Making An Informed Choice
If you ever decide to rent, the worst thing you can do is go with the first apartment you’ve looked at. Ideally, you want to look at half a dozen before you sign on the dotted line. Each will have its own positives and negatives, and you’re going to deal with both for a minimum of six months in most cases. Following are five considerations to resolve before deciding.
One: Gas, Or Electric?
Gas is usually going to be cheaper than electric, but this may depend on the winter. If you live in a cold place, you may end up using a lot more gas in the winter than in the summer. So, depending on where you live, you need to resolve this question. Today, there are also sustainable options available, though those usually aren’t as effective or available in colder climes.
If you’re in an environment that doesn’t ever get below about thirty degrees Fahrenheit, you’re probably fine to do the gas option. You’ll likely save more this way.
Two: Is There Remodel Potential?
Performing a remodel for your landlord—like adding a deck or something—can get you a discount on the rent, if you’ve chosen the property and the property owner correctly. Sometimes an apartment that needs a little TLC can be a money saver. At the same time, a landlord who has neglected the premises might not be trustworthy.
Three: What’s The Landlord Like?
You can rent from a company, you can rent from an individual, you can rent from an individual who runs a company, or you may even be able to receive housing solutions from the government itself. Low-income housing is a thing in many cities. Each option has its own set of characteristics.
When you’re renting from a big company, everything is very professional, and you’re unlikely to secure any discounts by upgrading the property, or something of that ilk. However, if you’re renting from a landlord who is a homeowner, or starting his own burgeoning property business, you may have some latitude for negotiation.
At the same time, when you work with someone on an individual level like that, there is give and take. Just as you may be able to get a little more out of your landlord than you could with a larger company, or a government agency, you’re likely going to have to contend with things you wouldn’t need to with a larger agency. Maintenance and repair, for instance.
Four: Apartment Or Rental Property?
What’s popular today is for a home to be “mortgaged” by several who simultaneously pay rent. Sometimes this is a legitimate enterprise, sometimes this is an example of subletting.
When it comes to subletting, you want to be sure you don’t do it if you’re a renter, and your tenants don’t do it if you’re a landlord. To that end, SubletAlert.com provides protection: “We monitor Airbnb continuously, including nights and weekends, and check whether your units are being subleased.”
If the rental property you’re looking at isn’t a conventional apartment building, but is instead a house, again you’ve got advantages and disadvantages to contend with. It’s nice to have a backyard, a driveway, multiple bathrooms, and a full kitchen. It’s not nice to be compelled into sharing space with roommates, so you’d better know a few of them.
Yes, price is important. There are a few ways in which this is important, too. For example, sometimes you’ll rent an apartment that will raise the rates before your initial lease is up. That’s not good, and something you want to avoid if possible. Ask if the rent is fixed, or how often it is raised. Ask around, too; to see that the apartment agency has been honest.
Generally, you should be able to find a livable place for between $750 and $1250, though be advised an apartment that cheap is perhaps not the best in the world. For $1,500 to $2,000 a month, you should expect some amenities. It’s always nice to rent from someone who has installed a security system on the premises. Pools, workout rooms, and entertainment centers are nice too.
Finding Your Perfect Unit
Provided you take your time and look carefully, you’ll likely find just the apartment to meet your needs. The key is not being too hasty, and understanding the local real estate scene as it pertains to apartments.
October 20, 2017