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How to Prepare a Young Adult to Move Into Their First Apartment

Updated on February 12, 2019
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah is a retired educator, the mother of four grown daughters, seven grandchildren, and former Girl Scout leader and school volunteer.

Most Young People Look Forward to Relaxing in Their First Apartment - Someplace They Can Think of As Their First Home!

There is no place like home, especially when it is the first place you can call your own!
There is no place like home, especially when it is the first place you can call your own! | Source

Help Young Adults Establish Independence

Somewhere between the ages of 19 and 24, your adult child will be ready to move into a place of their own. As a parent with four grown daughters and three adult granddaughters, this is a process our family has gone through a number of times. Gradually, it became easier as we learned what information our children would need. We also became better at "letting go," once we realized that our daughters would always be a part of our family, whether they lived with us or not. This article contains some of the lessons we learned and resources we used as we helped our daughters establish their independence.

Once you and your adult children agree they are mature enough, as well as emotionally and financially secure, they should be ready to set up their own household ... usually in an apartment. If this is your first child to move out, neither of you may know what to expect.

The first thing which has to happen before a young adult can get their first apartment is for them to have a job, with an income which is ample enough to cover their expenses. Many apartment complexes require that the tenant's gross income be at least twice the monthly lease amount ... and sometimes more. Of course, if your child is a college student when they get their first apartment, you will probably have to rent the apartment in your own name, until they are ready to support themselves.

In addition to being able to pay their first month's rent when they lease an apartment, the young person should also have at least $1000 set aside to cover deposits and emergency expenses. (Sometimes this starter money comes from graduation and other gifts.) In some situations, parents will have to co-sign the first lease with their adult child. Unless they are a student and dependent on you, try to avoid being a co-signer, if possible. You do not want to take responsibility for paying their rent unless you are really confident in your child's maturity and ability to support themselves.

In addition to helping our children furnish and supply their first apartment, we also purchased them a couple of books. We discovered that our children were more willing to learn the basic skills they needed from a book than by listening to us lecture them.

Choosing a Roommate

In many cases, young adults need to have a roommate in order to afford their first apartment. However, don't be surprised if this arrangement only lasts a year or two. Often young adults have wildly different interests and levels of maturity. While one is looking for a party house, the other is looking for a quiet place to relax after working all day. This can create immediate conflict! Have a discussion with your adult child about what they need in a roommate. Their best friend from high school might not be the ideal choice for a roommate as an adult. Only an honest discussion can help them make the right decision.

Choosing the right roommate is especially important if you are going to be co-signing the lease. In fact, you may also want to meet their parents, if possible. You want to make sure the roommate also has a job and is able to carry their part of the rent ... or you may end up paying all of it, instead.

Banking and Retirement Accounts

Along with finding a job and an apartment, the young adult also needs to set up banking and retirement accounts, as well as establish their own credit, if they have not already done so. They should plan to deposit a small amount of money each month into both a retirement account and a savings account.

The savings account is especially important when they first start out, so that they have money for emergencies. Help them establish a reasonable budget, so they are not continually turning to you for help with every minor emergency! As you know, cars break down, people get sick, pets get injured and other "surprises" creep up almost continually in life. Our children need to learn to be prepared for these events, too!

Getting them in the habit of saving for retirement will benefit them, as well.

Make Sure They Know How to Cook and Have the Right Supplies

Once the young person has found a job and an apartment, and created a budget which will allow them to live comfortably within their means, they are ready to move into their new place. However, most young people who are moving from their parents' home will not have many belongings to move, other than their clothing, computer and personal items.

Now is the time to decide what you are willing to have them take to their new home. Is it alright with you for them to take the bedroom furniture they grew up with? Do you have any other old furniture which you were planning to get rid of anyway? What about dishes, tableware, glasses and cups? Do you have any mismatched items cluttering up your cabinets that you would like to get rid of, or replace? What about towels and bed linens? Why not give the adult child some of your old things and buy new supplies for yourself? Personally, every time one of my daughters moved out of the house, I purchased myself a set of new glasses and dishes, and gave them my old things. It made the move fun for both of us!

Before you know it, you and your child will be visiting each other, meeting for lunch, and establishing an entirely new relationship as two adults. Enjoy yourselves! It will be fun!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Deborah-Diane


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    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Having your children move out of your home can be a big change for everyone but, like birds leaving their nest, it is something that every family must go through. It is important that we launch our children happily and well.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from North Central Florida

      This is so smart, Deborah Dian. Especially finding out what it is that is desired in a roommate...that really can become problematic if the two differ vastly in their idea and have not discussed it prior to moving in.

      A long time ago...longgggg time, I did this. :D

      Sharing and voting up

      Angels are once again on the way to you this afternoon ps

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      I've found that good planning is key when kids move into their first apartment ... a step that nearly all of us have to go through at some point in our young lives!

    • georgescifo profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Awesome hub and a real eye openers for those young adults who are planning to move into another apartment.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      7 years ago from North Texas

      A lot of young people are moving away from home into their own place right now with classes starting back up at the university. This could be a very helpful article for them and their parents. Sharing.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you for sharing that your daughter was able to successfully move away from home. I think any child can do it, if we prepare them properly to live on their own. All four of our daughters were able to, and we enjoyed helping each of them move out on their own and get established. I think it is part of being a successful parent!

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      When our daughter moved into her own place she never came back to live with us. She made it on her own. Shared this hub.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      Even though most young adults are excited about moving into their first apartment, they are also a little scared and nervous ... although they don't like to admit it. This article may help things go a bit more smoothly.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      8 years ago from North Texas

      Great information for families that are going through this phase or about to. Lots of food for thought here. Talking and planning this big event will help it go more smoothly. Good advice and conversation starters.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      We were able to successfully and happily move all our daughters into their own places, and they have been independent every since then. With a little planning and assistance, I believe that almost any young person is capable of living on their own. I'm glad you have all found this information helpful ... whether you are a parent or a young person hoping to move into your own place soon.

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      Lots of good information. Our kids are now past this time but I remember it well when they got their own place.

    • torrilynn profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Deborah,

      thanks for this hub Im almost at the point of wanting to move

      into my own apartment im sure with the help of my parents and your

      hub I'll be able to move in just fine. thanks again.

      Voted up and sharing.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I am pretty far past having my children move out. In fact, their children are now in that process. You ideas sound good. To my mother the idea of her children moving seemed to her to be a personal insult. voted up and interesting. sharing.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      The time when our kids move out is very nerve-racking for most parents! Relax. I'm sure she will do well!

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Orange County, California

      I'm a firm believer that the more responsibility you give your college age kids, the better the transistion will be. Of course, they will make mistakes ... but I do, too! Accept the mistakes as a normal part of life, and send them out to act responsibly again!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      8 years ago from USA

      I am coming upon that time when my daughter will be ready to move out. I do hope that the transition goes smoothly. Thanks for these useful tips.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      After raising seven children and launching them into the adult world, I echo your sentiments. It is vitally important for young adults to take responsibility for their own affairs as soon as possible after high school. College life is no different than having a full time job and working. One has to keep deadlines, manage money, get along with roomates, and set aside for a rainy day. Thanks for the tips!


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