Smart Strategies for Leasing Homes, Condos, Duplexes, and Townhomes in a Tight Real Estate Market
1. Looking for houses and looking for apartments are two completely different animals and require different approaches. In the apartments there is always another available next week. In the houses, each one is unique and, once rented, disappears. So being prepared is especially important when you need a home. That’s particularly true in high-end or well-located homes.
2. Remember, you cannot open the door to view the place without a REALTOR or owner present. Thank goodness for the MLS (multiple listing service) that you should use to find you the perfect home. Choose the areas of the city you would like to live in, and then search the database for houses available in your price range. You should remove around 80% of the dwellings for one reason or another just by doing this. The rest will be you and your real estate focus.
3. Unlike apartments, houses will require substantial deposits and do not accept checks or cash. They will want certified funds (money order, cashier’s check), so you may need to budget. Contrary to popular belief, most homes are owned by people like you and me and not big investors. They are looking for people who pay on time and don’t trash the place. Can you blame them? On the one hand, they can be demanding, but unlike many apartments, they tend to be realistic in their expectations. Each owner will have different requirements, and as a general rule, the better the location, the more closely they’ll take a look at your overall credit score. REALTORS must work with the requirements of each individual homeowner, as well as comply with the law.
4. Very few REALTORS rent, mainly because the commissions are so low and there is much more work involved compared to renting apartments or selling houses. So when you find one that specializes in leasing, it will be a great help in your search for a new home. Please understand that they are not tour guides. It is very important that you are prepared. Houses are rented very fast, especially nice or well located properties. It becomes very competitive.
1. Have all parties (signatories to the lease) of the property look at the same time.
2. Have your funds ready and be prepared to make a decision.
When should you start looking?
Remember, apartments and houses require different strategies. You should start by studying the different houses available to you online no earlier than 30 days before you want to move. This will give you an idea of what is available in a certain area. BUT there is no point in searching because unlike apartments, the owners will not hold a house for you for more than a week. What you watch today will disappear in a month. Better to seriously consider places (to physically search) to rent only about two weeks before you intend to move. Unless specifically stated for pre-leasing, landlords generally take the first qualified applicant with the earliest move-in date. That is why you must be prepared with your deposits and you must be ready to make a decision. The vast majority of people prefer to live in a house or duplex rather than an apartment. That is what makes it so competitive.
Management companies manage most of the properties and are usually closed on weekends. Of course, you can search on weekends, but you may not be able to do anything about the application. Sometimes that’s good, it gives you breathing space to think. If you are from out of town, make sure you have plenty of time.
Always have a backup of “things happening”. Agents forget to remove the MLS listing, rent unseen, landlord changes his mind about the move. Like I said, it’s not like looking at apartments. Again, one more reason, being prepared is vitally important.
What about my pets
Many people move into a house so that their dog has a yard. However, many owners do not accept pets in their home. The MLS will generally spell out pet policies and deposits typically range from $ 300 to $ 500. Sometimes they let you split it up. They generally like smaller animals under 25 pounds or so, but this can vary quite a bit. And because it is so individualized, it can depend on your credit and, of course, a credible case from your agent. If you have a pet, there is no point in looking for houses that do not accept it. You don’t want to tie up a big or more of your cash and waste a week only to be denied because you didn’t mention your dog.
Why you should use a REALTOR to find your next home.
1. While it is true, driving in search of houses to rent or sell can be a national pastime, please understand that many of them are occupied. If the garage is closed and the curtains drawn, you may not be able to tell. Looking out of someone’s room window is usually a very bad idea and if they have a big dog … well … I know I wouldn’t want to be on that bus.
2. You can’t open the door and if you cancel the sign, then you’re done, .. another agent schedule, (“I’ll go right away, let me pick up the kids from school and drop this movie off at Blockbuster”) It’s infinitely easier and obviously smarter to have a dedicated person there and able to open each and every door for you today.
3. The MLS has virtually every rental property in your city. By searching and doing your homework online beforehand and talking to your REALTOR, you can eliminate 80% of the properties that don’t work for you. That will save you hours of mindless driving. and above all eliminate the problem of losing the street where the perfect house for you is located.
The system a realtor uses to find you the perfect home is robust, efficient, and will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. Plus, it’s fun and interesting! However, it requires a lot of work on the part of real estate agents. Be considerate of your REALTOR. They work only on commission.