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Easy Steps To Finding The Perfect Houses For Rent

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By Author: Nimesh Tandel
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Whether you are new to renting or have been leasing properties for years, finding great houses for rent can be incredibly time-consuming. One-third of all Americans rent their homes, including college students, families, and seniors. Fortunately, you can find houses for rent that fit all budgets and types of households. The key to finding a great piece of property without stressing yourself out too much is to make your search smarter and more efficient. Read on for some tips on how to do just that.

Determine Your Budget

Before you even begin your search, create a budget and take a hard look at what you can afford to spend. The general rule is to spend 30% of your take-home income on housing costs. You'll also need to factor in any debt you may have, as well as commuting costs, groceries, savings, and other expenses. Many landlords have income limits, so make sure to ask about that. Remember that you will also need to budget for utilities, so it's crucial to ask your landlord about what will be included in your rent.

Create a Wish List of Features

You probably ...
... have a count in mind for bedrooms and bathrooms, but it's great to also draw up a "nice to have" list. Is it important to have a patio, deck, or great outdoor space for entertaining? Do you want a fireplace or a fancy bathroom, or can you make do with a shower?
If you are into cooking, you will want to consider what kind of stove and kitchen amenities you need. It is also a good idea to start thinking of compromises you're willing to make. For example, are you willing to give up some square footage for a great location? Is a roommate a good compromise for a high-end apartment?

Choose a Rental Type

Consider exactly the type of property that will work best for your family and lifestyle. Houses for rent aren't the only option - you can also consider townhomes, apartment units in high-rise buildings, and accessory units in single-family homes. This will depend on how long of a lease term you're after and how much space you'll need. Use these factors to decide whether a sublet or renting directly from an owner or corporate housing company would be better for you.

Go Through the Application and Approval Process

There are some things you should expect in the application process. Landlords will typically ask you to fill out an application that allows them to run a background check on you and request that you supply information in the form of references, pay stubs, and more. You'll then have to negotiate the terms of your lease. You can work out perks like a month of free rent or reduced parking. Now all that's left is to put in your deposit!

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