Moving out on your own for the first time is one of the most exciting steps of entering adulthood. Once you get settled into your first Ottawa apartment, you might have some realizations that you wish you had known beforehand. Make note of the following tips to help you find a happy home for your first apartment:

Compromise & Realism
Before you start looking for your first Ottawa apartment, it can be easy to let your lists of wants and needs spiral outside of reality. Unless you have eight roommates or a crazy budget, don’t expect your first place to look like Monica’s apartment in Friends. Take stock of your lifestyle and habits and find out what you really require. If you don’t expect to ever eat a meal at home, maybe a dishwasher isn’t a necessity, and three bedrooms aren’t a must-have if you plan to live alone. You’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect Ottawa apartment if you’re realistic about your needs and willing to compromise.

Be Prepared!
When you find the perfect place, make sure you have your affairs in order because other people are likely as impressed by the apartment as you are. Don’t be afraid to sleep on it, but if your gut says that you’ve found the right place, make sure you have all of your documents organized and on hand so you can sign the lease and lock up your first Ottawa apartment.

What About Roommates?
You don’t want to wait until you’re settled in to realize that your bratty younger sister or your boyfriend of four days might not make the best long-term roommates. Your home is your retreat so avoid roommate arrangements which have a high probability of turning sour. Set the ground rules early on. Find someone with a schedule that matches yours and cleanliness habits that won’t make you tear your hair out.

Ask for Advice
When you’re used to your parents taking care of all the shopping or much of the household chores, you may not even be aware of what’s required to keep everything in order. Your friends and family will have great recommendations for things you might otherwise overlook. They’ll remind you to buy a bottle opener, suggest the best compact vacuum, and give you tips for decorating.

With these recommendations, you can avoid a lot of rookie mistakes and make your first Ottawa apartment experience a positive one.