Every year, about one third of people who rent their residence move. That is a decent number of people as nearly 37% of all Americans are renters. Nearly 43 million people move every year in the United States. If you are looking for a new place to live, there are ways to make that process easier.
- Ask your friends and coworkers. Whether you are moving to a new city or across town, you should check with the people you know. Given the number of people who move each year, you may know someone who knows someone who is moving or who knows of a place for rent. It never hurts to ask.
- Look online. Sites like Craigslist and others are great for looking for rental properties. Even if you do not rent one of the apartments you find on the site, you can get a good sense of what is available in your area and what the prices are. This can be really helpful if you are new to a city or are moving to a new one, you can start to get a sense of the real estate market. This can also help you learn about the city or area where you want to live and help you avoid bad areas.
- Check the university housing offices. If you live in a city with a university, you may be able to get listings from them. If you are not a student, you can still check their websites or swing by and see what kinds of listings they hand out or have posted. Even if they cannot give you their listings, they can answer your questions about the different areas in town.
- Talk to a realtor. There are real estate offices that have listings for apartments and townhomes for rent. These may cost you a little more but also may be helpful if you are new to the area. They can help you find other goods and services you may need. They can also answer your questions about the different neighborhoods.
- Check the newspaper. Yes, it is true that Craigslist has taken over most classifieds but that does not mean you should not check the local newspapers. Some apartments and other places for rent may not be listed anywhere else because really local papers have inexpensive ads.
- Look at sublets. While you are looking at places for rent, consider a sublet. If you are new to a city or are not sure if you are going to stay for a long or short time, you might get a good deal on a sublet. This can be really great if you do not have furniture and want to check out a city.
- Check out the neighborhood before you sign a lease. The neighborhood that looks cute and fun during the day can look really sketchy and scary at night. Before you sign a lease, stalk the neighborhood a bit. Go by at night and on different days of the week. Check out the commute from the area to your work or school.
- Look into the landlord-tenant law for the city. In some areas, the law is written to really help the tenant and in some areas it is written for the landlord. You should know at least a little about the law in your city. Most landlords are great but some are not. Protect yourself by knowing the law.
- Have a lawyer review your lease before you sign. Before your sign anything, have an impartial expert review the lease. If your landlord tries to pressure you into signing anything, you should walk away. You will feel a lot better about anything you do sign if you have had it reviewed by someone who has your interests at heart.
For a large number of people, it makes more sense to rent than to own. If you are not going to be in a city for a long time or you just are not interested in the responsibility that comes along with owning property, you should rent a place. Finding the place to rent does not have to be painful. If you do some research and spend some time on it, you can find a great place to rent.