Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Renting? What You Need To Know

 If you are looking to rent an apartment, there are many factors that need to be considered. Of course there are the ones that everyone knows, like setting a budget and making sure to look at the place before you make a decision. But there are a few other things that are equally important and sometimes overlooked. 

It is very important to read the lease and ask questions. Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you and of the property owner or property manager. For example are household repairs your obligation or is it the responsibility of the owner. 

Most times, with rental properties, standard repairs are the duty of the owner. So if your water heater breaks down, you call them to take care of it, instead of having to handle it yourself. That is one of the main perks of renting.

That's why it is important to be clear on those responsibilities before signing the lease. There can also be expectations set for you, the renter, such as no pets, no smoking, must maintain your yard/grass a certain way, etc. Making sure the benefits are equal/greater than the drawbacks is pretty important.

Another vital tip is to know the value of property in the area. Just because you might find something you like, in your budget, that still does not necessarily ensure you are getting a good value. Renters can overpay for a couple reasons. One is desperation. That one is tougher to avoid. If you need a place quickly sometimes you might take something less than desirable just to secure something.

Sometimes security deposits play a role in this. Most places require first, last and security, but some don't. So a place that requires only the first month and a small security deposit might make all the difference. A person may need to accept a place that is more per month simply because the initial move in cost is more affordable. A lot of people are privileged enough to not understand that. 

Another reason people overpay, though, is simply because they are not well enough informed to realize that the cost is too high for the area and/or size/quality of the property. In this instance, the best course of action is to use resources to research ad become informed.

I recently learned about Zumper and it is a game changer. Not only does it show you the average rent in the specific city you are looking to rent in, but it allows you to sort by location, bedroom count, pet policy, or even amenities. You can search houses, condos, apartments and even rooms for rent.

I am not currently looking to rent, but I wanted to compare nearby cities to our city. According to Zumper, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Miami, FL is currently $1,575. That is higher than our city. So if I had tried to look for rentals without researching, I would automatically assume that all the places were overpriced. That is why being informed is imperative.

If you are looking to rent you can submit digital rental applications and credit reports. With real-time alerts, you will always be viewing what is actually available, and you can get alerts to be the first to know when new listings are added.

Being informed is always the first step in any endeavor. And the best way is by utilizing all the resources available to you.

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