As you search for your next rental, there are many factors to keep in mind. Here are four tips to help you find a rental that’s the right fit for your needs.
Identify Your Preferred Location
Before you can begin looking at rental options, you’ll need to decide where you want to be. Consider factors like:
- Distance from work: How far are you willing to commute?
- Public transportation access: Do you have a car, or will you primarily rely on public transportation?
- Neighborhood: Do you want to be in the city or a suburban neighborhood? If you have children, where will they go to school?
Understand What You Can Afford
Your budget will play a big role in determining which rental units you should consider. Once you’ve decided on a location, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the types of rentals you can afford in the area.
In addition to your monthly rent payment, make sure you are budgeting for upfront costs including application fees and a security deposit, as well as other recurring costs like utilities, parking and amenity fees. If you find it difficult to find properties that fit your budget in your desired area, you may need to expand your search to another location nearby or reconsider some items on your wish list.
Choose a Rental Unit That Suits Your Lifestyle
There are a variety of rental types that may appeal to different renters depending on lifestyle and preferences. Consider factors like square footage, accessibility, outdoor space, maintenance, amenities, privacy and walkability.
Some common types of rental properties include:
- Apartments and Condos: Units within a building or complex. These buildings can be walk-ups (four stories or less), mid-rise (five to 12 stories) or high rise (more than 12 stories).
- Townhomes and Duplexes: Multiple side-by-side units attached to one another, separated by a shared wall, and each with their own front door leading in from outside.
- Single-family homes: Often larger and more private, but may cost more and require more upkeep, than a multifamily unit.
Know the Signs of Illegal Units and Rental Scams
As you search for your next rental, there is a chance you could come across an illegal unit or rental scam.
These units may seem like viable options on the surface, however certain signs, such as failure to comply with the Uniform Building Code or a price that sounds too good to be true, should raise suspicions that the unit might be an illegal dwelling or a fraudulent listing. Familiarize yourself with some of the red flags to look out for to avoid becoming a victim of rental fraud.
Choosing a rental home is a big decision and there is a lot to consider when comparing options. Understanding your financial situation and knowing what to look for in your search will help you confidently navigate the process.