3 Important Considerations When Renting
I'll never forget when my husband and I moved into our first apartment together. It was exciting--but also terrifying. Combining our lives into one space brought with it a lot of important decisions and choices to make. As young twentysomethings, we struggled to figure out how to make the best choice.
Certainly, there are all sorts of ways to go about picking the right place for you. Many people go purely for the aesthetic vibe of a location, but there are several other significant considerations to make when choosing the perfect rental.
1. How close is it to work?
Commute times for you and your roommate or partner are a really important consideration to think about. Certainly, the charm of that adorable apartment or the luxury features of that townhouse rental might beckon you in, but make sure you stop and consider this more practical consideration. How far is the rental from your work and anyone else you are sharing the rent with? And are you truly willing to drive that distance to live in the location?
It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement or charm of a new place and forget this detail. However, a commute is something you won't be able to finagle down the road. Be certain you consider the drive time from your new place.
2. Can you afford it?
These are trying financial times for many, but even if you aren't experiencing financial hardship, you need to ascertain that you can afford the rental. Again, so many get wrapped up in the aesthetics of a place that they forget to consider their budget.
Before you start looking at rentals, figure out your budget. How much are you bringing in a month? What bills do you have other than rent? Sit down and do a hard look at the numbers.
Once you have your budget figured out, you need to determine how much you can afford based on the location you are renting in. use a rent calculator like this one to help you assess what you can actually afford to pay in the area you are living in.
As a rule of thumb according to Zumper, you want to make sure your rent costs aren't more than 30% of your income.
Go into the rental process knowing your budget and what you can actually afford. This will prevent you from making a choice on impulse and suffering financially for months or years to come.
3. Does the neighborhood align with your needs?
Be sure to look beyond the cute window or kitchen island and consider the neighborhood where your prospective rental is. Are you a couple who likes to walk to local, small-town community events? You'll want to consider this when making your decision. Does the school district's quality matter to you because you have a child who is school age? Make sure you analyze the district's performance.
Another thing to consider is the crime rate in your prospective rental's area. I love using Neighborhood Scout to analyze crime data for a particular area when considering a move. It gives extremely specific data for specific areas of a community and allows you to assess where your rental is sitting.
Overall, choosing a rental property is a big decision. Be sure to discuss with your roommates or partner what goals you both have and what you are looking for. Being prepared before checking out properties will help you make the wisest decision for you.
How do you make sure you choose the right rental? Tell me below.
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