What's Acceptable For A First Home?

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When you first move out of home, the chances are it's not going to be to the most delightful of dwellings. Sure, some people may hit the ground running and love their first place - but for the majority of us, it's a series of compromises.

"There's not mould all over the walls," we tell ourselves, "which is better than the last two places. So I guess I can live with the fact there's a 24-hour bar less than 20 metres away..."

The horror stories of first homes are all part of making our way in life. In a way, it's character building... not that that is much comfort, as we try to get warm even though it's July and patch together the worn curtains with old T-shirts. By the time you've done that a few times, you probably feel you've got plenty of character stored up, and you'd quite like something nice and bland now.

While the character-building argument is something of a straw man, there are some uses to first horror homes. First and foremost, they teach us what we will and will not put up with. It's easy from the comfort of our parents' home to assume that we will never accept anything but the standard to which we have become accustomed; then reality hits. We realise we have an entirely new set of standards.

So what are the compromises that you would be willing to make - and where do you draw the line? And beyond that, what should you be willing to accept, and what might be hazardous?

ACCEPT: Small space.

The chances of your first home after your parents' being palatial are limited. You're going to find yourself having to pack you and your meagre belongings into a tiny space - but that's okay. It's all part of the experience.

There are things to love about small spaces. You have to truly prioritise the things you want, so you've no need for clutter. In the kitchen, there's a certain beauty to relying on one appliance for everything, meaning you have to experiment with just what it can do. In the bathroom, a shower bath can be extremely practical and save you from feeling claustrophobic in an enclosed cubicle. In the garden... ha, well, if you've got a garden at all in your first home then consider yourself lucky!

DON'T ACCEPT: Fizzing wires.

If you plug something in and sparks emit from the socket, that's not okay. That's dangerous. At the very least it's going to need an electrician to look at it - so never just dismiss it as a one-off.

ACCEPT: Strange neighbours.

The neighbourhood that you live in might not be the best, but it will teach you a great deal about home security. Unless you feel personally threatened, strange neighbours are just part of the package.

DON'T ACCEPT: Dodgy landlords.

If you're renting (as most millennials will be), then you don't need to accept a dodgy landlord. Know your rights, especially when it comes to repairs. If it comes to challenging them in court then so be it - they have to keep their side of the rental agreement, too.

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