The Guide To Renting
The Do’s and Don’ts Of Finding the Right Place
Let me preface this by saying that renting is still a viable option for many people, and if approached with the right tools, can be a smart option.
There have been many circumstances where a person or persons have little time to get in to a place. Because of this, it is always smart to keep your paystubs and have a few recommendation letters handy. Just having these items will easily save you a day of work.
Whether you plan on renting by yourself or with a group of people it wise to “go by the numbers” when looking for a rental. Collectively or individually, your monthly income should be three times the amount of rent. This is not a rule by any means, but it helps renters manage their money, and gives them a better chance of a landlord accepting their application(s).
The majority of rentals have a security deposit of one and a half months rent. So let’s say your application(s) get accepted and you’ve made it to the key exchange meeting. You’re responsible to bring the security deposit (1.5 months) and first months rent to the table that day. This means that if you and two of your friends are planning on renting a $1,000/month house; together you must bring $2,500 to the table. You should determine how much money you have well before even searching for a rental. It leaves a terrible feeling in ones stomach when there is a perfect rental, but it is determined to be too far out of your price range.
The next big issue when finding the perfect rental is pets. It is easier to find a place to rent if you do not have a pet. That does not mean that having a pet makes it impossible to find a rental, it just means it will cost a bit more and you’ll have less options to choose from. Many places do allow pets, but they can enforce a hefty “non-refundable” pet fee, and some could even charge monthly for a having a pet. A common pet fee I have seen is around $200, with a monthly charge of $15 per pet. If you and your roommates have a dog and a cat, that will end up costing an extra $560, and that’s before anything is taken out of your security deposit for damages caused by your furry friends.
Should you look on independent rental websites or contact a buddy or family friend who you know has their real estate license? Well, the person with the real estate license has an updated listing service that will tell you exactly what rentals are available, and it’s the landlord/seller that pays the agent’s commission. Working with an agent to find a rental is a risk-free move and gives you relief that you have someone looking out for your best interests.
Be equal parts realistic and optimistic! Know which areas cost more and what exactly your money buys in certain areas. At the same time, know that at any moment a new listing can pop-up and may be the perfect fit. Be on your toes and flexible to make sure you’re one of the first people in to see a property.
These are just some tips that I have picked up from being an agent and representing people who are looking for a rental. Have fun and happy house hunting!
The Minor McBride Team
Keller William Lakeside