If you have decided that renting is the best option for you and your family be sure you give yourself plenty of time to do things right. While there are many reasons that renting is the best option, it can still be a money hole financially and a generally uncomfortable experience if the home you select does not fit the specific needs of you and your family precisely.
To avoid such a debacle, be sure to gather as much experience and perspective as you can on the process before you take that initial first step. The following article will cover some of the most basic considerations that will lead you to a warm and happy home where you and your brood will be comfortable and financially stable.
1. Set Your Financial Parameters
Put on a pot of coffee and take out your calculator because you will need to make sure this first and foremost step is done right. A rental home for you and your family is not just a different home layout and view, it’s a completely different life. Everything will change from the number of power outlets available to the route you will take to visit granny and grandpa and even the family bathroom dynamic will take some getting used to.
More importantly, your finances will see some fluctuations and having a clear prediction of what your new life is going to cost and how much you will have left over for your living expense is very important.
As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of your living expenses. This can give you a good number to begin with but the closer your prediction is to a price you can foreseeably pay, the closer your home will be suited to your needs.
Leave no stone uncovered to make sure you know where you will be shopping, getting your laundry done, taking the baby to nursery school, and every other important detail that will make your move as smooth as possible.
2. Dream, dream, dream … and then Brainstorm
Your home needs to be your dream house or you will hate everything about it every minute of your life inside. So, think of all the things you will need in a house that will keep you happy and comfy. Do you need a larger kitchen or dining room? How many bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, etc.? Is a backyard important for fresh air, exercise or social events? Will you need the 15-car garage, or will the standard 6-car do fine? Elegance-on-a-Shoestring will be the flavor of the day.
Take time to consider all the things you “must have” in your home alongside a list of things that “would be nice”. Take the time to point out a few deal breakers as well. It is important that you are fully aware of things that will make a home unlivable, a lack of bathtubs, for example. Furthermore, consider how fast babies become toddlers and soon rowdy teenagers, consider now how long you will plan on living in the selected location and how large it will have to be to provide for a potentially expansive lifestyle.
Once you have weighed out all aspects of your ideal home down to the perfect colored curtains, you will have a clear idea of what the house of your dreams looks like and you can begin looking for the closest thing.
3. Get a Feel for the Locations
Take some time to consider what the best locations for your new rental home will and mark them out on your city map. This will include the locations of friends and family you visit often (or would rather put little distance between), work, shopping malls, kid’s schools, dentist’s office, parks and more. There are location mappers online that can be used to seek out rental availabilities in hot spots around you. These can help you choose a good location at an affordable price by avoiding high-value real estate areas.
Looking for various locations in your desired city is going to take a list of considerations all to itself. Do you have exercise activities that will be supported by the local amenities? Do you take a bike to work and is that feasible after a certain distance? If your working hours are irregular, are there plenty of grocery and drugstores operating at convenient hours?
Next, take the time to visit the various locations you are interested in and spend a weekend, or afternoon in each location trying to imagine your life there. Talk to some of the local residents and ask them how they feel about the noise level, crime rates and overall wholesome family atmosphere of the location.
But, don’t just take their word for it, try to explore a little and get an idea for yourself. Look around at the schools in the area and other extracurricular activities available.
4. Find the House and Begin the Application Process
Now that the fun stuff is out of the way, you can begin the fairly tedious and suspenseful task of filling out applications and setting out libations for the household pixies to bring you good fortune and approval. There will be some important things to consider and unexpected expenses here too.
The background check – when you apply to rent a specific location, your landlord will want to know that you are an upstanding citizen who addresses their financial responsibilities. They will want to verify you have gainful employment and means to cover your side of the deal. This may include of up to $40, your landlord will then contact you with the reply to your application.
Negotiating the Lease – You will want to take a close look at the all the terms and conditions included in the lease agreement and make doubly sure they are satisfactory. Some will include a lengthy collection of rules that may not conform to your family’s lifestyle. Remember that many articles on the list are negotiable and it never hurts to ask the landlord if they will be flexible on a few details.
Deposit – A deposit will typically be the same as a first month’s rent and be retained in case there is any damage that will have to be repaired upon conclusion of the lease. Again, this can sometimes be negotiated, and landlords have been known to accept this in a payment plan over a series of months.
The Real Estate Agent – You may find that working with a real estate agent or broker such as www.liveloveathome.com is the most cost-effective option for you. These professionals have keen insights into the local real estate market and can provide you with options you may not otherwise be aware of. Of course, there will be a fee included in this service, but it will typically be offset by the amount of time and footwork that will be delegated.