Looking for a rental home can be time-consuming, whether you are new to renting or thinking of moving to another one. About one-third of people in the US rent, and while a majority of them are in early adulthood, there are also many families that are looking for houses that they can rent. Fortunately, there are many available rentals out there for all types of households and budgets. However, it can still be challenging to find a house to rent.
Depending on where you live, there can be either many options or very few when it comes to rental houses. In addition to that, price and quality usually vary quite a bit among what is available. With this, how can you find the perfect house to rent? You probably know what your necessities and deal breakers are, but there’s a lot more when it comes to choosing a rental house than checking off a list of amenities.
If you are browsing lists of Houses For Rent but can’t decide yet which one is the best for you, we are here to help you. Here are some of the best tips for finding a good house to rent.
1. Determine your budget and stick to it.
Before you search for a rental house, you need to determine your budget first and see where your money is going. In general, people should not spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Try to think if that is doable for you, factoring in commuting, grocery, savings, and other expenses. Also, know that many landlords specify income limits, such as your income needs to be a specific multiple of monthly rent or that your rent should not exceed a certain percentage of your monthly income.
You should also remember that aside from rent, you also need to set a budget for utilities, Internet, cable, and other extras like parking, laundry, and storage. How much you can spend is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to where you rent. You might be able to get a nicer rental house if you can spend a couple hundred dollars extra each month. However, if that’s going to stretch yourself thin, it’s not a worth it option.
Therefore, take time to establish your own budget before you start searching for a rental house. Even if it’s very tempting to go for more expensive property, only stick to what you can truly afford.
2. Finalize all the features that you want.
In addition to the essential features of rental houses, like basic bedrooms and bathrooms, it is also great if you can ask if there are other nice features. Some examples are a patio or deck, a fireplace, a full bathroom, a nook where you can set up a home office, and more. In addition to that, you also need to consider your compromises. For instance, can you give up some space and a yard in the suburbs in exchange for a smaller and close-in space that is near a park? Or are you willing to live with a roommate or rather live solo in somewhere quieter?
By determining the features that you want for your rental house, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and choose easily.
3. Do not choose a house to rent by just relying on online photos.
Many people who are searching for rental houses do it online. An online listing can truly help people in getting a good feel for which properties are a good fit. However, you can only tell so much about a rental house from what you see and read online. You can start by searching online to see a list of possibilities. But you also need to make sure that you visit those properties in person. Pictures are sometimes deceiving. For example, a bedroom that looks spacious in photos may not be able to accommodate a queen size bed in person.
To be able to check everything, you need to see the place in person before paying or signing anything.
4. Check the neighborhood where the house for rent is located.
There are times when a good rental house is located in a not-so-good neighborhood. Therefore, it is also important to inspect the area that surrounds the property that you are looking into renting. Try to ask about crime rates, nearby amenities, and access to public transportation if ever you need it. If the area where the rental home is located does not meet your needs, then your stay might not be very pleasant. It is always important to know what you are getting into. Try to make a decision while considering all factors and not just the house itself.
5. Read and understand the lease agreement.
It might be true that leasing contracts are boring to read. However, you need to read it and understand it before signing anything. This contract will give you a full idea of what your landlord is going to expect from you, and as well as what you can expect from them. It should include things like how you should maintain the property, how much notice they need to give you before they can enter your unit, and the conditions that may lead to terminating the lease. Once you sign that, it means that you agree to them. Therefore, you need to ensure that you clearly know what you agree to in order to avoid surprises later on.
6. Always ask questions.
Remember that choosing a place to live is a big decision to make. Therefore, it is fine to ask a lot of questions to figure out what it might be like to live somewhere before you rent the house. Aside from asking the landlord, you can also ask other people who live in that area. You can also ask about the previous tenant and the reason they left. You should also find out the recent updates that were made to the house. This way, you can see a full picture of what life is like there.
These are some of the best tips we can give for finding a good house to rent. Finding one might take time, but it is worth putting an extra effort into searching to be able to end up somewhere that is perfect for your lifestyle, budget, and needs. We hope these tips will help you find the perfect house to rent soon.