When searching for the right rental home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options. This is particularly true of renters in major metropolitan areas, who will often comb through hundreds of listings before finding a home that’s worth seeing in person. While there’s no way to completely remove the grunt work from the home-finding process, there are several measures that can help expedite the said process. So, if you’re eager to find the right rental home on time, simply take the following steps.
Know What You Want and What You Can Afford
Before starting your rental home search in earnest, make a list of the qualities your ideal rental home will have and decide on a manageable budget. For example, if you’re looking for a minimum of two bedrooms, you can filter search results to reflect this preference, thus preventing you from having to swipe through a bunch of listings that don’t meet your needs. You can also filter search results to only show you properties that fall into your price range and save yourself the hassle of perusing a smattering of rental homes you can’t afford.
Having a clear picture of what you’re looking for in a rental home and a solid understanding of what you can comfortably afford can shave a significant amount of time off your search. So, if you’re currently unclear on what you want out of your next rental home, there’s no time like the present to start making a list.
Never Sign a Lease for a Property You Haven’t Inspected
If you’re looking to move in a hurry, it’s easy to see how you might be tempted to sign a lease for a property you’ve yet to see. This approach to finding a rental home is particularly common among individuals who are relocating on expedited timelines for career reasons. Still, no matter how many images you see of a prospective rental online, you should abstain from signing a lease until you’ve had the opportunity to personally inspect it.
Regardless of how big a hurry you’re in, there’s a good chance that you’ll come to regret committing to a property you haven’t seen in person. At the very least, make sure that you’ve taken on an in-depth virtual tour of any home you’re thinking about renting. While seeing the property in person is ideal, busy schedules, COVID precautions, and other factors may ultimately stand in your way. Furthermore, if a landlord ever encourages you to rent a home sight unseen, this should be regarded as a red flag. Even if they offer to give you an amazing deal, a property owner not wanting a prospective tenant to see the home they may be renting is extremely suspicious behavior.
Request That Repairs Be Attended to
Very few rental homes are perfect. While you’re likely to find small problems in virtually every home you tour, some of these properties may have much larger issues with plumbing, electricity, or even structural integrity. Should a rental home you’re considering fall into the latter category, it’s generally a good idea to move on to other prospective properties. Large problems going unaddressed are typically a sign of poor maintenance, and the last person you want to deal with is a landlord who can’t be bothered to maintain their property.
However, if the problems you come across are fairly minor, request that they be repaired in advance of your relocation. Should the landlord agree to this, it should be taken as a good sign. On the flip side, if they become apprehensive, you’d do well to look for other rentals. For good measure, you should limit your options to rental homes that are owned and operated by a landlord or real estate syndication company with a positive professional reputation. Furthermore, since homeowners insurance cannot be applied to rental properties, take care to invest in a good renters insurance policy.
Depending on where you’re searching, finding a rental home that’s uniquely suited to your needs is liable to seem like an uphill battle. When faced with such an overwhelming abundance of options, many of us won’t hesitate to become stressed or frustrated. Although there’s no denying that zeroing in on the perfect rental home will require some effort on your part, this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to simplify the process.