In With a Stranger | Huffington Post

How to Live in Peace with a Roommate: 8 Tips | Moveline

Step 4: Use the Best Housing Search Sites and Apps

Now that you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin the search. There is no doubt that when you start looking for your next home, you will be browsing online. This is the digital age after all and you, as a millennial, have every opportunity in the palm of your hands…literally, and you have a knowledgeable advantage over other generations when it comes to searching the web. It’s best to know what sites to use ahead of time, however, to save you any bit of wasted time.

If you know you will be searching in a specific region or city, start by looking for highly ranked leasing agencies in that area.  STL City Wide, for example is the #1 leasing agency in the St. Louis area with over 20 properties located in St Louis city and the surrounding counties.

The site’s apartment selector tool makes your search quick and easy, and gives you a good idea of what type of place is right for you. New York City’s Urban Living and Chicago’s Dwell Chicago Inc are a couple other city specific leasing agency sites that will help you quickly find properties in the regions of New York or Chicago. Online leasing agency sites are an easy and reliable source for shopping for apartments in a specific location. You can always count on being able to contact someone right away and frequently as many sites offer live chat and easy contacts!

Perhaps you don’t know exactly just yet what city you want to live in or maybe you want to look beyond the specific properties that the agencies have to offer in the city of your choice. Curbed.com will help you find the best apartment rental sites and apps. RadPad Apartment Finder is a highly rated app and website that allows users to find and list home rentals, pay rent online, purchase renter’s insurance, and shop utility providers.

There are many user friendly and highly reliable apartment finder sites that also double as smart phone apps. It is important when searching for a new home that you use a site that is mobile friendly so you are able to easily search from any device, anywhere you are. The following are great to use whether you prefer apartment shopping from a desktop or from the palm of your hand…because yes, there is an app for all that.

Apartment List | Your personalized apartment search from start to finish

Zillow | Find your way home

Airbnb | Book unique homes and experience a city like a local

Apartments.com | Rent an apartment. Find your home.

Trulia | Find the right home and the right neighborhood

Zumper | Make your move

You are now well on your way to taking the first big steps of personal growth and positive change. Your freedom, passions, and success are all waiting for you to turn the page and make a move so do it now and do not wait for a better opportunity because this is it. Know that the beginning is always the hardest part but the reward for your efforts and the life you are creating is well worth it.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Why You Should Move to a New City Where You Don’t Know a Single Soul | Elite Daily

Happiest and Healthiest Cities to Live in the US | Time

10 Things You Need to Know Before Renting an Apartment | Complex

13 Ways to Keep the Peace With Roommates | Houzz

The Millennial Generation Influence on our Living Environments | FFKR Architects

Millennials: 3 Ways to Take Charge and Create Your Own Work-Life Balance | Inc.com