In today’s world, tons of people are choosing to rent their homes instead of buying. It’s estimated by the National Multifamily Housing Council that over a third of American households are rentals – and the numbers show an interesting trend among younger households. In fact, three times as many people under the age of 30 were renting their homes in 2015, as opposed to buying them – and the split was fairly even for the next age bracket of folks aged 30-44.
So when it comes time to find a rental home – whether you’re moving across the street or across the country – how do you even know where to start? In today’s blog, we’re covering some great points that can help you begin a search for your next rental and hopefully wind up in the perfect home for you.
1. Start Early
You should definitely start looking for your next home at least 60 days before you need to move – especially if there aren’t a lot of rentals available in your area. But on top of that, it’s a good idea to start your search at the beginning of the month – the best rentals (in terms of location, price, and features) tend to get snatched up quickly, so be sure to check regularly.
2. Don’t Rely Solely on Online Listings
Starting your rental search on Craigslist or Zillow isn’t a bad idea, but those aren’t the only tools available. Going for a walk or a drive through the area you want to live in is a great way to spot options that aren’t listed online – and to get a feel for the neighborhood.
3. Find a Professional
Real estate agents and brokers aren’t just for people looking to buy a home – they can help you find one to rent as well. Finding an agent or broker that specializes in rental properties can go a long way toward finding a great place to live – and comes with the added benefit of helping you steer clear of shady neighborhoods and bad landlords.
4. Consider Going Small
You don’t necessarily need to settle for a cramped, tiny apartment – but you should definitely consider checking out smaller apartment buildings and condo complexes. Jumbo apartment complexes with lots of amenities can be attractive, but they’re relying on most tenants not to use the features they’re providing – so unless you plan to cancel your gym membership and head downstairs to the fitness center, or to actually have a cookout on those grills in the courtyard, you may be better off finding something a little further off the grid.