With housing and property prices constantly rising, renting is becoming an increasingly popular option for singles, couples, and families. Many members of the younger demographic prefer renting for its lack of permanency. Short-term leases are the perfect option for people who are not sure how long they’ll want to live in a specific location due to changing employment and relationships.
However, finding a great rental home can be just as challenging as finding a home to buy. As professionals in the property management field, we have some simple tips to help you find the perfect rental home:
1. Decide on a Price Range
Before you start shopping it is important to determine your price range. This will make your search more efficient as you can easily eliminate anything that is outside of your budget. When deciding on this price it is a good idea to consult local information about rental prices to determine a realistic budget. As well, consider how much a month you are willing to spend on additional utilities and amenities, or if you would like this to be included in the monthly rental fee. A general rule of thumb to follow is not to spend more than 30% of your income on housing.
2. Determine What Features You Would Like
Looking for a place to rent can be a whirlwind experience. This is why it is helpful to brainstorm the type of features and/or amenities you are looking for so that you do not overlook anything important. Here are some important questions to ask yourself. Do you want...
A home with a a pool?
A home with space to work out?
An office space?
Accessibility (ie. a wheelchair ramp or an elevator in an apartment building)?
A big kitchen?
Parking for yourself and guests?
A fenced yard for your dog, or a location close to a dog park?
Even with a rental home, it is important to make sure you love where you are living and that it feels like home.
3. Put Yourself in a “Day-in-the-Life”
If you find a place that you are interested in, don’t settle just based on the house or apartment. Take time to do some research about the neighbourhood. No matter how great a house is, if the area isn’t your style as well – keep looking. Imagine a “day-in-the-life” living in that neighbourhood. Find out where you would run your basic errands, what there is to do for fun, interact with the people in the neighbourhood and gather information about the crime rates and social services.
4. Decide What Type of Rental You are Looking For
All types of spaces are available for rent from apartments, to townhouses, to semi-detached homes, to condos, to houses. Consider the number of people you will be living with, the amenities you are hoping to find and the type of neighbourhood you would like to live in to help you determine the type of rental you are looking for. This decision will help you filter out several available properties that you will not be interested in.
5. Perfect the Application Process
Due to the high demand for rental properties, especially in large cities, there is often a rather intense application and approval process. Many property managers or landlords will require a