Whether you are new to renting or have been leasing properties for years, the process of 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.
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Determine Your Budget
Before you even begin your search, create a budget and take a hard look at what you can really afford to spend. The general rule is that you should never spend more than 30 percent 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. Keep in mind 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 you that you have a patio, deck, or great outdoor space for entertaining? Do you want a fireplace or fancy bathroom, or can you make do with just a shower?
If you are into cooking, you will want to consider what kind of stove and kitchen amenities you will need. It is also a good idea to start thinking of compromises that you're willing to make. For example, would you be willing to give up some square footage for a great location? Is a roommate a good compromise for a high-end apartment?