What You'll Learn
- Prioritize what is most important to you when deciding on location
- Your budget and lifestyle will play a big role in deciding what type of rental is right for you
- There is a difference between a condominium and an apartment
Finding the Right Location
So what’s the key to finding the right rental home? Your lifestyle and how your home fits into it. Think about what you like in a neighborhood and community. Do you care about schools? Is walking to nearby amenities a priority? Make sure you’re clear about what’s important to you, including:
Urban or Suburban: Do you want the convenience and walkability of city life? Or do you want a larger home with a yard, away from the hustle and bustle?
Schools: Do you have school-age children? If so, you’ll want to consider the schools in the community.
Proximity to your job, current and future: Are you willing to make a 45 minute drive to work, or do you want a short commute – 15 minutes or less?
Access to Public Transportation: Do you need access to public transportation, to get to and from work, school, or your primary health care provider?
Size: Is a four bedroom home with a fenced-in yard for your dog important? If so, you may need to consider homes further from a city-center.
Did You know that renting can involve more than just paying your monthly rent? Be sure you understand all of the costs that may be involved.
Finding the Right Type of Home
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of rental home types and decide which is best for your situation. Your budget and lifestyle are an important part of deciding what type of home is right for you.
Single-Family: Typically, these are the largest of the property types – providing you with the most privacy and space. The downside? They can be expensive and even if you’re renting you may be responsible for some of the home maintenance and the yardwork.
Townhomes: Townhomes can offer many of the benefits of condominium and single-family living at a more affordable price. They typically offer two levels with good living space and frequently include amenities such as parks and playgrounds. They tend not to require a lot of outside maintenance, but with that comes less privacy than a single-family home.
Apartments & Condominiums: Apartments and condominiums can provide you with a maintenance-free, "on-the-go" lifestyle. Those located in urban settings often offer walkable access to shops, restaurants, and public transportation. They also can offer varying degrees of amenities from parking to playgrounds. Condos tend to offer more amenities – like pools and concierge services – and that usually comes with a cost called homeowners association (HOA) fees. Be sure to find out if you will be responsible for that monthly fee or if it is already included in your rent.
What’s the difference between an apartment and condominium anyway?
The short answer: Ownership of the units in the building.
Generally, apartment buildings have a single owner for all of the units. It’s likely your rent and maintenance needs will be handled by the property manager. You can expect each unit in an apartment building to be similar from appliances to flooring.
In a condominium, the units are individually owned and your rent and maintenance needs likely will be managed by that owner. Condominiums are more likely to reflect the unique stamp of the owner and could be quite different from unit to unit – even if they are next door to each other.
It’s important to consider things like your commute, schools, and nearby amenities when deciding on location
Condominium living may come with HOA fees. Be sure to ask who pays the fee.
Your rent and maintenance needs will likely be handled by a property manager in an apartment building