Whether you are looking for rental homes or apartments, you will want to consider the same types of things. Where do I start looking? Is the property affordable? Is the property conveniently located? Does it have what I need? How to decide which one is best?
The internet is your best friend when you are looking for rental property. You can find a variety of rental property sites where you enter in your preferences and location, and it gives you a list of properties in your area that suit your needs. Make a list of the prospects and start making some phone calls.
Can I Afford It?
If you are currently paying rent or a mortgage payment now, can you go higher or do you need to go lower? This will give you a good idea of what you can afford. If you are moving out the dorms or your parent's house, you want to look at how much you make each month. Ideally, you only want to spend about 30 to 40 percent (or less) of your monthly income on rent. So, if you make $2000 a month, you want to spend around $600 to $800. Sometimes, this might not be feasible in your area. If so, you might want to consider living with a roommate to help lower the costs.
Is It Convenient?
Is the rental property close to your office or to school or to your children's school? You don't want to spend a fortune in gas (or public transportation fees) to get to and from these places. In addition to work and school, how close are you to things like the grocery store, the bank, the doctor's office, etc.? If you have a car, this might not be such a big deal, but if you are limited to walking and/or public transportation, you will want to consider the distance to these places as well.
Does It Have What I Need?
So, the apartment complex has a great pool facility, but they only have two bedroom units available when you need three. You need to focus on your needs first, and your wants second. For example, the rental house is lovely and in a great location, but it doesn't have a fenced in yard. Are you ready to walk your dog on a leash multiple times a day? Make a list of what you need and stick to it. You can also make a list of wants to help you decide which property is best.
How Do I Decide?
It can be hard to decide when you are looking at a variety of rental properties. For this reason, it is important to take notes on each property and take photos if you can. You also want to focus on your needs first because you will be happier in the long run with three bedrooms and a fenced in yard. Try not to get distracted by the first awesome looking place that comes along. Instead, you want to take the time to find what works best for you.