2023 may not be the year for becoming a homeowner. However, renting an home is no walk in the park, and still requires you to consider a few things prior to making any commitments. We’ve compiled a list of things you should be thinking about upon searching for a home to rent.
When the time comes to look for a place to call home via rent, one of the top priorities is knowing your budget. As a renter, the base rent cost is hardly ever the only cost you’ll need to budget for. There are other factors that come into play, and not having it prepped into your plan can leave you with unexpected expenses. It is extremely recommended to anticipate these costs so that you don’t have to worry about snowballing costs forcing you to have to constantly adjust. Some questions to have ready for yourself can include:
1. Application Process
When preparing to rent, you will come across application processes. These applications can require you to enter personal information, one important piece being your credit information. It is wise to know these numbers to better set expectations and to realistically plan for your home options.
2. Know Your Financial Budget
What can you realistically afford? Knowing this number is crucial in allowing you to set out a price range. This will be one of the most important factors going into your search, and will better prepare your for lease agreements and rental prices.
3. Be prepared for Security Deposits
When creating your financial budget, have an open mind for the additional costs that will come into play on top of the rent price. Security Deposits are flat fees that you pay in the beginning and receive back at the end of your lease. They are almost certain to be present. Other costs may include lease termination fees. Be sure to decide on how much financial room you have for these fees.
4. Are utilities included
Along with one time fees, there are monthly, or reoccurring fees, to consider as well. You will be using utilities throughout your time there, and you commonly should prepare to pay for the home’s water or electricity bill. Along with utilities, you may run into problems that require repair. Are you prepared to pay for those, or will you be filtering down to home’s where the tenant covers these costs?
As the tenant, you will have preferences and different lifestyles from everyone else in the world. As a renter, you will have to work with certain policies that the landlord has put in place. Planning and deciding how much wiggle room you are willing to have for these policies will also help you in deciding which place is right for you. Below are a few examples of policies you want to consider:
5. Can you make changes to the home?
Is this a long term plan for you? Along the way, you may want to make changes to the home such as painting the walls or adding/removing carpet to the bedrooms, for example. Not all tenants allow for this, so it’s important to decide if this is important for you.
6. How many people can live in the home?
This is extremely important! Especially with a long term plan of staying there. Families develop, and people may come and go. Having a clear idea of how many people that will be populating the home is an essential decision to make.
7. Are pets allowed?
Along with how many people are in the home, you also should decide on whether you will be needing a pet friendly home. This may be easier to find than a pet friendly apartment, despite it being much more common these days. Still, you may find a home that does not allow for pets.
8. Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is an activity that is not for everyone, but is still common enough to list down. Be honest about your lifestyle when planning to rent, as daily hobbies and habits of yours may be compromised due to the home you choose. Make sure to consider all things!
9. Who takes care of landscaping?
Are you one to take pride in your yard? It’s important to know who takes responsibility in the care and cost of your landscaping. Along with your own preferences, the neighborhood you choose may have rules of their own that you have to keep up with. This should also factor into your decision making process.
The security to the home is an important factor for you to think about. You may be starting a family and want to have a gated neighborhood, for instance. Decisions like this will affect which homes you are looking for, and should be a set of questions you do not overlook.
10. Security Measures?
To continue on the point made above, there are so many other things to consider. Security cameras, for example. Another thing to be sure of when looking for a home to rent, is that the alarm systems within the home are up to date. This would be the fire alarms and sometimes a carbon monoxide alarm.
11. Renters Insurance
Renters Insurance is a key thing you will also be needing to consider when building the budget. This will cover you in similar ways a homeowner’s insurance can. Protect what you love most and be sure to have renter’s insurance. Chances are, your landlord will require you to.
12. Can the Landlord enter?
Privacy is essential to consider. And that also includes the rights your landlord has regarding entering the property. They may be present for repairs or inspections, but some may need to be present more often. Some even live on the premises! Be sure to decide on what you’re willing to accept when preparing to rent.
Last, but certainly not least, is the home in the right area of town for you. This question may include multiple possibilites or very few. It will ultimately be a choice for you to make!
13. Location good for you?
Do you want to be around a certain school? Do you need to be close to work or can you allow for a daily commute? Some nearby business may also affect where it is that you want to live. Cost is also a major player in deciding location as well. Be sure to look at your budget.
14. Nearby public transportation
You may not have your own car. Is there nearby public transportation for you to have access to? Along with public transportation, there are other emergency facilities that may be deciding factors for whether or not they make your list. Consider all factors when making a decision.
These things should make you excited to rent a home! Although they are tough questions you have to ask yourself, they allow you to shape out the home you will be living in for possibly the next few years! Once asking these questions, you will be much more confident when it’s time to begin your search!