If you are looking for your very first apartment or even downsizing from your family home, finding the perfect rental property can be stressful. It can be hard to know where to start when there are so many options available to sort through.
When you are planning a move to a new city, the search can become even more complicated and time-consuming. Not being familiar with a new area can leave you feeling overwhelmed when trying to choose an apartment that is safe and meets all of your needs.
There are many resources available to apartment hunters today. including the internet as a powerful search tool. For example, if you were looking for a new place in Arizona, you might start with a simple Google search for Phoenix property management. This could lead you to websites of existing rentals that could help you streamline your search.
Take a look at some of the basic tips that we have put together to help you get started on your search for your new home. Following these simple steps can help you save time and worry while ensuring that you find exactly the kind of place you want.
Set Your Budget
The rule of thumb for budgeting your housing costs is no more than 30% of your net income. Spending too much on your new apartment or home rental can leave you strapped for cash all month long. Make sure to include all of your monthly expenses into your budget including insurance, transportation, grocery budget, utilities and entertainment.
Take a close look at your budget to see where you may be able to cut some costs with a smaller phone plan or a cheaper cable and internet package. If your budget is still looking a bit tight you may want to consider a roommate to split the costs with you. Cheaper rentals may also be available if you look outside of the urban areas. Rural property rentals are often much cheaper than downtown locations.
Start Your Search
The internet is the most powerful way to search for anything, including rental properties, but there are other methods of finding listings to keep in mind. Go through the local phone directory and start contacting Property Managers to ask if they have any upcoming vacancies that may not yet be listed. Keep your “must have” list in mind and be realistic about what you need in terms of square footage and available amenities. This will help you keep your search more focused.
Go Take A Look
Once you have narrowed your choices down to a shortlist, make appointments for walkthroughs of all the properties. If you can schedule them all together on the same day, or over one weekend, you will be able to save some time. Take detailed notes of each property as well as any pictures that you may want. This will help you later on when you start weeding out the properties that don’t meet your needs.
Walk around each neighbourhood to get a sense of the community. It’s a good idea to tour each area at different times of the day. Some areas may be very different during the day than they are in the evening depending on the nightlife in the neighbourhood.
Talk with the landlord about other tenants and the history of the building. While you are touring the rental make sure to test all of the appliances to see that they are working properly. It’s even a good idea to try the lights and the power outlets while you are there.
Prepare Your Application
Collect all the required paperwork and make copies to be given to the landlord for review. Do not hand over any original copies as you may not get them back. Include any landlord, employment and personal references that you have. Include a copy of your latest tax return as well as your most recent pay stubs to confirm your employment.
Ask for a blank copy of the lease so that you can review it and ask any questions about its contents. It is important to thoroughly read through any lease prior to signing. Leases are legally binding documents and it is vital that you know exactly what you are signing. If everything seems in order, you are ready to sign for your new home.