Renting has become increasingly common as the years have gone by, especially with the younger demographics. Those that are under 35 are more likely to rent a home than they are to purchase one. Because of this, the rental market figures continue to grow over time. This gives renters a lot of options to pick from as they find the right home to temporarily make their own. If you find yourself looking to rent, here are five tips to consider before making a choice.
5. Know Your Budget
First and foremost, you have to know what you’ll be able to afford before you can even begin to get a little more selective. Also, remember that the rent cost per month isn’t the only thing that you’ll have to pay. There will be other fees that include the application, deposit (which can be multiple months’ worth of rent), and utilities.
These additional charges that you face upfront and each month can add up quickly, so it’s important to have a lot of money saved up before moving into a rental. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why so many renters stay put where they are currently is due to the large costs associated with starting a new rental agreement.
4. Location, Location, Location
If you have the ability to work from home and never have to come into the office, you may want to consider a more rural rental home. In almost all cases, living farther away from major metropolitan areas will be much cheaper. Not only is the rent cheaper, but you’re likely to spend much less on gas, insurance, food, etc.
However, if you have to be in the office at least once per week, try to get as close to your building as your budget allows, granted it’s in a neighborhood that will be a good fit for you. Just a few blocks in distance can make a huge difference in safety and rent costs, so try to combine these factors when looking for a location.
Amenities are something more commonly associated with apartments, but rental homes can have these too. Some landlords sweeten the pot with their tenants by including some bonuses to their properties. This can include a finished basement, a fully furnished home, a swimming pool, or even gym equipment. While the price might be higher for homes with amenities, it could save you a lot of money elsewhere if you don’t need to purchase furniture or a gym membership.
2. Room Situation
If you’re living by yourself, the first thought is that you need a one-bedroom home since it’s cheaper. However, you may be regretting that decision a few weeks in when you get tired of working in your living room. If you can afford an extra bedroom, it’s not a bad idea to take advantage. You can use this extra bedroom as an office, gaming room, or spare bedroom for when a visitor comes over.
You also want to consider how many bathrooms there are in a rental home. If you’re living alone it will be fine to have just one full bathroom. When you add other people to the mix, especially when everyone has to get ready for work or school at the same time, you’ll need more full bathrooms.
One thing that renters tend to do when in a rush to move into a new rental home is not inspect the properly. Many think that since they aren’t paying for potential major repairs or buying the home themselves that they don’t need to inspect. However, poor insulation, windows that don’t work, broken locks, etc. can all cause a slew of problems throughout the rental agreement. Always mark down what can be fixed before signing anything so that you’re not on the hook for payment.