5 Things To Look For In Your Next Rental
Don’t settle: get the place you really want.
There’s a certain art to finding your next rental, especially if you’re looking in an area with relatively few vacancies. Even if your lease is ending or you have some other pressure to find a place yesterday, you still shouldn’t just blindly accept the first not-stanky-looking place you come across. You don’t want to have to move again the next time your lease ends — moving just isn’t a fun and happy thing to do. So, run through this checklist of things to look for when you’re choosing a new rental:
How’s the Neighborhood?
Regardless of how individually impressive a specific house is, you’re going to have to deal with the neighborhood that comes with it. If your next-door neighbor is a meth lab, that’s a dead giveaway, but it’s rarely that obvious. Instead, ask yourself what about your previous neighborhoods you’ve liked best, and see if you can identify those things in your next place. Perhaps it was the nearness of a grocery store, or the park that you could go jogging in. Maybe it was the fact that it was a quiet residential area with few raucous noises after dark. Whatever your priorities, brainstorm them and then see what you can find that matches the bill.
Is the Price Right?
You should have a budget in mind before you begin hunting for the right rental place, because your options are going to be curtailed the most profoundly by what you can afford in rent. Ideally, you’ll spend no more than a third of your monthly income on the rent; if you can’t find anything in that range, you should consider renting a room in a larger house, or trying to find a roommate to split costs with.
What About the Landlord?
Be sure as you tour each option to spend a few minutes and just chat with the landlord. Get their name, look them up online when you get home and check their reputation with the city rental department. There’s no single entity that can make your life a living hell faster than your landlord; no matter how awesome the place is, there’s nothing that can make up for a landlord that sucks.
Have a List of Must-Haves and Stick To It
Everyone has a few things they absolutely have to have an in apartment. On-site laundry, cable internet availability, assigned parking — make a list of the things you MUST have, and don’t skimp on any of them unless no reasonable alternative exists.
Will You be Safe There?
Take into account both the potential that the neighborhood will spawn a midnight biker gang who will destroy you car and the potential that the building itself will turn out to be a termite-ridden death trap ready to collapse on you while you sleep. In most cases, these will be easy questions, but keep an eye out for potential danger regardless — it has the smallest chance of being an issue, but if it is an issue, it will always be a BIG issue.
Seize the Opportunity!
If you can find a place that lives up to your list, jump on it to make it your next home! Those kinds of excellent opportunities tend not to last long, so be prepared with your application info and deposit.