No matter the circumstance, moving is no small feat. Picking the right rental property for you before the move can alleviate a lot of both short- and long-term stress. While doing your home-hunting homework may be a little more work on the frontend, we assure you that it will prove invaluable down the road. There are many factors to consider when signing a rental agreement. Follow this list to ensure that pick the right place for you next time you’re in the market for a rental property.
Calculate. Calculate. And, recalculate. Your budget is the most important part of the rental process. It does no good to look at properties that are outside of your budget, only to get our hopes up about something that never had the ability to come to fruition in the first place.
It is recommended that a person’s rental payments be no more than 30 percent of his or her income; in fact, many landlords or property managers require that the payments stay under this percentage. You need to consider the fact that you will need to budget for utilities, cable, Internet, water, sewage, trash, parking, storage, laundry, or other services while living in the property. Plus, you have your other living expenses that include phone bills, groceries, and entertainment.
Also remember that you will more than likely want to purchase specific items for the new place based on the current setup and your living needs. To calculate your budget, you can use online services like Mint or HelloWallet.
Most landlords or property managers are seeking a minimum of a 12-month lease. There are private property landlords apartments complexes that will do month-to-month, three-month, or six-month leases, but you are more than likely going to be paying extra for this type of flexibility. Evaluate your comfort level in regard to getting locked into a timeframe, and always make sure to ask the consequences for breaking a lease. You may want to also look up state laws, especially when moving to a new state.
Naturally, you want to think about the rooms and bathrooms you will need in the property. If living by yourself, do you want or need an extra bedroom for an office? If you have a roommate, are you okay sharing a bathroom? If you are moving with your family, do your kids need their own rooms? If moving into an apartment, would you prefer living on the top floor where you won’t have to hear people walking above you, but you’ll have the added hardship of moving everything to a second or third story?
In addition, you want to think about other features in the home like garages, decks, backyards, basements, and fireplaces. Since it is unlikely that you will be able to get every single feature that you want, you’ll also want to prioritize these features and consider where you are willing to compromise.
Most apartment or townhome complexes give tenants access to a list of amenities. At Stonesthrow Residences, we provide access to a fully furnished clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor pool, sand volleyball court, and grill area. We are also close to the Village at Meridian, which is home to some of the Boise area’s best dining and shopping experiences. Take time to consider whether or not access to these amenities is high up on your priority list and the advantages of having access to such amenities.
Traffic is becoming more and more of an issue across all major cities, so you will want to compare commute times from your potential rental properties to things like work, the grocery store, daycares or schools. If new to a particular city, make sure to research traffic patterns to understand if you are going to be moving with or against certain trends. If you are moving with kids, also make sure to research specific school districts using services like School Digger or GreatSchools.
To determine the property’s proximity to coffee shops, restaurants, public transportation, and more, check out WalkScore.