Defining home is a complex process. Finding a place to call home is even harder. But it's definitely worth it. How do you go out there into the world and find a place to live, for example, if you are in a new area for a job, or you simply want to move out and try out the independent life? Here are some tips that will help you out.
1. Be informed and inform
Let your peers and colleagues know that you are looking for a house. Bring it up in conversations – you never know who might be able to help you out. Also, it means that whenever they find a suitable spot, or somewhat of a suitable spot, they will give you a 'heads up'. Try to keep an ear out for any sort of information that might help you, like which place has the most suitable transport system or which area has many vacancies. Rely on your family and contacts. Ask those who live nearby to assist you or to find suitable places.
2. Form or join a group of friends who are interested in being your flatmate, or are searching for a house
These are the people who will have ample information that will be necessary for you, and these are the people who will help you out. This may open a whole other range of options for you, such as getting a more expensive and aesthetically pleasing flat.
3. Don't be afraid to say 'NO!' to some options
If you aren't feeling it, if your instincts are saying no, say no. Remember, you have to live here for a substantial period of time, and if something about the place doesn't suit your tastes, it isn't the place for you. There will be other options.
4. List down your priorities and remember that money isn't the only factor
Yes, we would all like an affordable place, but at the end of the day, find a place that is worth the rent. Consider the distance from work, the availability of transport, the general environment of the area, and also, availability of nearby bazaars. Consider the type of work your job will need you to do, for example, if you need to be there early or on time, distance will be important, or if you need to visit lots of different places, ease of transport will be important.
5. If you are a girl, be prepared to face a whole lot of discrimination and extra steps
It's hard enough to find a place to live alone or to live with your friends, but if you are a girl, you have to go through some extra steps. You have to convince a bunch of people and then some more about getting your place, and consider a whole lot of extra aspects as well. You have to face more no's and it will feel like finding a place is impossible. Don't give up. The world is progressing and will be ready for your steps.
6. Start early and plan beforehand
It's best if you start this hunt beforehand to give yourself sufficient time to examine all your options and find the best match. You need to find a place to live you will like, and if time is a pressurising issue, you can't do that. It will save you the worry and let you search for the ideal spot. It's best if you start at least a month before work begins so you are well settled before starting your job.
7. Remember that there are no fixed steps or processes
You can go out on the streets or you can search for places online. You can choose to live with your work buddies or you can choose to live alone, with another family or in a flat. You can start by simply moving into a place temporarily and then finding out a more permanent place or fix a permanent place before work begins. Just keep notice of what is right for you and make a well calculated decision.
The writer is a sophomore at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka