Finding the perfect rental home can be an exciting yet daunting task. It's a place where you'll spend a significant portion of your life, so it's essential to ensure it meets your needs and preferences. To help you make an informed decision, this blog will outline what to look for in a home when you're touring potential rentals.
1. Location, Location, Location
One of the most crucial factors to consider when looking for a rental home is its location. The neighborhood you choose should align with your lifestyle and daily activities. Consider proximity to work, schools, public transportation, shopping centers, parks, and recreational facilities. It's also wise to investigate the safety and crime rate in the area to ensure you and your family will feel secure.
2. Rental Budget
Before you start touring homes, establish a clear budget. Calculate how much you can afford to spend on rent while still meeting your other financial obligations. Be sure to factor in additional costs like utilities, rental insurance, monthly fees, etc. Staying within your budget can help prevent financial stress down the road.
3. Amenities and Features
Different rental homes come with various amenities and features, so it's essential to prioritize your preferences. Consider your lifestyle and what amenities will enhance your daily life. Some common features to look for include:
Outdoor Space: If you enjoy spending time outdoors, look for a home with a yard, patio, or balcony.
Storage Space: Ample closet and storage space can make a big difference in your living experience.
Parking: Confirm if the property has sufficient parking spaces for your needs and if the home has a garage.
Pet-Friendly Policies: If you have pets, make sure the rental property is pet-friendly and inquire about any pet-related fees or restrictions. (FirstKey Homes is pet-friendly!)
Security: Assess the security measures in place, including locks, alarm systems, and neighborhood safety.
4. Condition of the Property
When touring a potential rental home, pay close attention to its condition. Look for signs of neglect or maintenance issues, such as:
Water Damage: Check for water stains on ceilings and walls, which could indicate leaks.
Appliances and Fixtures: Ensure that all appliances, plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets are in good working order.
Flooring: Inspect the condition of the flooring, whether it's carpet, hardwood, tile, or laminate.
Paint and Walls: Look for cracks, peeling paint, or visible wall damage.
Windows and Doors: Check for proper insulation and any drafts.
Pest Infestations: Look for signs of pests such as droppings, gnawed wood, etc.
5. Lease Terms and Policies
Before signing a lease agreement, thoroughly review the terms and policies set by the landlord or property management company. Pay attention to the following:
Lease Duration: Determine the length of the lease and if there are options for renewal.
Rent Increases: Inquire about how and when rent may increase during your residency.
Maintenance and Repairs: Understand the property owner’s responsibilities for maintenance and repairs, as well as yours as a renter. For example, FirstKey Homes partners with you to take care of your home; in general, we handle large repairs while residents are responsible for some minor maintenance items (like replacing air filters).
Security Deposit: Know the amount of the security deposit required and the conditions for its return.
Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with any rules, regulations, or restrictions that apply to the property.
Touring potential rental homes can be an exciting process, but it's essential to pay attention to the details. By considering factors such as location, budget, amenities, property condition, and lease terms, you can make an informed decision and find a rental home that truly suits your needs and preferences. Remember that patience and due diligence will go a long way in ensuring your new rental home is one where you can love where you live.