Whether you're new to renting or rethinking your current living situation, the process of searching for a rental home can be time-consuming. Fortunately, there are rentals for all household types and budgets, but to make your search smarter and more efficient, work through the process following these steps:
STEP 1: Determine what you can pay
Before hunting for a rental, draw up a budget and take a hard look at where your money is going. Generally speaking, it's recommended that most people spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Does that seem doable to you, factoring in debt, commuting and grocery costs, savings and other expenditures?
Keep in mind that in addition to rent, you'll need to budget for utilities (unless your landlord covers some or all of them), cable and Internet, and other potential extras available to renters such as parking, storage and coin-op laundry. And that's in addition to your fees for moving and furnishing your home -- which, in some cases, could require special to make the place liveable.
STEP 2: Brainstorm the features you're seeking
Beyond a basic bedroom and bathroom, ask if there are other conveniences versus essential features:
1. Are there water heaters and air conditioning?
2. Is broadband included in the rent?
3. Do you cook? Will you need a gas stove?
4. Have a car? You’ll be needing a parking space won’t you?
5. Are you willing to live with a roommate to even out the rent in a pricey neighbourhood?
STEP 3: Map your day
Cross check your whereabouts and schedule and take a look where you spend your time. What's your schedule like? What neighborhoods do you travel to and from daily or weekly? Do you drive to work, bike to work or use public transit -- or would that vary depending on your choice of neighborhood? What do you do on the weekends, and do you want to live near those places and activities or is it OK to live elsewhere? If you work late, or if you rise early, are there grocery stores and drugstores open during the hours you need to shop?
STEP 4: Choose your rental type
Are you looking at a long term rental? There’s a wide variety of options on listing portals like DurianProperty.com or for a short-term rental, you may want to look at a sublet. There’s a huge variety of unit types too such as:
1. Apartments and other high rise options
a. Plenty of neighbours, maintenance is handled professionally, usually in convenient locations.
a. Better privacy, more land area, but may run on the expensive side.
3. Accessory unit in a single-family home
a. Safer with landlord-owners living in the vicinity, private and cozy. Could run smaller than the average apartment.
4. Single-family home
a. More space for a larger household, higher bedroom and bathroom count as well as privacy. More expensive to rent with hefty utility bills.
So weigh all your needs and concerns, followed by your wants and “nice-to-haves”. Always keep your budget and finances in mind. Once you’ve gone through all of this and have made up your mind, head on over to DurianProperty.com to start looking!