Whether you are new to town or are simply looking to find a new rental to call home, finding a new home can be quite challenging and if you are not careful, take up a lot of your valuable time. According to the latest research approximately one-third of all Americans now live in some form of rental home. Thankfully, there seems to be plenty of rental homes and if you know the right way to go about finding the right one for you and your family, you can cut down on wasted time and effort. Here are five great ways you can make finding the perfect dream rental home much easier.
1. Know Your Limits
Before you get started on your search, you need to take a good look at your financial situation. Create a budget based on your current bills and then use these numbers to determine exactly how much rent you can actually afford to pay each month. Most experts agree your rent should not exceed approximately 30 percent of your income. Today you will also find that the average landlord will have specific income to rent requirements such as 2 1/2 times the rent in income.
2. Know Your Features
While all rental units have the basics such as a bathroom, kitchen, and bedrooms, there are a number of other features you might want your new rental to include. Among these are:
- A fireplace
- A full bath with tub (unless of course, a shower is enough for you)
- A gas stove (vital for foodies)
- Are there enough electrical outlets, internet connections?
- Off street parking/ parking garage
- Will you be happy on the second, third or higher floor if you are renting an appointment?
3. Plan Your Day
Before you set out to spend the day searching for your next rental home, take the time to create a search grid. Try to keep houses/apartments you are considering renting in the same area each day of your search. This will cut down on wasted time and fuel, it will also give you more time to spend looking at each rental.
You can also use your map to determine information about local schools and amenities such as stores, libraries, gas stations, bus stops, train stations, etc. Keep in mind where you work, is there easy access to main roads, how long will your commute be, and what type of traffic are you likely to be dealing with on a daily basis? You might find it will pay to spend a full day hanging out in the neighborhood to see what a day there is like.
4. What Type of Rental Are You Interested In?
While you might be open to virtually any type of rental unit such as single family homes, townhouses, apartments, duplexes, or condos, you need to have a good idea of which one will best suit your needs. This can save you a lot of time and help you to keep your search well within your budget.
5. Be Prepared
Most landlords not only require a deposit and your first month’s rent up front, they require you to fill out an application and pass a background check. Be sure you have enough money to cover these costs and any other fees before you fill out the application. This will help cut down on wasted time and effort.
No matter how well prepared you are, finding the perfect rental home is going to take time and effort, but when you move into your next dream home, you will find the effort well worth the effort.