Are you considering moving to a new apartment or renting a house? Here are a few tips to get you started off in the right direction!
- Location – Narrow it down to one or two neighborhoods or towns. Prefer a short commute or walk to the train? Hope to be close to shops, restaurants and parks? Decide what’s most important and bring your check list.
- Space – How many rooms do you need? If storage is a concern you may require a basement or storage locker. If you enjoy entertaining, a rental with a patio, deck or back yard may be ideal.
- Amenities – Does it have an in-unit washer and dryer or laundry facilities in the building? Is there an elevator or are you willing to climb stairs? Does the building have security? Is a pool, clubhouse or work-out facility available for your use and is there a charge?
- Schools – If you have school-age children, the schools in the area will be important. You can find school information from the landlord or online. Drive or walk to the school to determine the distance it will take your kids.
- Parking – Parking can become a challenge, especially in the city. Is there a garage or assigned parking for tenants included in the rent? Is there guest parking? Are reservations needed to park a moving truck? Are there other factors that may affect the parking in the neighborhood, such as a nearby church or venue?
- Cost and terms – Determine what you are willing to pay. Factor in any monthly costs in addition to rent. Are utilities included or additional? Are the lease terms or rent negotiable? It may be easier to negotiate with an individual owner than a larger complex. When will they release your security deposit? What happens if you purchase a home before the end of the lease? If you are planning to stay more than a year or two it may be more beneficial to buy than to rent.
- Pets – When you find a pet friendly unit, find out if they require a pet damage deposit in addition to the normal security deposit.
- Condition – Most landlords and property managers will make sure the unit is clean, right? But has it been maintained? Run water, flush toilets and turn on everything to see if it’s working property. If things are not maintained from the start, they may not be responsive when you call for repairs.
- Timing – Don’t wait until you have to move to start looking! Don’t be pressured into taking something because you’re running out of time! Give yourself time to do your research and you will be ready to find your perfect rental.
If you need help finding the perfect rental, take a look at local or national rentals here.