Finding a place to rent can be one of the most exciting time of one’s life. In all honesty, it can also be a pretty stressful time as well. This is what we’re here for, though. Attention apartment/rental hunters! Read on below to find tips and tricks for how to find your dream property.
We understand that finding a new place to live all on your own can be quite an intimidating task, and naturally, you might want to wait until the last second to start looking. We have one essential piece of advice for all you potential renters out there: never leave the search for the last moment.
What will likely happen is that you'll set out to look for places with limited time and may end up living in a property you’re not happy with. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. Start your search early, and you can get first dibs on some of the best rentals out there.
Know Your Needs
Jumping into finding a rental property for yourself will bear you no fruit if you don’t know what it is that you’re looking for. This is why you should know yourself and your needs inside out before you step out into the real estate market.
Sit down with yourself and anyone else you’re searching with and try to prioritize what you require. This will include covering the basics such as the geographical location of the property, the size, how many rooms you want, its closeness to public transport (if needed), the type of neighborhood, etc. Take time to also write down essential amenities, nice to haves, and things you definitely DON'T want in a rental. Sorting all these out early on will help your narrow down your search.
Creating a budget is something that should go without saying, but is actually something many households fail to do. Surely, you can’t expect to make a large investment and not have your budget in order beforehand. When you decide what you require from your ideal rental, you will need to keep your budget in consideration.
You might have to make some compromises on one thing or another, but don’t let it distract you from the bigger picture. While allocating a certain amount to your rental, make sure that you keep some amount aside for other expenses that will come after signing a lease (purchasing furniture, moving expenses, etc). Additionally, make sure you have room in your budget for unexpected expenses by saving a little extra. You should never have to cut into your rent funds to pay for other expenses. Keeping a roof over your head should be at the top of your priorities!
Check Things Thoroughly
Although the internet has made our lives easier, there are times when unethical practices are carried out through the internet. While you are shortlisting potential locations, make sure to ask for additional information and/or pictures as needed to help narrow things down and make sure you’re not falling for a scam or wasting time looking at run down rentals.
Don’t immediately say yes to any property for rent just by looking at the pictures they have presented to you online. Make sure to visit the property and check it out for yourself to ensure that no nasty surprises are waiting for you. Here at Manitowoc Property Management, viewing the property is a requirement so that you know exactly what you are getting before signing a lease.
Let’s say you've managed to find what looks to be the perfect rental property for yourself. What next? Should you really pick the first place that looks good to you? No! Never make your final decision without checking out some alternatives.
When browsing for rental properties, you will find plenty of good options, but the trick is to keep looking until you find the place that ultimately meets your needs and fits your budget. Moreover, make sure to keep an open mind while viewing rentals. A property that doesn’t look appealing because of the current furnishing can do wonders for you once you furnish it the way you like.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
When you are looking to rent a place, steady income, minimal debt, and good documentation/references can make all the difference. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order such as pay stubs, employment verification, valid identification, etc.
Some landlords may look at your credit score when determining whether or not you qualify for their rental. It may be a good idea to get a credit report so that there are no surprises. Make sure that there are no errors or outdated information on your report. If you find any, you can either attempt to get it corrected or update your potential landlord of the discrepancy.
Talk About Pets
Many people tend to face disappointment at the last minute when they find out pets aren’t allowed by a particular landlord or in a specific rental. If you own a pet and plan on living with it in your rental, always make sure to bring them up during the application process and provide information about them.
Get in touch with the landlord and ask whether they allow the presence of pets on their property or not. If you get a no in return, it might be time for you to start looking elsewhere. Don’t be under the impression that you can own one and sneak them into your apartment without the landlord finding out.
Chances are they will learn about it one way or another and you could possibly even be evicted if you do not take action to remedy the situation.
Sort out the Details
When you are looking at moving into a new rental property, you need to sort out all of the minor details with your potential landlord. Make sure to take your time and inspect the property thoroughly even when you're at the initial showing. This includes checking the water pressure, asking the landlord if they will repaint or clean up the house before you move in, etc.
Ensure that if they agree to get any work done, it should be completed before moving in unless they are willing to commit to something in writing. Even so, it’s generally inconvenient for the renter and the landlord to have to complete work while the rental is already occupied, so it’s best to take care of it beforehand.
Cooperate with Property Management Services
If your landlord has chosen to employ a property manager/property management company, make sure that you are on good terms with them. Reliable property management service providers can make your life easier as they tackle most of the repair/maintenance issues and anything else that may come up. Staying in communication with them and on good terms will also ensure action is taken quicker and might just get them to be more willing to work with you if you run into any problems.
Finding the perfect rental property might seem like a daunting task, but you’ll definitely be one step closer to getting your dream rental when you keep in consideration the points mentioned above. Don’t make any impulsive decisions. Remember, you’re signing a legally binding document when signing a lease. Research thoroughly, and you’ll be good to go. Happy hunting!
P.S. check out our "For Rent" page for a list of all of our currently available rentals.