It’s time to move — again.

No one likes getting things packed and ready for moving or looking for another home for rent. Apartments are generally easy enough to find, but what about a house? The needs of families with children, pets, or simply the new work-from-home lifestyle we’re all getting used to have outgrown most apartments.

So what can you do about it? How do you choose the best home for you?

Keep reading to find out!

Looking For a Home for Rent or Purchase?

Although it feels like there are more people that rent than own, only 44.1 million households in 2019 were renter households in the USA. Considering there’s an inventory shortage on residences to begin with, this makes finding a home for rent difficult.

There’s something to be said for owning a home instead of renting, though. You might not have thought about buying your own home, but it may actually work out better for you than renting yet again.

Finding a Home for Rent

The variety of options you can rent is quite staggering and confusing. A mother-in-law suite isn’t the same as a lock-off, but it’s close. Is there a room for rent, or does it the whole apartment that you’re getting?

It’s an excellent idea to research what each kind of property type is before starting your rental hunt.

The Process

First off, you need to find out what your renting budget is. The general rule of thumb is that you can afford an apartment 30% or less than your monthly earnings. More people are following this advice than just ten years ago, when almost 49% of renters were renting units more than 30% of their earnings.

Not following the 30% rule means you’ll have less money on hand for incidentals and less likelihood of saving enough for them.

You’ll also want to do your research for what’s available in the area and make a list of must-have features the homes need. For example, if you have a car you’ll need parking, but not every rental agreement comes with a parking spot.

Next, you’ll want to tour the likeliest candidates available. Make notes or take photos of areas of concern or things you like to help you remember each one correctly.

If you’d like to apply for rent on a few units, it’s best to not accept the agreement at face value. Negotiate the terms, especially if something is exceptionally close to your 30% rate, as rental rates tend to go up every time contracts are renewed. If there’s an appliance or something that isn’t quite right with the property, have its repair or replacement built into the contract with a reasonable amount of time earmarked for its completion or before your move-in day.

Lastly, fill out the rental application, pay the application fee if there is one, and sign the lease agreement when you’ve been approved.

Found: Your Next Home

These tips are tried and true for finding a home for rent suitable for your needs and that you enjoy. Remember, it’s important that a home is not only a shelter, but a place you feel comfortable and can recharge. If it doesn’t help you relax in your downtime, it probably isn’t the place for you after all.

Did you find these tips helpful? Keep browsing our articles for the latest real estate news and tips!

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