When I was growing up, we moved around constantly due to the nature of my parents’ work. Every few years, I’d be in a different neighborhood and a new school. It was hard but I learned to adjust quickly.
I remember we’d go from place to place with 3 or 4 mattresses. Yes, we didn’t have beds. That’s how nomadic we were. My father would rent a big van or a truck to transfer our stuff to the new place.
We’re a big family with my other four siblings so it was important to find a house that could accommodate us all. Plus, of course, we needed to check if the area gets easily flooded or earthquake-prone. And we also needed to make sure that it was near schools, hospitals, and supermarkets.
During those times, my parents would look through the “Properties For Rent” section of newspapers or drive around the area looking for signs that say “Apartment for Rent.” Pretty old school huh?
Nowadays, many people choose to rent rather than buy a house, especially if you’re just starting out and can’t afford to pay a huge mortgage. According to PewResearch.org, more people are renting these days in the US since 1965. I think renting is also a good idea if you want to get to know the area first and find out whether you really want to live there or not.
So, if you’re looking for the best tips for finding a place to rent, you’re in the right spot.
Best Tips for Finding A Place to Rent
1. Do your homework
Yes, you need to research many important things. For many people, price is a key factor. According to Census.gov in 2021, the median asking rent is a little over $1200.
How much is the cost of living in that area? Is it safe? Does it flood easily or is it near an earthquake fault line? What kind of rental type are you looking for (condominium, vacation home, single house, apartment, etc)? Are there good amenities nearby?
You can also try searching for online listings to find good deals. I recently chanced upon a site called Zumper and find it very handy when it comes to rent research. For instance, if you’re eyeing to get a place in sunny San Diego, Zumper shows that the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2000 while it’s $2750 for a 2-bedroom one.
Moreover, be sure to set a budget so that it’ll be easier for you to filter out the properties you like but don’t have the money for yet. A good rule of thumb is that rent shouldn’t go beyond 30% of your household income but of course, it’s on a case by case basis.
2. Ask your contacts
Next, you need to reach out to people who can help. A good friend of mine had been looking for an apartment for almost a month before she contacted her friend. Luckily, she was able to get a good place simply by asking a close friend.
Another reason you’d want to ask someone is that they may know the owner or even do a walkthrough for you before you even visit the place.
3. Try using social media
Don’t be afraid to post on social media about looking for a place to rent. Who knows, your network might know available places in the location that you want.
So, do you have any other tips I might have missed?