While buying a home is a big undertaking, renting can often feel just as overwhelming. But if you know what to keep an eye out for, and you have someone in your corner to help you make those big decisions easier, the process can go much more smoothly.
Today we’re tackling the 6 most important things to look for when you decide to rent and we’re framing them as questions you can ask yourself or an agent, about the properties you look at.
Let’s get started.
Is it in my budget? And what other fees or deposits are involved?
Establishing your monthly rent budget is a great first step. Not only does this help you and your realtor know what to look for, but it also narrows down your choices allowing you to really find the perfect spot.
While rent is the general term used to talk about this budget, you’ll also want to explore whether each property has things like pet rent, security deposits, or monthly maintenance fees.
Some places will include these in the rental cost and others will list them as “additional fees” somewhere in the listing.
Keep an eye out for them so you can stay within your defined budget.
What’s the neighborhood really like?
Driving past a property in the morning and in the evening can give you a sense for how active or quiet a community might be. You’ll also want to talk to the agent about local necessities like the grocery store or shopping centers and schools.
Try imagining yourself living there. Do you feel safe? Welcome? Excited? And if not, what would you like to look for when you visit the next property you’d consider renting?
Understanding the kind of neighborhood the rental space is in will give you insight into exactly what would make the right place a great fit.
Does this place check my boxes?
Speaking of the right fit, an important question to ask yourself is whether a place meets all of your “must-have” requirements.
If you have a pet, do they allow pets?
If you want a dishwasher, will you find one in that space?
If you want a balcony, does it have one?
While some things may be obvious at first glance, others you may want to ask your agent about (Think: heating, water pressure, snow removal, and the like).
It’s helpful to have a “must” list and a “wish list” ready so that when you review places you know if all of the necessary items are available in the space you’re visiting.
Renting is often a Goldilocks experience. So don’t get discouraged if you haven’t found something that’s ”just right” right away. Your must-have list and your agent’s expertise will get you closer to that moment each time.
Who takes care of the things that break?
One other consideration when renting is who fixes the things in the house or apartment that malfunction or break.
It’s important to get clear with the person who will rent to you so that you know who to call when the drain clogs or a fuse goes.
It’s also vital to save that maintenance person’s phone number in case an emergency arises.
What are the requirements and steps I need to take to rent this place?
Once you’ve found a place you like, it’s time to explore the requirements for renting. You’ll likely need a credit check and a rental application.
And some places ask for personal or professional references, proof of income, or a background check.
Since great places tend to go fast, it pays to get as much prepared ahead of time and your agent can let you know what that looks like for you.
How do I know if this is a good deal?
I hear this question a lot. And with good reason.
Even if a space is within your budget, checks all your boxes, and you qualify for it, you want to know if you’re getting a good deal.
As your agent, I know the rental market and can help you tell too-good-to-be-true from perfect-for-you deals apart.
If you’re ready to start your rental journey, you can reach out to me here and we’ll talk soon!