You wouldn’t buy shoes without seeing if they fit or buy a car before test driving it. So why would you move to a new city or suburb without trying it out for yourself?
When moving overseas or interstate, your first instinct might be to rent the nicest and cheapest place available that you found online. Sometimes people are in such a rush, they will apply for rentals without even visiting them. If this is an area that you are planning to live in for a long time, you might want to be sure that it lives up to your expectations.
So what should you do?
A good idea is to book a serviced apartment in the area that you are considering moving to. This allows you to get a feel for the area before you commit to a long lease or mortgage.
While you are there you can try out the local shops, public transport and nightlife in the area to see if you want to live there or not.
You might find that the convenience of living near the CBD is not worth the higher rent. If this is the case, you may need to consider moving further out.
The advantage of staying at a serviced apartment in Melbourne over a hotel or Airbnb is the cost, flexibility, reliability and locations.
Serviced apartments can be better value the longer you stay. They also have kitchen facilities so it is easier for you to eat like you would at home. Cooking your own food can make this a less costly experience.
Unlike private arrangements, serviced apartments will be more likely to facilitate an extended stay if you decide if you like the location. It will also be useful once you have applied for a rental and need to wait until it is time to move in. They are generally easier for storing extra luggage as well, you don’t want your Airbnb host to think you’re moving in permanently.
Airbnb can be a great option for holidays but it probably isn’t going to be suitable in this scenario. There have been countless Airbnb Horror stories around the world. In many of these cases hosts have cancelled reservations at the last minute leaving guests without their planned accommodation. This is much less likely to happen in a serviced apartment.
Serviced apartments are generally located in more residential areas. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel of what your commute will be like and what it is like to live like a local. If you have the time and can afford it, you might even try multiple locations in different parts of the city to get a feel for the different neighbourhoods.
All things considered, it is best to try out an area before moving. You do not want to uproot your life and move to a new city and immediately discover it isn’t for you. Try before you buy and learn from your own experiences.