While owning a home seems like the ultimate goal that anyone can have, not everyone can afford to buy one. A more viable option instead would be to rent, as the process is not as nerve-wracking compared to buying a home, and renting involves less upfront expenses. Here’s a basic guide for those who prefer to rent a home:
There’s a saying that goes, “location is everything,” and this applies equally well to those who are looking for a home to rent. Whether your reason for renting is to save on further expenses or are being relocated for a new job, the location of your prospective home will surely affect your stay. Plan ahead and do some research on the areas you prefer to live in, and narrow it down to communities that are close to your place of work and where there are rentals available. Check the area for convenient access to amenities, major transportation routes, and some important statistics like income brackets and crime reports. If everything is satisfactory, visit each location yourself so you can get a feel of the neighborhood.
Type of Residence
Decide what type of rental you would like to live in; rentals can be single family homes to large apartment buildings. Townhouses provide more privacy, but often lack many of the amenities provided by apartment buildings. Apartment buildings provide more services but are more of a community-oriented living situation surrounded by many others. Units also vary greatly with each rental, in terms of both square footage and the number of bedrooms available–would you prefer a studio-type loft or something with larger and more defined living spaces?
This is the most important factor for renters, as you have to consider the amount you are willing and able to pay each month in rental fees. Keep in mind that the U.S. Department of Housing and Development says that a monthly rent should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay since anything over that is considered a cost burden that will affect your other necessities like food, clothing, transportation, and medical care. Plan ahead and determine the price you can afford, then search for rentals that fall within your budget.
Pay close attention to the lease and whatever terms and conditions are stated in it; the lease will generally state the amount of rent, security deposit, allowed the length of stay, other fees like utilities included in the monthly rent, and policies like pets, late payments, and more. Before you sign a lease, review everything carefully and make sure you ask whatever nagging questions you have to the property manager, because once you sign it, it might be very difficult to break it.