Whether you’re looking for standalone houses, townhomes, or condos for rent, the house hunting process can be overwhelming. Signing a lease on a home you don’t love or that is out of your price range can end up being a big nightmare.
When you are searching for houses, apartments, condos for rent, you should make sure to follow the five steps below to get yourself in a home you love:
- Figure out a realistic budget.
Most financial experts recommend keeping your rent less than 30% of your monthly income. Keep in mind, that if you have unusual monthly expenses or debt, you will need to adjust the 30% rule to calculate what you can afford.
It’s also helpful to consider additional expenses that you might be able to avoid in certain rental agreements. For example, some rental agreements include utilities, which will save money in other areas of your budget, allowing you to go over the 30% rule.
- Make a list of must-have’s
Having an ordered list of what is most important to you in potential houses, condominiums or townhomes for rent will help keep your house search objective. You might find an amazing deal that has you seeing dollar signs, but if you keep in mind what will really make you happy, such as being on a specific side of town or having certain amenities, it will keep your eye on the prize.
- Make geography a priority
Consider the places that you spend the most amount of time. It might be your job, or school, or leisurely activities that you’re part of. It’s helpful to find living arrangements in the same area. You could find custom homes of your dreams, but if you’re spending 2 hours commuting every day, you will not enjoy it as much.
Bonus tip: It’s a good idea to look at one of the websites that checks crime in a specific area before choosing a place to live.
- Consider the terms of your lease.
Consider your long term goals and make sure your short-term plans and the terms of your lease fits into that. If you want to keep your future flexible, you might consider a rental agreement that the last six months or less, or even subletting an apartment. If you are confident that you can stick around for a while, longer leases usually offer more options for living arrangements.
- Dive into the deep end with the application process.
Once you have found the home of your dreams ,within your budget, that fits into your long-term goals, it is time to tackle the application process. This usually involves:
- Submitting a background check that verifies employment, income, and your clean criminal record.
- Negotiating the terms of your lease. It is essential that you pay close attention to the details of your lease so that you understand what you are agreeing to. While you may not have a ton of wiggle room with the rent, you can often negotiate factors such as a reduction of deposits and fees, added amenities, and renewal opportunities.
- If all goes well, pack your belongings up and get ready to move in!
Do you have any tips for finding houses, townhomes, or condos for rent? Please share them in the comment section below.