The rental market is getting more attention as more people decide to rent instead of buy a property. Just as any other deal regarding the real estate market, finding the perfect rental property is all about combining a few things – location, price, size and comfort. Apart from that, there are more factors than you think that need to be included in the final decision as well. You should keep in mind that this is a competitive market and many properties go off the market very quickly if you don’t jump on the opportunity fast enough. Whether you’re new to renting or just want to try something new in order to save some money, work through these simple steps and you’ll be just fine.
Words: Emma Joyce
Determine your budget
Just like anything else, first you’ll have to determine the budget for your rental property. It should be no more than 30 percent of your family income and you should put it on paper to see why you should stick to this number. When it comes to signing a lease, ask your realtor if there are any financial benefits to renting the property for a longer period of time. You need to be aware that many landlords specify certain income requirements and won’t rent their property to someone who doesn’t earn enough money. Although this may sound a bit too much, that’s just their way to secure the rent and protect themselves against any future financial issues.
Start on time
The best time to start searching for a property is as soon as you decide you want to rent one. By starting early, your chances of finding the perfect place will be higher. Apart from that, this will also give you a possibility to choose between some great picks you’ve found. Of course, you can’t start the search months before you want to move in, but the best time to start is at least two months before moving out of your current home. That will give you a chance to find places that will be empty by the day you’ll want to move in, as well as other properties on the market.
Prepare a list of questions
When you find a property you’re ready to look into, get prepared to ask the owner everything you want to know. It’s always important to ask about the basic things regarding the property – utilities, repairs, the overall condition and upgrades planned for the future. Apart from that, it’s vital to know another thing –learning what a body corporate is, and what it covers. This will keep your new space well-maintained, and you won’t have to worry about any additional costs. Ask the owner if you could do an inspection of the home, because there are certain things you can’t see straight away, yet these could cause some serious problems down the road.
Choose a rental type
The process of searching for a house and an apartment isn’t the same, and looking for a place for just you or the entire family is also going to be different. Think twice before opting for a small apartment if you want to save money, or going to a big house if you can’t afford it. Before making a final decision on what type of the property you want, go to several properties and get your thoughts on them. Try to imagine your belongings there, think about the storage space, figure out if the place is big enough for all the members of your family and ask about the monthly utility bills. This will help you get a perspective of the layout and the square footage that’s perfect for you, and only then can you make your decision.
Start scouting properties
A great way to find property is through social media or by recommendation. You’ll get great ideas and a first-hand experience from the people who lived there. If this doesn’t prove to be successful enough, go to different rental sites and cross-reference all the properties you find. Search by price and the type of the property you want to rent, and create a list of places you want to visit and the ones where you see some potential. An online search will save you time because you’ll be able to see different types of information you want to know. Apart from that, you can always research a certain neighbourhood and see if it’s right for you.
Once you find the perfect property, make sure you finish all the paperwork before you move in and start adjusting the place to fit your own style. The only thing left to do now is to call the movers and start enjoying your new space and getting used to living in a new property. Remember to extend your lease if you want to continue living there, or just start again and try to find something better instead.